Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2017


Objective: This article reports the initial validation of the Human Rights Lens in Social Work (HRLSW) scale, a tool designed to measure a social worker’s ability to see individual and social problems as resulting from human rights violations. The purpose of the research was to gather evidence regarding the validity of this multidimensional measure of a new construct, i.e., human rights lens. Method: Data from a convenience sample of 1,014 licensed clinical social workers were collected by electronic survey, and the sample was split to conduct discrete exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. The exploratory factor analysis was performed on half of the sample (n = 507) to establish the underlying factor structure of the construct; the other half of the sample (n = 507) underwent a confirmatory factor analysis to examine the subsample’s psychometric properties. Results: A respecified model using only one error covariance fit the data very well. All fit indices were within their critical values (x2/df ratio = 1.5; CFI =.99; TLI = .99; RMSEA = .03; SRMR = .03). Thus, factor analysis confirms a two-factor, 11-item model for the HRLSW scale, consisting of two subscales, clients seen as experiencing rights violations, and social problems seen as rights violations. Conclusions: This scale is a useful tool for educators, researchers, and practitioners who want to practice—or promote the practice of—social work as a human rights profession.

Copyright Statement

This document was originally published in Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research Published by the University of Chicago Press on behalf of the Society for Social Work and Research. Copyright restrictions may apply. doi: 10.1086/692017