Small Group Theory
Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Published Online: 15 JUL 2008
Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Comprehensive Handbook of Social Work and Social Welfare
How to Cite
Salas, L. M., Roe-Sepowitz, D. and LeCroy, C. W. 2008. Small Group Theory. Comprehensive Handbook of Social Work and Social Welfare. 2:14.
- Published Online: 15 JUL 2008
This chapter reviews the history of small group practice and theory. The contemporary issues, including the multiple purposes of group work and the dual focus of group work, are introduced. Systems theory, psychoanalytic theory, and social learning theory are reviewed and demonstrated how they have been applied to small group work through Systems Centered Therapy Groups, Interpersonal Learning Groups, Cognitive Behavioral Models, and Mutual Aid Models. The theoretical orientation of small groups is explored and how theory impacts decisions, including group purpose, role of the practitioner, assessment and intervention strategies. The goodness of fit between different theoretical approaches and various cultural groups is discussed. Finally, existing research is examined regarding the effectiveness of group work and theoretical approaches.
- small group theory;
- small group models;
- working in small groups;
- group therapy