Ryan has accepted a Post Doctoral fellowship position in Vancouver, Canada to work with Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc in the Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre starting in October 2014. He is a fifth year Ph.D. student (All But Dissertation) and has finished his dissertation, entitled "Risk and Protective Factors for Sexual Minority Youth Over Time and Across Cultures". His research focuses on sexual-minority adolescents & young adults and their interpersonal relationships. He works with Drs. Stephen Russell and Adela Licona to identify factors that lead to the positive adjustment for minority youth.
Ryan's work has been assisted by a National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, which funded 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 addition, he has been 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.
In the fall of 2013, Ryan participated in a Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide fellowship program and traveled 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 was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Research Council of Norway. He wrote a blog to document these experiences. An article was published by LiveScience that highlighted Ryan's research.
Watson, R. J., & Russell, S.T. (2014). Disengaged or bookworm: Academics, mental health, and success for sexual minority youth. Journal of Research on Adolescence, Early View, doi: 10.1111/jora.12178
Watson, R.J., Wheldon, C.W., & Russell, S.T. (in press). How does sexual identity disclosure impact school experiences? Journal of LGBT Youth.
Licona, A.C. & Watson, R. J. (in press). Sexual minorities in the US. In The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies.
Watson, R.J., & Russell, S.T. (in press). LGBTQ Families and Schools. In G. L. Wimberly (Ed.), Research on LGBTQ in education: Using and investing in building knowledge.
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. Thousand Oaks: Sage Press, 215-233.
Manuscripts Under Review
Snapp, S., Watson, R.J., Russell, S.T., & Ryan, C. (revise & resubmit). Family acceptance and healthy adjustment of LGB young adults.
Wheldon, C.W., Watson, R.J., Buhi, E.R. (under review). Sexual orientation and co-occurring psychosocial health problems among male college students.
Watson, R.J., Barnett, M.A., & Russell, S.T. (under review). How does parent warmth of sexual minorities impact their educational success?
Watson, R.J., McDonald, D., Carter, R., & Russo, J. M. (under review). Reducing youth risk behaviors though interactive theatre.
Watson, R.J., Wichstrøm, L., Russell, S.T. (September). Comparing sexual minorities across cultures: Norway and the United States. Paper accepted at the biannual meeting of the European Association for Research on Adolescence, Izmir, Turkey.
Watson, R.J., Wichstrøm, L., Russell, S.T. (September). Social support’s impact on depression for sexual minorities in Norway. Paper accepted at the biannual meeting of the European Association for Research on Adolescence, Izmir, Turkey.
Watson, R.J., Russell, S.T., Grossman, A.H. (May). Social support and self-esteem amongst sexual minority youth. Paper presented at Association for Psychological Science, San Francisco.
Watson, R.J., Grossman, A.H. Russell, S.T. (March). Sources of social support and their impact on depression for sexual minority youth. Poster presented at the biannual meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Austin, Texas.
Watson, R.J., & Russell, S.T. (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. Discussant: Dr. Lisa Diamond.
Watson, R.J., Grossman, A. H. & Russell, S.T. (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 Society of Research on Child Development, Seattle, Washington.
Watson, R.J., & Russell, S.T. (August). The impact of interpersonal relationships on educational outcomes for sexual minority youth. Symposium chair and paper presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for Research on Adolescence, Spetses, Greece.
Watson, R.J., Licona, A., & Russell, S.T. (May). The prevalence and implications of bullying in Tucson schools for youth. Paper presented at the New Directions Conference, Tucson, AZ.
Watson, R.J., Sinclair, K.O., & Russell, S.T. (March). The effects of being out on academic achievement. Poster presented at the Society for Research on Adolescence, Vancouver, Canada.