Research that helps LGBTQ people
Can we strengthen LGBTQ people’s resilience?
Exposure to anti-LGBTQ messages puts LGBTQ people at risk for psychological problems, such as depression, suicide, and substance abuse. We develop approaches to help LGBTQ people strengthen their ability to overcome the negative impact of societal stigma. Our online interventions can help hard-to-reach LGBTQ individuals, such as youth, people in rural areas, and people not connected to local LGBTQ communities. Our research shows that participating in our activities for less than an hour can reduce internalized stigma!
Can we improve mental health services for LGBTQ people?
Therapy can be an opportunity for LGBTQ people to receive healing and affirmation or it can be a negative experience due to therapist bias, lack of guidance on how to implement LGBTQ-affirming interventions, or the inattention to the impact of intersectional identities. We study LGBTQ people’s responses to therapy and, drawing on our research findings, we train therapists to provide evidence-based, LGBTQ-affirming therapy. Additionally, our students learn and develop novel therapeutic interventions dedicated to addressing the unique intersectional needs of LGBTQ individuals.
How can parents better support their LGBTQ children?
A lack of familial support can be detrimental and lead to a variety of negative long-term psychological consequences for LGBTQ youth. Our interventions for parents have been shown to improve parental motivations for supporting LGBTQ children and instilling parents with the skills necessary to foster an affirming environment for their child. We study ways to support our LGBTQ youth by also supporting their primary caregivers.
How can law enforcement respond to LGBTQ community needs?
Based on information we gathered about LGBT people’s positive and negative experiences with law enforcement, we developed and evaluated training for police officers. Our training was effective, and we found that LGBTQ people respond positively to law enforcement who are respectful and caring and who intervene when anti-LGBTQ harassment occurs.