Anna Davidson Abella

Research Professor, University of South Florida
Chapter Member: Florida SSN
Areas of Expertise:

About Anna

Abella's research focuses on understanding structural and social factors that influence individual and family wellbeing within the behavioral health, child welfare, and prevention services sectors. Abella's projects have centered around understanding the impact of police-mental health interventions, highlighting families’ experiences in child welfare during COVID-19, assessing the implementation of school violence prevention and mental health training, and addressing barriers to early childhood program engagement in a historically Black neighborhood. Abella works in close collaboration with several community agencies in her research.


In the News

Quoted by GulfCoastCF.org in "Study Outlines Obstacles to Mental Health Care for Sarasota Youth," Suncoast News Network, March 26, 2019.


"Exploring the Potential Benefits of Virtual Child Welfare Services" (with Linda M. Callejas and Flandra Ismajli ), in Covid-19 and Child Welfare: Challenges and Responses.

Narrates how child welfare changes occurred in response to the pandemic in Miami-Dade, what the challenges were, and what some opportunities are for embracing remote services going forward.

"Rapid Ethnographic Assessment of Pandemic Restrictions in Child Welfare: Lessons from Parent and Provider Experiences " (with Linda M. Callejas and Flandra Ismajli). Journal of the Society of Applied Anthropology 79, no. 4 (2020): 304-312.

Discusses Rapid Ethnographic Assessment of Pandemic Restrictions in Child Welfare: Lessons from Parent and Provider Experiences.  Shows a study of the impact of COVID-19 on families in child welfare in Miami-Dade County who were undergoing the reunification process after their children had been removed. Highlights ways that COVID exacerbated problems in the child welfare system, such as authoritarian treatment of parents.

"Evaluation of the Pinellas Integrated Care Alliance (PICA) Implementation, Interim Report Year 3," (with Monica Landers, Flandra Ismajli , and Yaritza Carmona), University of South Florida, October 16, 2020.

Provides a detailed analysis of an evaluation of a police-mental health intervention to improve pathways to treatment for individuals with mental illness and divert them from criminal justice.

"The Time to Love: Ideologies of "Good" Parenting at a Family Service Organization in the Southeastern United States," University of South Florida, 2017.

Explores what it means to be a “good” parent as described by parents and child development specialists at a family service organization. Ilistrates ways that attachment parenting has been integrated into major institutions and questions who these ideologies are relevant for and accessible to.