Category Archives: Announcements

Free Access to LGBT Articles Featured in World Social Work Day

Routledge Publishers has selected several articles from their Social Work journals catalog to feature for free download in celebration of World Social Work Day 2011. The articles are available through April of 2011.

The 42 articles selected include four that focus on issues pertinent to LGBT populations, including:

  • Ann P. Hass et al, “Suicide and Suicide Risk in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Populations: Review and Recommendations, Journal of Homosexuality
  • Page Averett, Blace Nalavany, and Scott Ryan, “An Evaluation of Gay/Lesbian and Heterosexual Adoption” in Adoption Quarterly
  • Michael R. Woodford, “Same-Sex Marriage and Beyond” in Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services
  • Anthony Patrick Natale, Bipasha Biswas, Lianne Urada and Anna M. Scheyet, “Global HIV and AIDS: Calling all Social Work Educators” in Social Work Education

A particular congratulations goes to our Pop Center colleagues who were involved with the influential Hass et al.’s review article on LGBT suicide. (See announcement of 1/7/2011).

Click here to access these articles! Happy reading!!

Pop Center Welcomes New Faculty

Several new faculty have joined the Pop Center in recent months. We welcome Laura Bogart, Francisco Buchting, Heather Corliss, Sandra Eyster, Kevin Mahoney, Don Operario, David Pantalone, and Jeffrey Parsons.

Dr. Laura M. Bogart is Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Research Director of the Division of General Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Boston. Before coming to Boston in 2008, Dr. Bogart was a Senior Behavioral Scientist at RAND. She currently is Associate Editor of Annals of Behavioral Medicine and on the Editorial Board of AIDS and Behavior. Dr. Bogart specializes in applying principles of social cognition to understanding risky health behaviors, with a focus on the influence of discrimination and medical mistrust on health behaviors among African Americans and Latinos; much of her research involves people living with HIV and is conducted using principles of community-based participatory research (CBPR). Dr. Bogart has led studies in primary and secondary HIV prevention, as well as adherence to antiretroviral treatment for HIV. She currently has NIH funding to examine the association of discrimination, HIV misconceptions (also termed HIV conspiracy beliefs), and medical mistrust with treatment adherence and sexual risk among African-American and Latino men living with HIV; and to conduct a social network analysis of the relationships among medical mistrust, HIV misconceptions, and treatment adherence among African Americans living with HIV. She is also currently developing and pilot-testing an HIV treatment adherence intervention for adolescents; and conducting a pilot intervention study to adapt a US-developed worksite-based HIV prevention program for parents of adolescents to the South African context.

Dr. Francisco O. Buchting is Vice President of the Program Services Division at ETR Associates. In addition to his management of the division, Dr. Buchting’s recent work includes having a leadership role in the area of health in the Latino and LGBT communities, health disparities research, advancing eHealth programs and knowledge transfer/research translation efforts, and producing research sampling methodologies reports on hard to reach communities and mobile populations. He is also a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Tobacco Research Network on Disparities (TReND). Dr. Buchting’s career includes bilingual clinical practice in behavioral medicine with a special focus on chronic diseases, author research articles, designing and directing programs in the areas of nicotine addiction, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STI), healthy relationships, and work in the area of applying integrated marketing communication techniques to public health initiatives. He has also co-authored a bi-monthly newspaper column on health and worked on adapting health literature, especially in the areas of HIV/AIDS and tobacco use, for underserved and marginalized populations. His career is marked by extensive personal involvement in health advocacy and community activism as well as service on community based organization boards and museum advisory committees. Dr. Buchting earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in Clinical Psychology at Boston University and B.A.S. (Bachelor of Arts and Science) in Philosophy and Psychology at the University of California at Davis.

Dr. Heather Corliss is an Instructor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and a Research Scientist at Children’s Hospital Boston. She received her PhD in Epidemiology (2004) and her MPH in Community Health Sciences (1999), both from the University of California Los Angeles. From 2005-2007, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Children’s Hospital Boston where she continued studying and researching health disparities based on sexual orientation. In 2007, she was awarded a NIDA Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award (K01) to study patterns, causes, and consequences of sexual orientation disparities in youth substance use. In addition to conducting research, she mentors students and fellows in multiple health-related disciplines and teaches courses at the Harvard School of Public Health and Children’s Hospital Boston on research methods and gender and health.

Dr. Sandra Eyster is a Managing Research Analyst at the American Institutes for Research (AIR), Chair of AIR’s Institutional Review Board, and a senior technical advisor within AIR’s Federal Statistics Program. Dr. Eyster earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan in 1999, where she taught graduate- and undergraduate-level courses in quantitative research methods and statistics. Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Eyster worked within the federal statistical system as a survey statistician at the US Bureau of the Census, as well as in technical and management positions with private sector survey research firms, and as a survey research and statistical consultant. In her role as senior technical advisor, Dr. Eyster provides expertise in statistics and survey methods, including weighting and sampling, research design, privacy and confidentiality issues, and statistics for complex sample surveys. On Project Talent, Dr. Eyster provides guidance on issues related to data analysis, study design, respondent tracing, and data file development, including administrative linkages.

Dr. Kevin J. Mahoney is a faculty member at the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work where he serves as Professor as well as Director of the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services (NRCPDS). This new national center offers training, technical assistance, research and policy support to states and other organizations that want to offer, or are already offering, participant-directed care services. During his 30 year career in gerontology and long-term care, Dr. Mahoney has served in a number of policy making and administrative positions in the state governments of Connecticut and California. Prior to coming to Boston College in 1999, he held academic appointments at Yale University, the University of Connecticut, the University of California- San Francisco and the University of Maryland. From 1978 to 1987, Dr. Mahoney served as Chief of Research and Program Development at the Connecticut Department on Aging where he was responsible for that state’s home care programs for the frail elderly. From 1987 to 1995, Dr. Mahoney developed and implemented innovative partnerships between private insurance and Medicaid to finance long-term care — first in the State of Connecticut and then in the State of California. From 1996 to 2008, Dr. Mahoney was the National Program Director for the Cash & Counseling Demonstration and Evaluation, a policy-driven evaluation of one of the most unfettered forms of consumer direction of personal assistance services, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. An expert on state government and long-term care innovation, he speaks and writes extensively on consumer direction, the roles of the public and private sectors in financing long-term care, long-term care insurance and care management.

Dr. Don Operario is Associate Professor of Medical Sciences in the Department of Community Health. He was trained as a Social and Health Psychologist (BA, UCLA; MS, PhD, UMass Amherst; Postdoctoral Fellow, UC San Francisco). He was previously on the faculty of the University of Oxford (Department of Social Policy and Social Work) and before that was at the University of California San Francisco (Center for AIDS Prevention Studies – Department of Medicine). His research addresses two inter-related areas. The first general area is the social context of HIV transmission and the social sequelae of HIV/AIDS in affected communities, with an emphasis on developing and evaluating theory-based social and behavioral interventions in high-risk groups. A second research area is the lived experiences associated with social inequality, with an emphasis on understanding the perspectives of disadvantaged group members and addressing associated health and psychosocial disparities. He conducts research addressing both U.S. domestic and international public health issues.

Dr. David Pantalone is a clinical health psychologist with interests and experience in HIV prevention and treatment, substance use and abuse, and interpersonal violence in sexual minority individuals. Dr. Pantalone has used multiple methods to answer relevant research questions, including qualitative, survey, and intervention research in a variety of settings. The overarching goals of his program of research are to understand better the complex relations between mental and physical health to aid in the targeting, development, validation, and dissemination of interventions for vulnerable and marginalized individuals. Dr. Pantalone is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Suffolk University in Boston.

Dr. Jeffrey T. Parsons is a developmental and health psychologist and Professor of Psychology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His research focuses on the intersections between sexual health, substance use/abuse, and contextual factors related to risk-taking behaviors, particularly in LGB T populations. He is the Director of the Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training (CHEST), focused on reducing the transmission of HIV and improving the lives of those living with HIV. He has published over 175 peer-reviewed publications, has been awarded over 31 million dollars in federal grants, and has been honored by the American Psychological Association Division 44 with the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award and by the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality with the John Money Award.

Join Us At The Population Association of America (PAA) Annual Meeting

Join Center Director Judith Bradford for a member-initiated interest group meeting in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) population research at the 2011 PAA. The interest group m meeting will be held Thursday, March 31 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. For information: contact Judith Bradford, jbradford@fenwayhealth.org, 804.304.266.

New Study of LGBQ Young People Seeks Participants

A research study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the West Virginia University (WVU) Department of Community Medicine seeks participants to complete an online survey about sexual orientation, health behaviors and life experiences.

We are looking for people who:

  • Are between 18-24 years of age
  • Identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, or questioning (i.e., sexual minority)
  • Have 15-20 minutes to complete an anonymous, online survey

The first 500 participants will have the option to claim a $10 gift code to use on Amazon.com.

The survey website is: www.lgbhealthsurvey.com

For more information, contact John Blosnich at 304/293.1702 or email jblosnich@hsc.wvu.edu

This study has been reviewed and approved by the West Virginia University Institutional Review Board and approval is on file.

Consensus Report on LGBT Suicide and Suicide Risk Released

An expert panel of 26 leading researchers, clinicians, educators and policy experts have released a comprehensive report on the prevalence and underlying causes of suicidal behavior in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adolescents and adults. The panel includes 4 LGBT Pop Center affiliated scientists including Center Director Judith Bradford, Rob Garofalo, Tonda Hughes and Margaret Rosario. The panel was assembled by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.The report will be published as the lead article in the January 2011 issue of the Journal of Homosexuality. The article is currently available online and available free by clicking on the “i Open Access” icon. The article will appear in print on Jan. 19.

Titled “Suicide and Suicide Risk in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Populations: Review and Recommendations,” the report makes sweeping recommendations for closing knowledge gaps about suicidal behavior in LGBT people, and calls for making LGBT suicide prevention a national priority.

“With this report and recommendations, we hope to move LGBT suicide prevention squarely onto the national agenda and provide a framework for actions aimed at reducing suicidal behavior in these populations,” said Dr. Ann Haas, lead author and director of prevention projects for AFSP. “It’s time for the federal government, suicide prevention agencies, mental health professionals, policy makers and LGBT organizations to join together to bring this problem out of the closet and work toward effective solutions.”

Despite four decades of research pointing to elevated rates of suicide attempts among LGBT people, national suicide prevention initiatives, including the 2001 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, have given scant attention to suicide risk in sexual minority persons.

Key Findings and Recommendations

  • The report cites strong research evidence of significantly elevated rates of lifetime reported suicide attempts among LGBT adolescents and adults, compared to comparably-aged heterosexual persons. However, the authors found limited empirical evidence of higher rates of suicide deaths in LGBT people, mostly because sexual orientation and gender identity are not indicated on death records in the U.S. and most other countries.
  • Although multiple studies point to elevated rates of depression, anxiety and substance abuse among sexual minority people, the panel found that these problems, by themselves, do not account for the higher rates of suicide attempts that have been reported by LGBT people. Thus, the consensus report identified stigma and discrimination as playing a key role, especially acts such as rejection or abuse by family members or peers, bullying and harassment, denunciation from religious communities and individual discrimination. The report also highlighted evidence that discriminatory laws and public policies have a profound negative impact on the mental health of gay adults.
  • In a series of recommendations, the consensus panel called on LGBT organizations to lead efforts to encourage early identification of depression, anxiety, substance abuse and other mental disorders among LGBT people, and push for the development and testing of a wider range of culturally-appropriate mental health treatments and suicide prevention initiatives.
  • The consensus panel called for revision of diagnoses pertaining to transgender people in the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (due out in 2013) to affirm that gender identity, expression and behavior that differ from birth sex is not indicative of a mental disorder.
  • Other recommendations focus on improving information about LGBT people by measuring sexual orientation and gender identity in all national health surveys in which respondents’ privacy can be adequately protected, and encouraging researchers to include such measures in general population studies related to suicide and mental health.

AFSP spearheaded the development of this report, which emerged from a consensus conference on LGBT suicide risk sponsored by the Foundation, the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. The report is part of AFSP’s LGBT suicide prevention effort, which is funded by a grant from the Johnson Family Foundation. To learn more, go to www.afsp.org/lgbt.