Ryan Watson is a fourth year Ph.D. student currently working on his dissertation. His research focuses on sexual-minority youth and their interpersonal relationships during adolescence. He works with Drs. Stephen Russell and Adela Licona to identify factors that lead to the positive adjustment for minority youth.
Ryan's work is assisted by a National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, which funds his independent research from August 2011-August 2014. His Master’s thesis explored the buffering effect of romantic relationships and the potential links of family support and academic achievement for sexual minorities through nationally representative prospective data.
In August 2013, Ryan will participate in a Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide fellowship program and travel to Trondheim, Norway to collaborate with a colleague (Dr. Lars Wichstrøm) to analyze prospective Norwegian data and further his program of research. This four-month collaboration is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Research Council of Norway.
Ryan is involved with the Crossroads Collaborative, a Ford Foundation-funded interdisciplinary group of scholars that is dedicated to advancing research, graduate training, public conversation, and ultimately social change in the area of youth, sexuality, health, and rights. To disseminate his findings to the general public, Ryan has published an op-ed in the Arizona Daily Star, a letter to the editor of the Daily Wildcat, and appeared on Fox News in Tucson. In addition, he created and published a research brief on bullying in Tucson.
Ryan is a Principal investigator (PI) along with Dr. Shannon Snapp on an ongoing qualitative study that investigates the motivations for "hooking up" amongst college students. In addition, Ryan has worked with local organizations to help thwart and educate about bullying; he presented workshops with Congressman Ron Barber and Dr. Sheri Bauman to teachers, law enforcement officials, school administrators, and parents.
Fellowships & Grants
Williams Institute (UCLA) Small Research Grant ($5,000, applied), 2013-2014
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Worldwide Fellowship ($14,560), 2013-2014
National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship ($124,500), 2011-2014, PI.
University of Arizona Diversity Fellowship ($10,000), 2012
Graduate and Professional Student Council Travel Award ($500), 2013
National Science Foundation Travel Award ($500); FSHD Travel Award ($250), 2012
Graduate Travel Award ($500); FSHD Travel Award ($400), 2011
Western Psychological Association Student Scholarship Award ($500), 2008
Peer-Reviewed Chapters in Edited Books
Watson, R.J., & Russell, S.T. (2012). LGBTQ Families and Schools. In the American Educational Research Association annual report.
Russell, S.T., Watson, R.J., & Muraco, J.A. (2011). Development of same-sex intimate relationships. In B. Laursen & A.W. Collins (Eds.), Relationship Pathways: From Adolescence to Young Adulthood. Sage Press, 215-233.
Manuscripts Under Review
Watson, R.J., & Russell, S.T. (under review, Journal of Research on Adolesence). Resilience among sexual minority youth: Engagement in academics is related to positive mental health and educational success.
Watson, R.J., Barnett, M.A., & Russell, S.T. (under review, Professional Psychology: Research and Practice). Parenting and academics: Parenting is related to positive academic outcomes for sexual minority youth.
Russell, S.T., Snapp, S., Watson, R.J., & Ryan, C. (under review, Family Relations). Family acceptance and healthy adjustment of LGB young adults.
Watson, R. J., Russell, S.T., Licona, A.C. (2012). Prevalence and Interventions of Bullying in Tucson Public Schools. (Crossroads Collaborative; Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, and Families). Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona.
Russell, S.T., Licona, A.C., Watson, R. J., Mock, K., Sandoval, M., Tilley, E., Snapp, S. (2011). Evaluation of the “School Climate Survey”, “Let’s Get Real Program”, “Nuestra Voz Summer Camp” and In-class Nuestra Voz Program. (Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, and Families, YWCA Evaluation). Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona.
Manuscripts in Preparation
Watson, R.J., Sinclair, K.O., & Russell, S.T. (in progress). The effects of being out on academic achievement.
Watson, R.J. (in progress). The effects of family support on depression in youth: a meta-analytic investigation.
Watson, R.J., & Russell, S.T. (2013, April). The importance of academic engagement for non-
heterosexual youth’s psychosocial outcomes. Paper presented at the biannual meeting of the
Society of Research on Child Development, Seattle, Washington.
Watson, R.J., Grossman, A. H. & Russell, S.T. (2013, April). The impact of different forms of
victimization on self-mutilation behaviors and the role of protective factors for LGBT youth. Poster presented at the biannual meeting of the Society of Research on Child Development, Seattle, Washington.
Watson, R.J., & Russell, S.T. (2012, August). The impact of interpersonal relationships on educational outcomes for sexual minority youth. Symposium chair and paper presentation at the annual meeting of the European Association for Research on Adolescence, Spetses, Greece.
Watson, R.J., Licona, A., & Russell, S.T. (2012, May). The Prevalence and Implications of Bullying in Tucson Schools for Youth. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the New Directions Conference, Tucson, Arizona.
Watson, R.J., Sinclair, K.O., & Russell, S.T. (2012, March). The effects of being out on academic achievement. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Vancouver, Canada.
Watson, R.J. (2008, April). Linking Students’ Perceptions of School and aggression to Teacher Reports of Aggression. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association, Irvine, CA.
Mass Media Coverage
“Bullying is pervasive in Tucson, but educational efforts can help", Guest Column in Arizona Daily Star newspaper; October 21, 2012
“Bullying problem must be reduced, prevented”, Letter to the Editor in Arizona Wildcat newspaper; October 22, 2012
“Survey: More than 40% of Tucson students are bullied”, Appearance on Fox News nightly news; October 23, 2012
Instructor: Human Sexuality and Relationships, FSHD 450 (2013)
Co-Instructor: Human Sexuality and Relationships, FSHD 450; Overall Effectiveness: 4.3/5.0
Co-Instructor: Human Sexuality and Relationships, FSHD 450; Overall Effectiveness: 4.6/5.0
Graduate Teaching Associate: Human Sexuality and Relationships, FSHD 450
Teaching Assistant: Student Development Theory in Higher Education (UCLA)