Social Workers’ Religiosity and Its Impact on Religious Practice Behaviors

  • Debra Mattison
  • Srinika Jayaratne
  • Tom Croxton


This study explores the impact of the social work practitioner’s religiosity on religious practice behaviors. A random sample of 1,278 social workers who possessed M.S.W. degrees, who provided direct services to clients and were members of NASW were surveyed regarding their personal religiosity. They were also asked about their views on the appropriateness of six Religion and Prayer in Practice behaviors. Variations in Religion and Prayer Practice behaviors were analyzed in relationship to the worker’s religiosity, race, gender and employing agency auspice. Regardless of all other factors, the more religious a worker is, the more likely a worker is to view religious and prayer activities in practice as appropriate professional behavior. Implications and recommendations regarding the integration of religion and spirituality in social work education and practice are discussed.