Beth Wahler, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs / Associate Professor

Area of responsibility: IUSSW system with office located at IUPUI

ES 4138G
902 West New York Street, ES 4138G
Indianapolis, Indiana 46202
Office: (317) 274-6713

Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Wahler received a B.S. in psychology from the University of Evansville and her M.S.W. and Ph.D. in social work from the University of Kentucky.  She is currently the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and has been on the faculty in the School of Social Work since 2012.  

Area of Interest:

Dr. Wahler’s main research interests involve social work education, the impact of poverty and other factors associated with social disadvantage on the development and perpetuation of mental health and substance abuse problems, and interventions for improving the health and wellbeing of people living in poverty. Interventions studied include Getting Ahead and public library-based social work.   

Teaching Interest:

Dr. Wahler has taught across the curriculum in the substantive areas of practice, policy, theory, and research, and has taught in the BSW, MSW, and PhD programs.  

Practice Experience:

Prior to earning her PhD, Dr. Wahler previously worked as both a practitioner and supervisor for over 14 years.  Her practice experience was primarily with individuals living in poverty attempting to overcome substance use disorders, mental health problems, learning disabilities and/or intimate partner violence victimization.

Publications / Presentations:

Provence, M. A., Wahler, E. A., Helling, J., & Williams, M. A. (2020).  Self-reported psychosocial needs of public library patrons:  Comparisons based on housing status.  Public Library Quarterly.  doi: 10.1080/01616846.2020.1730738

Brandon-Friedman, R., Wahler, E. A., Pierce, B. J., Thigpen, J. W., & Fortenberry, J. D. (2020).  The impact of sociosexualization and sexual identity formation on the sexual well-being of youth formerly in the foster care system.  Journal of Adolescent Health.

Wahler, E. A., Provence, M. A., Helling, J., & Williams, M. A. (2019).  The changing role of libraries:  How social workers can help.  Families in Society.  doi: 10.1177/1044389419850707

Gallagher, J. R., Wahler, E. A., Minasian, R. M., & Edwards, A. (2019).  Treating opioid use disorders in drug court: Participants’ views on using medication-assisted treatments (MATs) to support recovery.  International Criminal Justice Review. doi: 10.1177/1057567719846227

Wahler, E. A. (2019).  Improving student receptivity to research by linking methods to practice skills.  Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 39(3), 248-259doi: 10.1080/08841233.2019.1611693

Gallagher, J. R. & Wahler, E. A. (2019).  Further evidence of racial disparities in drug court outcomes: Enhancing service-delivery to reduce criminal recidivism rates for non-White participants.  Journal of Social Science Research. doi: 10.1080/01488376.2019.1575325

Larimer, S., Sullivan, W. P., Wahler, E. A., & McCabe, H. A. (2018).  No more silos: Animating integrated care practice in the classroom.  Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 38(4), 363-378.  doi: 10.1080/08841233.2018.1503216

Gallagher, J. R., Wahler, E. A., Lefebvre, E., Paiano, T., Carlton, J., & Miller, J.W.(2018).  Improving graduation rates in drug court through employment and schooling opportunities and medication-assisted treatment (MAT).  Journal of Social Science Research, 44(3), 343-349. doi: 10.1080/01488376.2018.1472173

Wahler, E. A., & Adhami, A. (2018).  Barriers to program completion of a voluntary capacity-building group intervention for individuals living in poverty.  Journal of Poverty.  doi: 10.1080/10875549.2017.1419528

Gallagher, J. R., & Wahler, E. A. (2018).  Racial disparities in drug court graduation rates:  The role of recovery support groups and environments.  Social Work Practice in the Addictions. doi: 10.1080/1533256X.2018.1448277

Wahler, E. A., & W. P. Sullivan (2017).  No time like the present:  Improving the current system of care for low-income substance abusers with comorbid health conditions. Families in Society, 98(4), 292-299.

Wahler, E. A., & Badger, K. (2017).  Exploring faculty perceptions of student incivility in social work:  Results from a national survey.  Advances in Social Work, 17(2). doi: 10.18060/20886

W. P. Sullivan & Wahler, E. A. (2016).  Chronic care, integrated care, and mental health:  Moving the needle now.  Social Work in Mental Health. doi: 10.1080/15332985.2016.1265636

Wahler, E. A. (2016).  A group-based intervention for persons living in poverty:  Psychosocial improvements noted among participants of Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World.  Journal of Social Work with Groups. doi: 10.1080/01609513.2016.1188750

McCabe, H. A., & Wahler, E. A. (2016).  The Affordable Care Act, substance use disorders, and low-income clients: Implications for social work.  Social Work, 61(3), 227-233. doi: 10.1093/sw/sww030

Gallagher, J. R., Wahler, E. A., Marshall, B. M., Leiter, N. E.,Deranek, M. S., & Harrington,L. L.(2015).  Who is most likely to graduate from Teen Court?  Journal of Forensic Social Work, 5(1-3), 49-66. doi:10.1080/1936928X.2015.1092904

Wahler, E. A., Otis, M. D., & Leukefeld, C. G. (2015).  Learning problems as predictors of depressive symptomology in female TANF recipients.  Journal of Poverty,19(2), 177-196. doi: 10.1080/10875549.2014.991890

Wahler, E. A. (2015).  Social disadvantage and economic hardship as predictors of follow-up addiction severity after substance abuse treatment:  Does referral to treatment by the criminal justice system matter?  Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 33(1), 6-27.

Wahler, E. A. (2015).  Retribution or rehabilitation?  Conflicting goals of U. S. policies pertaining to drug felonies and their impact on women.  Journal of Women, Politics, & Policy, 36, 1-12

Wahler, E. A., & Otis, M. D. (2014).  Social disadvantage, economic hardship, and psychological distress as predictors of sustained abstinence from substance use after treatment.  Substance Use and Misuse, 49(13), 1820-1832.

Wahler, E. A. (2012).  Identifying and challenging social work students’ biases.  Social Work Education, 31(8), 1058-1070

Staton-Tindall, M., Wahler, E. A., Webster, J. M.,Leukefeld, C. G., & Freeman, R. (2012).  Telemedicine-based alcohol services for rural problem drinkers.  Psychological Services, 9(3), 298-309.