Faculty > Maayan Lawental, Ph.D., MSW

Maayan Lawental, Ph.D., MSW

Maayan Lawental, Ph.D., MSW is an Assistant Professor in the USF School of Social Work and has a joint courtesy appointment at the Department of Community & Family Health, College of Public Health. She is also a faculty affiliate at the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute of the College of Behavioral & Community Sciences. She received her BSW and MSW from the University of Haifa in Israel and her Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Lawental’s primary research centers on issues relating to substance use, misuse and abuse. The reasons individuals use various substances are diverse, and for the most part well-documented. Although much is known about 'what works' with individuals, she believes that more work needs to be done that is focused on organizations, communities, environments, culture, societal institutions and policy. As a social worker and researcher, her mission is to highlight these issues that may have profound application not only for individuals, but also for society as a whole. Women and minorities are historically underrepresented in research. Stigma and limited access to treatment are prevalent. In her work, Dr. Lawental focus on these populations in an effort to understand the needs and service gaps that remain with the goal of improving access to care and service provision for these populations. Her focus on women and gender has also led Dr. Lawental to develop local collaborations since moving to USF in order to improve access to substance use disorder treatment for women and other at-risk populations.

Dr. Lawental is a member of the International Women’s and Children’s Health and Gender Group, a multidisciplinary forum that addresses all aspects of substance use among women, children, and youth, by sharing findings, promoting international research collaborations, promoting gender-based analyses and raising awareness about the need for sensitivity to family, culture, sexual orientation and equity in research. She has also conducted multiple international evaluation studies, most notably working with USAID – Czech Developmental Agency on European Commission funded projects (TEMPUS) and with the Research, Planning and Training Division (RPTD) of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services in Israel