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College of Social Work

Faculty and Staff

Bethany Bell, Ph.D, MPH

Title: Associate Professor
College of Social Work
Phone: 803-777-2801
Office: Hamilton 118
Resources: Curriculum Vitae
bethany bell


Professor Bethany Bell joined the faculty of the College of Social Work in 2015. She is also an affiliate faculty associate for the University of South Carolina’s Center for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities and the Research Consortium on Children and Families. In 2017, Bell served as a visiting professor at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. Prior to joining the College of Social Work, she was an assistant and associate professor for the Educational Psychology, Research and Foundations program at the UofSC College of Education.

Bell is currently co-investigator on a National Institutes of Health research-funded award to evaluate a food hub opening in an urban context in Ohio. The purpose is to evaluate the effect of a new food hub opening in a low-income, urban community currently defined as a food desert. It will also study the impact of the food hub on changes in diet among people living near the food hub. She was previously a co-investigator on a similar NIH grant that evaluated the impact of a food hub in a South Carolina food desert. Likewise, Bell was a co-investigator on a United States Agriculture Department-funded research study that investigated household and community conditions associated with childhood hunger among families living in South Carolina’s Midlands region.

Bell recently co-authored scientific journal articles on topics including, food acquisition and shopping patterns among residents of low-income and low-access communities in South Carolina, the role of parental involvement in trajectories of aggression in children from 24-months to pre-kindergarten, and how early adult arrest can alter substance use behavior, and the differential effects by race, ethnicity, and gender. Her publications have been featured in scholarly journals including, Children and Youth Services Review, the Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology, and the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Bell currently serves as the chair of the Multilevel Modeling Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association. From 2016 to 2018, she was the Early Career Award Chair for AREA, Division D. Since 2015, Bell has served as an appointed member of the research and publications committee for the American School Health Association. She is currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Experimental Education, Journal of Early Intervention, Journal of School Health and Journal of School Psychology.  

Bell received her Master of Public Health in health promotion sciences from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of South Florida with a self-created dual specialization in educational measurement, research and statistics, and community and family health. 

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