Anita R. Tucker, Associate Professor, Social Work

Anita Tucker

Phone: (603) 862-2965
Office: Social Work, Pettee Hall Rm 119C, Durham, NH 03824

Dr. Anita R. Tucker is a Professor in the Department of Social Work at the University of New Hampshire in the College of Health and Human Services. She is the Co-Coordinator of UNH's Dual Masters Degree in Social Work and Recreation Management and Policy which prepares graduate students for careers in adventure and wilderness therapy. In addition, Dr. Tucker is the Associate Director of the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare (OBH) Center for Research where she is responsible for the promotion of research, accreditation and risk management in OBH and adventure therapy programs. She is also responsible as a Co-PI for the National Association of Schools and Program Practice Research Network, the largest ongoing aggregate database of outcomes from participants in wilderness therapy, residential treatment and therapeutic boarding schools across North America.

Dr. Tucker's research focuses primarily on the process and outcomes of OBH (also referred to as wilderness therapy) and community based applications of adventure therapy. In addition to her work with the OBH Center, she is the Research Director of the Ohio Adventure Therapy Coalition Evaluation, looking at the impact of integrating adventure therapy groups into existing child welfare and behavioral health agencies across 13 counties in Ohio. In addition, she is actively involved in conjunction with Dr. Christine Lynn Norton at Texas State University evaluating the impact of the Wilderness School in Connecticut, the only state funded wilderness program in the continental US.

Courses Taught

  • SW 865: Adventure Therapy Facilitation
  • SW 962: Data Analysis and Statistics
  • SW 992: Special Projects & Ind Study


  • Ph.D., Social Work, Boston College
  • M.S.W., Social Work, University of Michigan
  • B.A., Political Science & Government, Dartmouth College

Selected Publications

  • Myrick, L., Wermer-Colan, A., Norton, C., & Tucker, A. (2021). Understanding trauma-related distress among wilderness therapy field staff. Journal of Therapeutic Schools and Prorgrams, 13(1), 69-101.

  • Alvarez, T. G., Stauffer, G., Lung, D. M., Sacksteder, K., Beale, B., & Tucker, A. R. (2020). Adventure Group Psychotherapy An Experiential Approach to Treatment.

  • Tucker, A. R., Norton, C. L., Stifler, J., Gass, M., & Bostick, K. (2020). Best practices for working with transgender clients in Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare. Journal of Therapeutic Schools and Programs, 7, 53-69. doi:10.19157/JTSP.issue.12.01.04

  • Norton, C. L., Tucker, A., Pelletier, A., VanKanegan, C., Bogs, K., & Foerster, E. (2020). Utilizing Outdoor Adventure Therapy to Increase Hope and Well-Being Among Women at a Homeless Shelter. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership, 12(1), 87-101. doi:10.18666/jorel-2020-v12-i1-9928

  • Vankanegan, C., Tucker, A. R., Mcmillion, P., Gass, M., & Spencer, L. (2019). Adventure therapy and its impact on the functioning of youth in a community setting. Social Work with Groups, 42(2), 127-141. doi:10.1080/01609513.2018.1478761

  • DeMille, S., Tucker, A. R., Gass, M. A., Javorski, S., VanKanegan, C., Talbot, B., & Karoff, M. (2018). The effectiveness of outdoor behavioral healthcare with struggling adolescents: A comparison group study a contribution for the special issue: Social innovation in child and youth services. CHILDREN AND YOUTH SERVICES REVIEW, 88, 241-248. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.03.015