Scott Alexander Siskind, the psychiatrist who writes Astral Codex Ten relates the story of an agency he worked for splitting over the appropriate treatment for one of his patients. She had an obsession whenever she left the house that she had left the hair dryer on and worried the apartment was going to burn up. He suggested she simply bring the hair dryer with her whenever she left. Problem solved. Some of his staff thought this was a great solution. Others thought it inadequate because "he had not solved her underlying problem." If you have worked in the field you can picture the arguments easily, and even zip people you have known into one group or the other.
I am very much in the first group. If there are underlying problems that need to be addressed, they are remarkably difficult to discern and define. The hydraulic pressure theory of anxiety and stress, which claims stopping up one leak will only cause another to burst out in another place just seems intuitively right to many people, but I just figure if that happens after a couple of leak-stoppages, we can look for the source of the pressure then - and we will have more diagnostic information to work with. I suspect that in many cases stopping the leak equals Problem Solved.
I say this a one who had OCD (still residual, but I hardly think about it now) and believes I would have had some obsession just from biology. But odd factors in my environment likely influenced the content of the obsessions and compulsions. So I believe the second group is on to something. I just don't think they are right often enough. Also, if you can make one of those hair dryer solutions you should just try it first, watching what happens.
I think this applies to social problems as well. Maybe there are always root causes somewhere, but I doubt it. I think most of us have seen life problems resolve in almost humorously easy fashion with some adjustment when then smack our foreheads over, saying "I should have done this years ago!" Also, even when there are root causes I think we are overfond of assuming what they must be, based on what we think we can fix, rather than well-evidenced drivers of outcomes. Just because an associated condition is chronic does not mean it is a cause. It might also be an effect itself. Poverty, lack of school success, and unemployment come to mind as problems that are as likely to be carts as horses. Downstream effects of problems we dare not notice and name. There are few phrases as worrisome as "Well it just stands to reason..."