Values and Sociological Intervention

  • John G. Bruhn
  • Howard M. Rebach
Part of the Clinical Sociology book series (CSRP)


Values are the core of professional practice. According to Simon (1972), professional practice is the process of changing existing situations into preferred ones. When professionals attempt to change situations they confront people with their values. The proposed change is “known” by the professional to be best for the client. Clients also “know” what is best for them. The process of “knowing” involves the assessment of values, directly or intuitively. The strength or depth of commitment to the values of a professional and a client, and the congruence between their values, will determine whether intervention is possible and, if so, the ease with which it can be carried out. It is often assumed by professionals that the interventions they propose are “right” and that the rejection of an intervention by a client means the client is not serious about change. Indeed, professionals’ assessments of why clients reject interventions or why interventions were not successful, are value judgments. Clients and professionals rarely mention value conflicts as reasons for failure.


Primary Prevention Conflict Resolution Behavioral Medicine Professional Practice Communication Style 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Albee, G.W., & Ryan-Finn, K.D. (1993). An overview of primary prevention. Journal of Counseling and Development, 72, 115–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, T.W. (1974). Vitamin E in angina pectoris. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 110, 401–406.Google Scholar
  3. Bayles, M. (1983). Obligations to clients. In N. Abrams & M.D. Buckner (Eds.), Medical ethics (pp. 107–112). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  4. Becker, M.H. (1993). A medical sociologist looks at health promotion. Journal of Health & Social Behavior, 34, 1–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beier, E.G., & Young, D.M. (1984). The silent language of psychotherapy (2nd ed.). New York: Aldine.Google Scholar
  6. Beisecker, A.E., & Beisecker, T.D. (1993). Using metaphors to characterize doctor-patient relationships: Paternalism versus consumerism. Health Communication, 5, 41–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bensing, J. (1991). Doctor-patient communication and the quality of care. Social Science & Medicine, 32, 1301–1310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bidwell, C.E., & Vreeland, R.S. (1977). Authority and control in client-serving organizations. In R.L. Blankenship (Ed.), Colleagues in organizations: The social construction of professional work (pp. 360–370). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  9. Bloom, M. (1993). Toward a code of ethics for primary prevention. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 13, 173–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bracht, N. (Ed.) (1990). Health promotion at the community level. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Bruhn, J.G. (1986). Time in therapeutic relationships: Myths and realities. Southern Medical Journal, 79, 344–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Burgoon, M., Birk, T.S., & Hall, J.R. (1991). Compliance and satisfaction with physician-patient communication: An expectancy theory interpretation of gender differences. Human Communication Research, 18, 177–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Colombotos, J. (1969). Social origins and ideology of physicians. Journal of Health & Social Behavior, 10, 16–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cyert, R., & March, J. (1963). A behavioral theory of the firm. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  15. Davis, K. (1988). Power under the microscope. Dordrecht, Holland: Foris.Google Scholar
  16. Dossey, L. (1993). Healing words. New York: Harper-Collins.Google Scholar
  17. Druckman, D., & Broome, B.J. (1991). Value differences and conflict resolution: Familiarity or liking? Journal of Conflict Resolution, 35, 571–593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Druckman, D., Broome, B.J., & Korper, S.H. (1983). Value differences and conflict resolution: Facilitation or delinking? Journal of Conflict Resolution, 32, 489–510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Epstein, R.M., Campbell, T.L., Cohen-Cole, S.A., McWhinney, I.R., & Smilkstein, G. (1993). Perspectives on patient-doctor communication. The Journal of Family Practice, 37, 377–388.Google Scholar
  20. Flaherty, E.W. (1979). Evaluation of consultation. In J.J. Piatt & R.J. Wicks (Eds.), The psychological consultant (pp. 213–242). New York: Grune & Stratton.Google Scholar
  21. Forrow, L., Arnold, R.M., & Parker, L.S. (1993). Preventive ethics: Expanding the horizons of clinical ethics. Journal of Clinical Ethics, 4, 287–294.Google Scholar
  22. Fraser, R.A. (1989). Social decision-making and the use of value management. Ekistics,56, 171–174.Google Scholar
  23. Gillian, R., Mondell, B., & Warbasse, J.R. (1977). Quantitative evaluation of vitamin E in the treatment of angina pectoris. American Heart Journal, 93, 444–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women’s development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Grebe, S.C. (1992). Ethics and the professional family mediator. Mediation Quarterly, 10, 155–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Heitler, S. (1990). From conflict to resolution. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  27. Humphrey, G.B., Littlewood, J.L., & Kamps, W.A. (1992). Physician/patient communication: A model considering the interaction of physicians’ therapeutic strategy and patients’ coping style. Journal of Cancer Education,7, 147–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Jenkins, CD. (1992). Assessment of outcomes of health intervention. Social Science & Medicine, 35, 367–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kaplan, R.M. (1985). Behavioral epidemiology, health promotion, and health services. Medical Care, 23, 564–583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kelly, T.A., & Strupp, H.H. (1992). Patient and therapist values in psychotherapy: Perceived changes, assimilation, similarity, and outcome. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 60, 34–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kilby, R.W. (1993). The study of human values. New York: University Press of America.Google Scholar
  32. Kluckhohn, C. (1961). Variations in value orientations. Evanston, IL: Row Peterson.Google Scholar
  33. Langenhoven, M.L., Rossouw, J.E., Jooste, PL., Charlton, D.O., Swanepoel, A.S.P., Rossouw, L.J., Jordaan, P.C.J., & Steyn, M. (1991). Change in knowledge in coronary heart disease risk factor intervention study in three communities. Social Science & Medicine, 33, 71–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Liedtka, J.M. (1991). When values collide: Value conflict in American health care. Business & Professional Ethics Journal, 40, 3–28.Google Scholar
  35. Loewy, E.H. (1989). Textbook of medical ethics. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  36. Maccoby, E.E. (1980).Social development. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.Google Scholar
  37. Messing, J.K. (1993). Mediation: An intervention strategy for counselors. Journal of Counseling & Development, 72, 67–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Newman, J.L. (1993). Ethical issues in consultation. Journal of Counseling & Development, 72, 148–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Nystrom, P. (1989). Ethical values as organizational identities: Hospitals and businesses. Paper presented at a meeting of the National Academy of Management, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  40. Odell, M, & Stewart, S.P. (1993). Ethical issues associated with client values conversion and therapist value agendas in family therapy. Family Relations, 42, 128–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Schon, D.A. (1983). The reflective practitioner. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  42. Seubert, V.R. (1991). Sociology and value neutrality: Limiting sociology to the empirical level. The American Sociologist, 22, 210–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sieber, S.D. (1981). Fatal remedies: The ironies of social intervention. New York: Plenum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Simon, H. (1972). The sciences of the artificial. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  45. Street, F.L. Jr., & Buller, D.B. (1988). Patients’ characteristics affecting physician-patient nonverbal communication. Human Communication Research, 15, 60–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Taylor, K.M. (1988). Telling bad news: Physicians and the disclosure of undesirable information. Sociology of Health & Illness, 10, 121–132.Google Scholar
  47. Thompson, S.C., Nanni, C, & Schwankovsky, L. (1990). Patient-oriented interventions to improve communication in a medical office visit. Health Psychology, 9, 390–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Toone, W.M. (1973). Effects of vitamin E: Good and bad. New England Journal of Medicine, 289,689–698.Google Scholar
  49. Trickett, E.J. (1992). Prevention ethics: Explicating the context of prevention activities. Ethics & Behavior, 2, 91–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Uhlenhuth, E.H., Rickels, K., Fisher, S., Park, L.C., Lipman, R.S., & Mock, J. (1966). Drug, doctor’s verbal attitude and clinical setting in the symptomatic response to pharmacotherapy. Psychophar-macologia, 9, 392–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Ulschak, F.L., & Snow Antle, S.M. (1990). Consultation skills for health care professionals. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  52. Warwick, D.P., & Kelman, H.C. (1973). Ethical issues in social intervention. In G. Zaltman (Ed), Processes and phenomena of social change (pp. 377–417). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  53. Wiseman, J.M. (1990). Mediation therapy. Lexington, MA: Lexington.Google Scholar
  54. Wyatt, N. (1991). Physician-patient relationships: What do doctors say? Health Communication, 3, 157–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Zola, I.K. (1975). In the name of health and illness: On some socio-political consequences of medical influence. Social Science and Medicine, 9, 83–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Recommended Readings

  1. Bruhn, J.G., Levine, H.G., & Levine, PL. (1993). Managing boundaries in the health professions. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas.Google Scholar
  2. Bruhn, J.G., & Henderson, G. (1991). Values in health care: Choices and conflicts. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas.Google Scholar
  3. Gentry, W.D. (Ed.) (1984). Handbook of behavioral medicine. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  4. Gochman, D.S. (Ed.). (1988). Health behavior: Emerging research perspectives. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  5. Hansen, J.C. (Ed.). (1982). Values, ethics, legalities and the family therapist. Rockville, MD: Aspen.Google Scholar
  6. Kottler, J.A. (1993). On being a therapist. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  7. Matarazzo, J.D., Weiss, S.M., Herd, J.A., Miller, N.E., & Weiss, S.M. (Eds.). (1984). Behavioral health: A handbook of health enhancement and disease prevention. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  8. Ostrow, D.G. (Ed.). (1990). Behavioral aspects of AIDS. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  9. Raithbone-McCuan, R, & Hashimi, J. (1982). Isolated elders: Health and social intervention. Rock-ville, MD: Aspen.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • John G. Bruhn
    • 1
  • Howard M. Rebach
    • 2
  1. 1.Pennsylvania State University / HarrisburgMiddletownUSA
  2. 2.University of Maryland, Eastern ShorePrincess AnneUSA

Personalised recommendations