Exploring Lithuanian social workers’ attitudes towards individuals with alcohol usage problems

Justina Kievišiene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Aim: Social workers are at the front line of helping individuals experiencing alcohol usage, due to their professional duties, ideology and values that underpin it. In Lithuania, where social work still continues to develop in both practice and education, it is crucial to supplement with relevant information to strengthen social work's response to issues with alcohol usage. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore social workers’ attitudes towards individuals with alcohol usage problems. Methods: In total, 149 Lithuanian social workers completed a web survey that gathered information about education, work experience and workplace, and filled in the Short Alcohol and Alcohol Problems Perception Questionnaire (SAAPPQ) to measure their attitude towards individuals with alcohol usage problems. Results: The social workers showed a positive attitude towards individuals with alcohol usage problems (mean 35.81 [SD 4.8]). Attitude domain analysis revealed Role Legitimacy (91.3% above the midpoint) to reflect the most positive attitudes and Work Satisfaction (24.2% above the midpoint) to reflect the least positive attitudes. Those with master's degrees scored higher on the total SAAPPQ (t = −2.44, p = 0.016) and its subscales Work Satisfaction (t = −2.52, p = 0.013) and Therapeutic Commitment (t = −2.21, p = 0.029). Having 6–13 years of work experience (mean SAAPPQ = 37.02 [SD 5.11]) was associated with a more positive attitude compared to those with less than 5 years of experience (mean SAAPPQ = 34.08 [SD 3.87]). Conclusion: Although social workers understand their professional responsibility to work with individuals with alcohol usage problems, their dedication to work, motivation and task-specific self-esteem are low. The results also support education, as those with master's degrees showed more positive attitudes. This study further encourages support for social workers just beginning their career, who might report lower attitudes towards individuals with alcohol usage problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-96
Number of pages22
Journal Nordic studies on alcohol and drugs
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • alcohol
  • attitudes towards alcohol usage
  • SAAPPQ
  • social work
  • staff attitudes
  • substance use

Field of science

  • Social work

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