Vicarious growth among social work students: What makes the difference?

Anat Ben-Porat, Shelly Gottlieb, Tehila Refaeli, Shachar Shemesh, Ronit Reuven Even Zahav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This study examined the contribution of background variables, personal factors (professional commitment) and environmental factors (peer support and supervision) to social work students' vicarious growth as an implication of their field practicums with trauma victims. Special emphasis was placed on examining the role of secondary traumatisation in the growth process. The sample consisted of 259 social work students at three social work schools in Israel. All students conducted their field practicums in social services and worked with trauma victims. The findings indicated that the mean level of growth was moderate and significant contribution was made by the student's year of study. Specifically, students in their third year of social work school showed more growth than did students in their first year. In addition, a positive contribution was made by the students’ supervision satisfaction, professional commitment and secondary traumatisation. The findings thus highlight the possibility of students' growth during their field practicums. In addition, the study emphasises the significant role played by supervisors in these practicums, in terms of both helping students grow as well as dealing with the distress they may feel during this part of their social work training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-669
Number of pages8
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • growth
  • professional commitment
  • social work
  • students
  • supervision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Vicarious growth among social work students: What makes the difference?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this