Very little social work research with Muslims has centered around themes related directly to their psychosocial well-being, their acculturation and integration strategies, the identity development processes and pitfalls especially of the second and subsequent generations, and the heretofore very low utilization rates of therapy and in general admission to and acceptance of mental health challenges. The panelists will discuss the following topics: 1) Cultural and religious considerations, especially as they relate to problem formulation, sample recruitment, and interaction with various segments of the population. The goal of this segment of the workshop will be to demonstrate the viability of research with Muslims especially in instances where the religion and gender of the researcher(s) is different than the sample population. 2) Considerations for the selection of instruments, especially focusing on the applicability of instruments whose development has been guided by a Western worldview, and whose testing has been on populations which have been predominantly Judeo-Christian. The panelists will make the case for the incorporation of the Muslim worldview in the development of instruments, but more importantly, the need to test further the potential for using existing instruments with modification in areas of emphases (i.e. collectivist v. individualistic; general concerns v. detailed explorations of familial well-being or conflict) and wording of questions among other concerns. 3) Research with Muslims in Europe and Muslim majority countries, focusing particularly on the development of social work and social services and the role of the social worker. Two of the panelists have conducted research in Israel and Afghanistan and will share the lessons they have learned as well as their insights on the tremendous opportunities for research in those two countries, in Europe and in other parts of the world.
During a ninety-minute session, the panelists will first address each of the topics above in a prepared statement. They then will take audience questions and lead a discussion.