The regulation of social work licensure and the associated rules governing social work practice fall under the purview of the states. Each state has implemented different policies and requirements governing social work licensure. Like many other helping professions, social workers are largely governed by a state board that has the authority to impose sanctions for violation of the established laws and rules. These sanctions are reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Some research has been conducted on sanctioning trends of state boards; however, it is limited in that only aspects related to practice have been examined. This study attempted to fill these gaps by examining the influence that state-level political, socioeconomic, and regulatory characteristics have on clinical social worker sanctions. A correlational, embedded mixed methods design was utilized using secondary data from 48 U.S. states. Key findings suggest that both state political and state socioeconomic variables are not good predictors of social worker sanctions. Practice hours, a regulatory variable, was found to be a significant predictor for social worker sanctions, with greater practice hour requirements correlated with greater sanctions. This study's results may inform further research on the influence of state social work regulatory characteristics on sanctioning patterns.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
School of Public Administration
Public Affairs; Social Work
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Davis, Nickolas, "Socioeconomic, Political, and Regulatory Determinants of State Sanctioning Patterns for Clinical Social Workers" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 345.