Critical Analysis

Citation

Shor, R. (2010). Children-at-Risk from Poor Nutrition: Advancing the Approach and Practice of Students of Social Work. Social Work Education, Vol. 29, No. 6, 646–659.

Summary

The author proffered issues pertinent to the crucial role that the lack of proper nutrition plays in child development. As disclosed, the aim of the study was to determine the current approach of social work students toward integrating the subject of nutrition in placing children-at-risk from poor nutrition vis-à-vis the actual practical application. The rationale for lack of emphasis on poor nutrition as the subject matter, in conjunction with presenting its interrelationship with psycho-social factors was expounded on.

In addition, the long term effects of lack of proper nutrition on child development were discussed. The study was therefore conducted with the participation of 126 social work students in Israel. Two relevant barriers: knowledge-related and institutional related systemic barriers preclude the integration of nutrition-related components in their work. The findings revealed that the participants “emphasize nutritional related aspects to a lesser extent than psycho-social aspects and rarely or never include them in their assessment and intervention of children-at-risk” (Shor, 2010, p. 656).

The reason for this was attributed to the theoretical background of using the psychosocial framework of thinking which has deemed that nutrition related factors were not an integral part of. Future studies were therefore recommended to focus the development of knowledge in areas that pertain to proper nutrition as part of the social work intervention for a more holistic approach to child development.

Analysis

The contents of the article written by Shor (2010) entitled “Children-at-Risk from Poor Nutrition: Advancing the Approach and Practice of Students of Social Work” and published in the Social Work Education is highly relevant given the fact that proper nutrition significantly plays an important role in the development of children. What was the rationale for the study?

The author was clear in stating the objective of the study and in detailing six research questions that illumined the readers on the rationale and importance of the research. The manner by which the article was written and presented was commendable and effective in terms of providing sub-headings and tables that assisted in summarizing the results. The conclusions were therefore appropriately supported through statistical analytical tools, where the level of importance, extent of emphasis and frequency of inclusion were comprehensively disclosed.

Readers and social work practitioners are able to appreciate the information presented by the author due to the simplicity of the language used throughout the article. Further, the validity and credibility of contentions were well supported by a total of 17 scholarly and academic secondary sources. However, one could deduce that despite the updated nature of the article, being published in 2010, the author used secondary references that date back in 1990s (the oldest) which is predominantly outdated and could have affected the applicability of the information contained therein.

Further, the presentation of the discussion did not clearly establish any limitations and implications for the current social work practitioners. Aside from explaining the possible rationales for the outcomes, the author only acknowledged that “the generalizability of this study may be limited because it was conducted with a sample of future professionals in one university and in one country” (Shor, 2010, p. 658), which was fairly insufficient and wanting.

Reference

Shor, R. (2010). Children-at-Risk from Poor Nutrition: Advancing the Approach and Practice of Students of Social Work. Social Work Education, Vol. 29, No. 6, 646–659.

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