Melissa L. Bessaha, PhD., LMSW, MA, Assistant Professor


Melissa L. Bessaha, PhD, LMSW, MA
Assistant Professor
Phone: 631-638-2514

Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., University of Maryland, (Social Work)
M.S.W., New York University
M.A., Stony Brook University
B.S., Stony Brook University


Mental health and educational disparities among youth and young adults, Immigration and social determinants of mental health during the transition to adulthood, Influence of social relationships, Higher education equity, Social Work in higher education, Evaluating programs serving transition age youth


Bessaha, M.L., Hayward, R.A, Gatanas, K.* (in press).  The role of youth and young adults in natural disaster mitigation and response: A scoping review. Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

Brown, S., Sabbath, E.L., Cosby, R., Bessaha, M.L., Munson, M., Kong, J.E. Crewe, S.E., Tracy, E.M., & Lubben, J. (in press). Eradicate social isolation. In Barth, R.P., Shanks, T.R., Messing, J., & Williams, J.H. (Eds.). Grand challenges for social work and society. (2nd ed.). London: Oxford University Press. 

Mushonga, D., Fedina, L., & Bessaha, M.L. (2021). College student perceptions of institutional responses to sexual assault reporting and general help-seeking intentions. Journal of American College Health, 69(3), 585-591.

Bessaha, M.L., Reed, R., Donlon, A., Mathews, W., Bell, A., & Merolla, D. (2020). Creating a more inclusive environment for students with disabilities: Findings from participatory action research. Disability Studies Quarterly, 40 (3).

Bessaha, M.L., Cornelius, L., & Unick, G.J. (2020). Barriers to behavioral health service utilization among first-generation immigrant emerging adults. Social Work in Mental Health, 18(1), 55-74

Bessaha, M.L., Sabbath, E.L., Morris, Z., Malik, S., Scheinfeld, L., & Saragossi, J. (2020). A systematic review of loneliness interventions among non-elderly adults. Clinical Social Work Journal, 48 (1), 110-125

Thompson, T., Rodebaugh, T.L., Bessaha, M.L., & Sabbath, E. (2020). The association between social isolation and health: An analysis of parent-adolescent dyads from the Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating Study. Clinical Social Work Journal, 48 (1), 18-24.

Bessaha, M.L., Solis, C., Franks, C., Yoon, J., Dualeh, D., Monroy-Caceres, H., Cuesta, G., & Rodriguez, E. (2018).  Social work in higher education: Internships in opportunity programs. Teaching in Social Work 38(4), 417 - 430.



Bessaha, M.L., Mushonga, D., Fedina, L., & Devylder, J. (2022, January). Loneliness, social support, and mental health service use during the transition to adulthood. Symposium presentation, “Social Isolation and Social Support in the Context of Adversity: Risks and Resilience” at the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), 26th Annual Conference: Social Work Science for Racial, Social, and Political Justice, Washington, D.C.

Shimizu, R. Bessaha, M.L., Ben-David, S., Moore, K., Rodwin, A., & Munson, M. (2021, January). Recovery among young adults with serious mental illness. Presentation at the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), 25th Annual Conference: Social Work Science for Social Change. Virtual Meeting.

Bessaha, M.L., Sabbath, E.L., Morris, Z., Malik, S., Scheinfeld, L., & Saragossi, J. (2020, January). A systematic review of loneliness interventions among non-elderly adults. Presentation at the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), 24th Annual Conference: Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality, Washington, D.C.

Bessaha, M.L. Reed, R., Donlon, A., Matthews, W., Bell, A., & Merolla, D. (2019, October). Voices heard: College students with disabilities use participatory action research to enact campus-wide change. Symposium at the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood, 9th Conference, Toronto, ON. 

Bessaha, M.L. (2018, July). Barriers to mental health service utilization among emerging adult immigrants in the United States. Presentation at the Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development (SWSD), Dublin, Ireland.


Stony Brook University Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) Seed Grant ($50,000; 2021 – 2022)

Stony Brook University Diversity Initiative Grant ($50,000; 2021 – 2022)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Minority Fellowship Program, provided through the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)($22,900; 2015 – 2016)