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The Problem-Solving Process in Short-Term and Long-Term Service

Vincent Sucato
Social Service Review
Vol. 52, No. 2 (Jun., 1978), pp. 244-264
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30015611
Page Count: 21
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The Problem-Solving Process in Short-Term and Long-Term Service
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Abstract

This study demonstrates that Bales's small group theory, formulated under labora- tory conditions, is useful for the empirical analysis of problem solving in the social work interview. Bales's Interactional Process Analysis is used to code the verbatim recordings of eighty-four interviews, ranging from numbers 1 through 9, of clients assigned to Planned Short-Term Service and Continued Service and who are receiving casework for family-related problems. As theoretically anticipated, Planned Short-Term Service demonstrates more substantial problem solving. This study's major discrepancy with Bales's theory is that when "negative reactions" increased, problem solving decreased in social work intervention but increased in Bales's small groups.

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