Social Work and Special Education Students' Attributions of Poverty: A Leadership Opportunity for School Social Workers

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attributions, economic justice, poverty, social work students, special education students


It has been fifty years since President Lyndon Johnson declared a "War on Poverty," yet poverty remains one of the most incessant social problems in America. Children are disproportionately represented in poverty statistics. The ramifications on the learning capacity of children who live in poverty are of serious concern to educational teams. This study explores comparative beliefs about the causes of poverty among undergraduate social work and special education students. The results from this study suggest that school social workers have an opportunity for leadership in schools to advocate for an understanding of children who live in poverty.


This article was originally published as Zosky, D., Avant, D., & Thompson, J. (2014). Social work and special education students’ attributions of poverty: A leadership opportunity for school social workers. School Social Work Journal, 38(2), 77-97.