Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Social Work

First Advisor

Walter LaMendola, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Kathy Green, Ph.D.


CFA, Communities of Practice, Grounded Theory, MIRT, Social Work Education, Social Work Values


This study addresses questions about the nature of relationships between personal and professional value systems and between personal and professional identities, about motivations for engaging in a social work community of practice, and about alternative statistical methods for evaluating the psychometric properties of an original measure of motivation for participation in a social work community of practice. By merging communities of practice theory, derived from social learning theory, and critical social realist theory, this study bridges an ideological gap between the origins and evolution of personal and social identities. The study utilizes a mixed-method approach to (1) develop a measure of motivations for participating in a community of practice and compare confirmatory factor analysis and multidimensional item response theory in the evaluation of the measure, (2) assess a theoretically derived structural equation model relating attitudes toward diversity, endorsement of professional social work values, and motivations for entering a MSW program, and (3) develop a grounded theory of how students experience and make sense of the interaction, negotiation, and resolution of personal values about diversity, attitudes towards professional social work values, and motivations for pursuing a MSW degree. Implications are identified and discussed for (1) the field of psychometrics, (2) social work education, and (3) social work practice.

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Philip Jonathan Osteen

File size

368 p.

File format





Social Work, Statistics

Included in

Social Work Commons