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Abstract

Do students with prior academic preparation in social work perform better in graduate school than students who do not have a BSW? Master's students in a southeastern school of social work were surveyed about their background, general psychosocial adjustment, adjustment to and attitudes toward graduate school, and graduate academic performance. Forced-entry multiple regression was used to control simultaneously for the effect of background and adjustment factors on four outcome variables: Grade Point Average in the most recent semesters; Stress as a Student; Educational Program Satisfaction; and Professional Social Work Commitment. Having a BSW was unrelated to Educational Program Satisfaction and Professional Social Work Commitment. Among first-year students but not second-year students, possession of a BSW was related to lower GPA in the preceding semester (even with undergraduate GPA controlled). Among second-year students, being a BSW in an advanced standing program was related to greater Stress as a Student but not to GPA. The results suggest that BSWs do not perform better in graduate social work education than non-BSWs.

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