Bethany Wood (she/her/hers) is a poverty researcher, at both the individual and neighborhood level, as a social determinant of mental health. Her research is grounded in Ecosocial theory and other anti-oppressive frameworks, including Critical Race Theory. Growing up, she lived in over a dozen neighborhoods across the United States and recognized at an early age the presence of structural inequalities in and across neighborhoods. Her 8 years of clinical experience includes working with a wide range of populations such as domestic violence survivors, young adults on the autism spectrum, and youth with high suicidality. She also managed Cyber-Seniors, a program for older adults living in Section 8 Housing in Salt Lake City, and served as the principal investigator for the Utah Cyber-Seniors study.
Bethany received advanced quantitative training, including structural equation modelling, hierarchical linear modeling, and Bayesian methodology and has published in journals such as Annals of Epidemiology, Sustainability, and Social Work Research. She has presented her research at conferences including the Society for Social Work and Research, the American Public Health Association, and Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science. Bethany’s research projects are currently focused on 1) the impact of racial disparities on health outcomes; 2) the impact of neighborhood income on mental health outcomes; and 3) the impact of neighborhood poverty on maternal health.
Bethany is a PhD candidate at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work. She has received several
awards, including the University of Texas Graduate School’s Continuing Fellowship. She also
assists editor Dr. Catherine Cubbin with the journals Demography and Health & Place. She
taught the BSW courses Introduction to Statistics and Introduction to Social Work and Social
Welfare during the 2020-2021 academic year and served as the PhD representative on the Steve
Hicks School of Social Work’s Doctoral Committee. Bethany obtained a Master of Social Work
degree with a quantitative research emphasis and a Bachelor of Sociology from Brigham Young
University. With the combination of her research, practice, and life experiences, Bethany
recognizes the need for research that addresses neighborhood and individual poverty, especially
among marginalized populations. She is committed to conducting meaningful research that will
positively impact communities through intervention and policy efforts.
Income inequality and disparities in health; Low–income neighborhoods; Poverty and mental
health; Social determinants of mental health; Neighborhood and built environment; and
advanced statistical methodologies