Social Work research impacts policy, evidence-based practice approaches, and clinical interventions with many populations.  Social Work faculty at UNH conduct research related to adventure therapy, child welfare, the elderly and elder abuse, interpersonal violence, persons with disabilities, schools and educational settings.  Social Work faculty serve as evaluators on community-based projects in health and human service agencies, with particular emphasis on evaluation within adventure therapy and child welfare agencies.

Adventure Therapy

  • Effectiveness of adventure and wilderness therapy programs
  • Outcomes of youth who participate in NATSAP’s therapeutic boarding schools, wilderness programs and residential treatment centers.

Recent Publications:

Norton, C.L., Tucker, A., Farnham-Stratton, M., Borroel, F., & Pelletier, A. (2017- online first).  Family enrichment adventure therapy: A mixed methods study examining the impact of trauma-informed adventure therapy on children and families affected by abuse. Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma. doi:10.1007/s40653-017-0133-4

Tucker, A.R., Massey Combs, K., Bettmann, J., Chang, T., Graham, S., Hoag, M., & Tatum, C. (2016 – online first). Longitudinal outcomes for youth transported to wilderness therapy programs. Research on Social Work Practice. doi: 10.1177/1049731516647486

Tucker, A.R., Widmer, M., Faddis, T., Randolph, B., & Gass, M. (2015) "Family Therapy in Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare:  Current Practices and Future Possibilities" has been accepted for publication in Contemporary Family Therapy.

Tucker, A., Norton, C., DeMille, S., & Hobson. (2015, Online First). The impact of wilderness therapy on physical and emotional health: Utilizing an integrated approach in Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare. Journal of Experiential Education. doi: 10.1177/1053825915607536

Tucker, A., Bettmann, J., Norton, C.L., & Comart, C. (2015). The role of transport use in adolescent wilderness treatment: Its relationship to readiness to change and outcome. Child and Youth Care Forum, 44, 671-686. doi 10.1007/s10566-015-9301-6

DeMille, S., Comart, C., & Tucker, A. (2014). Body composition changes in an Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare
. Ecopsychology, 6(3), 174-182.

Tucker, A., Smith, A., & Gass, M. (2014). The impact of presenting problems and individual client
         characteristics on treatment outcomes in residential and wilderness treatment programs. Residential Treatment for Children and Youth, 31(2), 135-153.

Child Welfare:  Children, Youth, and Families

  • Engaging parents of children in foster care
  • Youth who self-harm and the influence of self-harm websites
  • Climate, culture, and administration of child welfare organizations
  • Removal of Native American and Alaskan Native (NA/AI) children from their homes
  • Sex trafficking

Recent Publications:

O’Brien, J.E., White, K., Rizo, C.F. (2017). Domestic minor sex trafficking among child welfare-involved youth: An exploratory study of correlates and outcomes. Online first. Child Maltreatment. 22(3). 265-274. doi:10.1177/1077559517709995

O’Brien, J.E., Li, W., Givens, A., Lebowitz, G. (2017). Domestic minor sex trafficking among adjudicated male youth: Prevalence and links to treatment. Child and Youth Services Review. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.09.026

Kwon, E., Kim, B. & Park, S. (2017). The Multifaceted Nature of Poverty and Differential Trajectories of Health among Children. Journal of Children and Poverty, 23(2).

Mitchell, K.J., Wells, M., Priebe, G., & Ybarra, M. (in press-Accepted 9/22/14).  Exposure to websites that encourage self-harm and suicide: Prevalence rates and association with actual thoughts of self-harm and suicide ideation.  Journal of Adolescence.

Marx, J. & Wells, M. (2013).  Administering University-State Child Welfare Training Partnerships:  Implications for Best Practice.  Administrative Sciences, 3 (4), 221-236.

Mitchell, K., Jones, L. & Wells, M. (2013). Testing the Index of Problematic Online Experiences (I-POE) with a National Sample of Youth.  Journal of Adolescence, 36, 1153-1163.

Wells, M. et al. (2015). Engaging parents: Assessing child welfare agency onsite review instrument outcomes. Families in Society, 96, 211-218.

Wells, et al. (2015). Child welfare agency climate: Congruence with practice model beliefs. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 9, 236-255


  • Elder maltreatment, neglect, and exploitation
  • Intergenerational relations and support, transitions in physical/cognitive functioning in old-age, social support and mental health in old age, health care utilization, long-term care services, and comparative research.
  • Intergenerational relations and social network in old age
  • Transitions in physical/cognitive functioning in old age
  • Community services and policies for older population

Recent Publications:

Hong, I., Kwon., & Kim.B (2018). Measuring Social Policy Change in Comparative Research: Survey Data Evidence from South Korea. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice.  Published online:​

Cho, J., Kim, B., Park, S., & Jang, J. (2017). Later year volunteering among the retired: the interface between work opportunity and poverty.  Journal of Gerontological Social Work

​Hong, I., Kwon, E., & Kim, B. (2017). Reloading the Dependent Variable Problem in South Korea: Implications from Survey-Based Welfare Recipiency Data. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis.

Kwon, E., Kim, B., Lee, H. & Park, S. (2017) Heterogeneous Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms in Late Middle Age: Life-course Perspective. Journal of Aging and Health (published online before print) .

Kim, B., Park, S., Bishop-Saucer, J., & Amorim, C. (2017). Community-Based Services and Depression from Person-Environment Fit Perspective: Focusing on Functional Impairments and Living Alone. Journal of Gerontological Social Work (published online before print)

Crawford, N., Ford, C., Rudolph, A., Kim, B., Lewis, C. Drug use discrimination predicts formation of high-risk social ties: Examining social pathways of discrimination. AIDS and Behavior.

Park, S., Han, Y., Kim, B., & Dunkle, R. (2015). Aging-in-Place of Vulnerable Older Adults: Person-Environment Fit Perspective. Journal of Applied Gerontology (published online before print).

Health and Health Care Disparities

  • Racial/ethnic health and health care disparities
  • Trajectories of hospitalizations and outpatient visits among people with multiple chronic conditions

Recent Publications:

Park, S., Kim, B., & Kim, S. (2016). Poverty and Working Status in Changes of Unmet Health Care Need in Old Age. Health Policy, 120(6), 638-645.

Park, S., & Kim, B. (2016). The role of environmental context in nursing home admission: Assessing the experience of different health profiles. TS Cuadernos de Trabajo Social, 14.

Kim, B., Park, S., & Antonucci, T. (2015). Social Network Type Changes and Subjective Well-Being among the Korean Older Adults: A Longitudinal Analysis. Ageing & Society, 36(9): 1915–1936. 

Kim, S., Kim, B. & Park, S. (2015). Preventable Hospitalizations and Emergency Room Visits: Focus on Medical Aid Beneficiaries with Chronic Conditions. Health and Social Welfare Review, 35(2): 405-428.

Interpersonal Violence

  • Research on violence against women around the criminal justice response to adult female sexual violence.

Recent Publications:

Rizo, C.F., Macy, R.J., Ermantrout, D., O’Brien, J. E., Pollock, M., & Debabnah, S. (2017). Research with children exposed to partner violence: Perspectives of service-mandated, CPS- and court-involved survivors on research with their children. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 32(19). 2998-3026. doi: 10.1177/0886260515596534

O’Brien, J.E., Ermantrout, D., Rizo, C.F., Li, W., Debabnah, S., Macy, R.J. (2018). Exploring legally involved IPV survivors perspectives on substance use data collection methods: A research brief. Violence Against Women. 24(1). 101-119. doi:10.1177/1077801216675744

Rizo, C.F., O'Brien, J.E., Macy, R.J., Ermentrout, D., & Lanier, P. (2017). Reporting maltreatment to child protective services in the context of intimate partner violence research. Violence Against Women. In Press.

Murphy, S., & Edwards, K., (2013). Pathways to justice:  The movement of sexual assault cases across the New Hampshire criminal justice system.

Tener, D., & Murphy, S. (2014). Adult Disclosure of Child Sexual Abuse: A Literature Review. Trauma, Violence and Abuse. published online 4 June 2014

People with Disabilities

  • Research on victimization of children and adolescents with learning disabilities
  • Studies systemic barriers to services for children with developmental disabilities such as access to early intervention services, health care, behavioral supports in schools, and juvenile justice.
  • Effectiveness of follow-up services for families who receive a diagnosis of autism or other neurological challenges

Recent Publications:

Banach, M. & Couse, L. (2015). Interdisciplinary Co-Facilitation of Support Groups for Parents of Children with Autism: An Opportunity for Professional Preparation. pp. 12-13 in Bulletin 18, Parent and Professional Partnerships. Armagh, BT, Northern Ireland: Middletown Centre for Autism.

Wells, M. & Mitchell, K. (Appeared in Online First April 2013).  Youth receiving special education services and youth with physical disabilities: Patterns of internet use and risk for online interpersonal victimization.  Journal of Special Education.


  • Meditative dialogue
  • Trauma Work

Recent Publications:

Lord, S. (In press). Theoretical frameworks for working with harder to reach families: Lines, curlicues, and spirals.  Journal of Family Therapy, 37(2).

Lord, S. (2014 online). Meditative dialogue: Cultivating the transformative theatre of psychotherapy. Psychoanalytic Social Work, 1-17. DOI: 0.1080/15228878.2013.877395

Lord, S. (2013). Meditative dialogue: Cultivating compassion and empathy with survivors of complex childhood trauma. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 22(9), 997-1014. DOI: 10.1080/10926771.2013.834018

Lord, S. (2013). Use of meditative dialogue to cultivate compassion and empathy with survivors of complex childhood trauma. In Matto, H., Strolin-Goltzman, J., & Ballan, M. (Eds.), Social work and neuroscience: Implications for policy, practice, and  research. New York: NY: Springer Publishing Co.

Schools and Educational Settings

  • Inequities that affect women and children in academic settings
  • School social work

Recent Publications:

Joseph, A., Slovak, K., Broussard, C. A., & Webster, P. (2012). School social workers and multiculturalism: Changing the environment for success, Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 21(2), 129-143.  

Broussard, C. A., Joseph, A. L., & Thompson, M. (2012). Stressors and coping strategies used by single mothers living in poverty, Affilia, 27(2), 190-204. 

Substance Use Disorders

Recent Publications:

Morton, C.M., Hoefinger, H., Linn-Walton, R., Akins, R., Falkin, P.F. (2016). “What are youth asking about drugs: A report of NIDA drug facts chat day”, Journal of Drug Education: Substance abuse research and prevention, 0 (0), 1-16. 

Li, W., O'Brien, J.E., & Bowen, N. (2017). Body disapproval as a mediator of the relationship between risk factors and eating disordered behaviors among American adjudicated male youth. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. In press.