Social workers' and service users' causal attributions for Poverty

Idit Weiss-Gal*, Yael Benyamini, Karni Ginzburg, Riki Savaya, Einat Peled

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Poverty and its etiology have been major subjects of concern for the social work profession throughout its history. This study focused on four causal attributions for poverty: socialstructural, motivational, psychological, and fatalistic. More specifically, it examined the differences between social workers' and service users' perceptions of the causes of poverty. Participants were 401 service users and 410 social workers located in a variety of human services agencies in central Israel. Findings showed that although social workers and service users expressed similar levels of agreement with regard to motivational and psychological attributions, service users attributed more importance to social-structural causes and to fatalistic causes compared with social workers. Attributions of poverty were associated with economic status among the service users but not among the social workers. The implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-133
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Attributions for poverty
  • Poverty
  • Service users
  • Social workers


Dive into the research topics of 'Social workers' and service users' causal attributions for Poverty'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this