Social Work pp 173-183 | Cite as

Psychosocial work

  • David Howe


It would be possible to argue that, in essence, social work is psychosocial work if by psychosocial we mean that area of human experience which is created by the interplay between the individual’s psychological condition and the social environment. Psychosocial matters define most that is of interest to social work, particularly people who are having problems with others (parents, partners, children, peers and professionals) or other people who are having a problem with them. There is a simultaneous interest in both the individual and the qualities of their social environment.


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Further reading

  1. Dunn, J. (1993) Young Children’s Close Relationships: Beyond Attachment (Newbury Park, CA, Sage). A stimulating read, written by a leading developmentalist, that takes a well-rounded look at young children’s development in the ever-changing context of family, peer and cultural relationships.Google Scholar
  2. Durkin, K. (1995) Developmental Social Psychology: From Infancy to Old Age (Oxford, Blackwell). A solid, comprehensive introduction that provides a good understanding of personal growth and the role of developmental processes in building social relationships throughout the lifespan.Google Scholar
  3. Howe, D. (1995) Attachment Theory for Social Work Practice (London, Macmillan). A broad outline of the main features of attachment theory, backed by a comprehensive review of the research literature, and aimed at social workers both in training and in practice.Google Scholar
  4. Mattinson, J. and Sinclair, I. (1979) Mate and Stalemate (London, Institute of Marital Studies). A first-hand account, backed by analytic and attachment-oriented theories, of working with marital problems in a social services department, packed with case examples.Google Scholar
  5. Rutter, M. and Rutter, M. (1993) Developing Minds: Challenge and Continuity across the Life Span (Harmondsworth, Penguin). An examination and review of the research literature that looks at human development over the course of life, paying particular attention to the continuities and discontinuities in the psychological growth process.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© David Howe 1998

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  • David Howe

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