Predicting the Use of Spiritually-based Interventions with Children and Adolescents: Implications for Social Work Practice


  • Connie Kvarfordt
  • Michael Sheridan


A cross-sectional survey design with disproportionate random sampling was used to gather data from 283 clinical social workers across the United States. Overall, participants had a positive attitude toward the role of religion and spirituality in social work practice and were favorable of social workers helping youth develop spiritually. While practitioners used a wide range of spiritually-derived interventions with this population, the vast majority reported that these issues were rarely, if ever, addressed in their social work education and training. Three attitudinal variables, two practice related variables, and one personal spiritual/religious variable were found to be most predictive of the use of spiritually-based interventions and accounted for 69% of the variance. Implications for social work practice and education are identified and guidelines specific to working with young clients are provided.