Melissa Wells

Phone: (603) 862-0076
Office: Social Work, Pettee Hall Rm 239, Durham, NH 03824
Melissa Wells, Associate Professor, Social Work

Melissa Wells, Ph.D., LICSW, is interested in understanding adolescent victimization, both within family systems and over the Internet. Her current research projects examine outcomes for youth aging out of foster care and child welfare agency efforts to engage parents. Additionally, she and Kimberly Mitchell at the UNH Crimes Against Children Research Center collaborate on research related to online victimization of high risk youth. She serves as the program evaluator for the UNH/DCYF Child Welfare Training Project and is the Evaluation Coordinator for the Department of Social Work.


  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of New Hampshire
  • M.S.W., Social Work, University of Minnesota
  • B.A., Spanish, University of New Hampshire

Courses Taught

  • SW 713: School Social Work
  • SW 797: Spc Top/Child Maltreatment
  • SW 813: School Social Work
  • SW 897: Spc Top/Child Maltreatment
  • SW 962: Data Analysis and Statistics
  • SW 965: Program & Practice Evaluation
  • SW 992: Special Projects & Ind Study

Selected Publications

Morton, C. M., Wells, M., & Cox, T. (2019). The Implicit Curriculum: Student Engagement and the Role of Social Media. Journal of Social Work Education, 55(1), 153-159. doi:10.1080/10437797.2018.1508393

Wells, M., Mitchell, K. J., Jones, L. M., & Turner, H. A. (2019). Peer Harassment among Youths with Different Disabilities: Impact of Harassment Online, in Person, and in Mixed Online and In-Person Incidents. Children & Schools, 41(1), 17-24. doi:10.1093/cs/cdy025

Morton, C., & Wells, M. (2017). Behavioral and Substance Use Outcomes for Older Youth Living With a Parental Opioid Misuse: A Literature Review to Inform Child Welfare Practice and Policy. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 11(4-5), 546-567. doi:10.1080/15548732.2017.1355866

Sage, M., Wells, M., Sage, T., & Devlin, M. (2017). Supervisor and policy roles in social media use as a new technology in child welfare. Children and Youth Services Review, 78, 1-8. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.04.018

Wells, M., Vanyukevych, A., & Levesque, S. (2015). Engaging Parents: Assessing Child Welfare Agency Onsite Review Instrument Outcomes. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 96(3), 211-218. doi:10.1606/1044-3894.2015.96.27

Wells, M., & Mitchell, K. J. (2008). How Do High-Risk Youth Use the Internet? Characteristics and Implications for Prevention. Child Maltreatment, 13(3), 227-234. doi:10.1177/1077559507312962

Mitchell, K. J., & Wells, M. (2007). Problematic Internet experiences: Primary or secondary presenting problems in persons seeking mental health care?. Social Science & Medicine, 65(6), 1136-1141. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.05.015

Wells, M., Finkelhor, D., Wolak, J., & Mitchell, K. J. (2007). Defining Child Pornography: Law Enforcement Dilemmas in Investigations of Internet Child Pornography Possession1. Police Practice and Research, 8(3), 269-282. doi:10.1080/15614260701450765

Wells, M., & Mitchell, K. J. (2007). Youth Sexual Exploitation on the Internet: DSM-IV Diagnoses and Gender Differences in Co-occurring Mental Health Issues. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 24(3), 235-260. doi:10.1007/s10560-007-0083-z

Wells, M., Mitchell, K. J., Finkelhor, D., & Becker-Blease, K. A. (2007). Online Mental Health Treatment: Concerns and Considerations. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10(3), 453-459. doi:10.1089/cpb.2006.9933

Most Cited Publications