Relationships Among Diverse Students in a Cohort-Based MSW Program: A Social Network Analysisedit
Peer relationships are an integral part of social work education. This study examined three types of social ties (academic, friendship, and professional) among first-semester students in a cohort-based MSW program. Data were collected three times during the semester and analyzed using social network analysis. By semester’s end, students had an average of 10.2 ties (significantly more than the midsemester mean of 8.6 ties per student), almost exclusively within their own cohort. Participants (N = 144) had a greater percentage of ties with people of a different racial or ethnic group at end of semester compared to midsemester, although relationships were more likely to exist between students of the same race or ethnicity, especially for friendships. Implications for MSW education are discussed.