Clinical social work research: quantitative versus qualitative methodology

Selwyn Stanley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the biggest predilections to plague social science research, has been the debate on the use of quantitative analytical procedures vis-a-vis qualitative methodology. Quantitative analysts claim superiority in terms of 'scientific' validity and greater generalisability of findings, while the advocates of the qualitative perspective assert greater subjective insight, richness and depth of information, which is likely to be lost in a matrix of numbers. Clinical social work research has, in recent years, shown an overwhelming tendency to list towards the former approach often to the absolute exclusion of qualitative procedures as is evidenced by the numerous publications in the field and the instruments developed to quantify various psychosocial parameters. Several related issues from the stand-point of this paradigm debate have been discussed in this paper besides making out a case for using mixed research methodologies, blending both approaches to the optimum extent possible so as to get the best insight into the phenomenon being investigated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-351
Number of pages10
JournalIndian Journal of Social Work
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


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