Session: Aaron Rosen Lecture: Mismeasurement in social work: Building evidence-based practice one measure at a time (Society for Social Work and Research 23rd Annual Conference - Ending Gender Based, Family and Community Violence)

108 Aaron Rosen Lecture: Mismeasurement in social work: Building evidence-based practice one measure at a time

Friday, January 18, 2019: 11:30 AM-12:30 PM
Continental Ballroom 6, Ballroom Level (Hilton San Francisco)
Craig LeCroy, Ph.D., Arizona State University
Measurement is critical to building evidence-based practice in social work. Without measurement science we cannot effectively advance the practice of social work. Yet, far too little attention has been paid to measurement in social work research.  Understanding issues in measurement can help answer critical questions in our work: Why are there many rigorous studies of social work practice that show mixed impact? Is evidence-based practice making limited progress? Why is evidence illusive in the research on social work practice? Examination of measurement science, and the mismeasurement of social work, suggests in order to advance our work we need to better understand the use of measurement in our research. Using examples from home visitation research I will discuss how mismeasurement has hampered progress and what we need to do to address measurement issues.  Critiquing fundamental concepts in psychometric research I will suggest how the psychometric model does not produce valid measures—especially when conducting outcome studies in social work. A new measurement strategy for social work, using socialworkmetric measures, can address social work’s mismeasurement problems. The mismeasurement problem in social work represents a deeper problem--promoting convention rather than discovery, in how research is conducted. True scientific advancement of social work can be realized when critical thinking rather than conventional thinking becomes accepted in social work research.

Dr. Craig Winston LeCroy is the Communitas Professor of Social Work, Tucson Campus, School of Social Work, Arizona State University.  He also holds an appointments at the University of Arizona in the John & Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Family Studies and Human Development division and is a faculty member with the Arizona LEND program ( at the University of Arizona, College of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, the Zellerbach Visiting Professor at the University of California–Berkeley, and a senior Fulbright specialist.

Professor LeCroy has focused his research in the areas of home visitation services, social competence in adolesence, and evidence based practice for social work. In home visitation he has conducted randomized trials of the Healthy Families America program of home visitation, serves on the research to practice committee of Prevent Child Abuse America, and has developed a widely used outcome instrument, The Healthy Families Parenting Inventory,  Dr. LeCroy's work in social competence with youth spans efforts toward implementation of evidence based practice models (See, Handbook of Evidence-based Practice Manuals with Children and Adolescents), juvenile justice with youth, and the development of a primary prevention program for early adolescent females (See, Empowering Adolescent Girls). He is currently developing and evaluating new programs for sexual risk reduction with adolecent females and males. He continues to conduct research on issues related to mental illness and conducted an in-depth study of how parents manage their children's mental illness (See Parenting Mentally Ill Children) and collected a series of first person accounts of people with mental illness. Dr. LeCroy is the author of 14 books and over 100 articles and book chapters. He was elected Fellow status by the American Psychological Association in 2016 and elected Fellow status by the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare in 2017.

His web page is:

See more of: Other Events