Melissa L. Bessaha, PhD., Assistant Professor


Melissa L. Bessaha, PhD
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


Social determinants of mental health and immigration during the transition to adulthood; Higher education equity; Social Work in higher education; Evaluating programs serving transition age youth


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

Bessaha, M.L., Sabbath, E.L., Morris, Z., Malik, S., Scheinfeld, L., & Saragossi, J. (in press). A systematic review of loneliness interventions among non-elderly adults. Clinical Social Work Journal- special issue on social isolation

Thompson, T., Rodebaugh, T.L., Bessaha, M.L., & Sabbath, E. (in press). 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- special issue on social isolation.

Dixon, Z., Bessaha, M.L., & Post, M. (2018). Beyond the ballot: Immigrant integration through civic engagement and advocacy. Race and Social Problems, Special Issue on Immigration.

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

Bessaha, M.L., Shumway, M., Smith, M.E., & Bright, C.L., & Unick, G.J. (2017). Predictors of hospital length and cost of stay in a national sample of adult patients with psychotic disorders. Psychiatric Services, 68(6), 559-565.

Bessaha, M. L., Schuler, B.R., & Moon, C.A. (2017). Social workers’ perceptions of training preparedness and social justice norms on workplace empowerment. Journal of Social Service Research, 43(2), 181-192.

Bessaha, M. L., (2017). Factor structure of the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K6) among emerging adults. Research on Social Work Practice, 27(5), 616-624.


Bessaha, M.L., Mushonga, D., & Fedina, L. (2019, October). College student perceptions of institutional responses to sexual assault reporting and general help-seeking intentions. Paper presentation at the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood 9th Conference, Toronto, ON.

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. Paper presentation at the Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development (SWSD), Dublin, Ireland.

Bessaha, M.L., Fedina, L., & Backes, B. (2017, November). Factors associated with sexual assault police reporting and victim service utilization among college-enrolled emerging adults. Symposium at the American Society of Criminology Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.


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

University of Maryland, Baltimore: Competitive Innovation Research Award, 2015