Russell (Russ) B. Toomey, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Program Chair, FSHD
Family Studies and Human Development
650 N Park Ave
Tucson, Arizona 85721-0078
(520) 621-4009

I will not be accepting new graduate students for the 2021-2022 academic year. 

Areas of Expertise

  • Positive youth development / adolescent development

  • Sexual orientation and gender diversity: identity development and experience with minority stress

  • Latinx youth: identity development and experience with minority stress

  • Intersections of multiple forms of minority stress 

  • Sociocultural and contextual influences on health and development

  • Advanced statistical analyses (latent modeling, structural equation modeling)

Research Focus

Framed by the tenets of the minority stress model, intersectionality, and positive youth development, my research identifies malleable family and other salient contextual (i.e., school, community) features that contribute to and mitigate health disparities experienced by marginalized adolescents in the United States. Largely, my research has examined these relationships with explicit attention to the minority-specific stressors of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination that contribute to the disparate rates of negative outcomes experienced by sexual and gender diverse adolescents and Latinx youth, and the protective factors (e.g., family support, acceptance) that buffer these associations. 

Although most of my work has examined these populations separately, my current research integrates these two distinct – but conceptually similar - lines of research, and focuses on how the amalgamation of individuals’ multiple marginalized identities contributes to their contextual experiences and well-being. 


Current Projects

1. Risk/protection factors related to suicide behaviors among LGBTQ youth

This project uses a large data set from several schools and community organizations to examine the role of developmental assets in reducing risk for suicide behaviors among sexual minority and gender diverse youth. Funded by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (2015-2017).

2. Identity, family, and school experiences of Latin@ LGBTQ youth

This project examines how intersecting experiences related to race-ethnicity and sexual orientation contribute to well-being and academic achievement among over 400 Latin@ LGBTQ-identified youth. Data were collected online using social media recruitment via the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network.

3. Pilot study: Trans youth & family Cognitively-Based Compassion Training intervention

This project examines the feasibility and effectiveness of a cognitively-based compassion training with trans youth and their families (aimed at recruiting 8-10). Funded by the Institute for LGBT Studies at UA.

4. Pilot study:  Effectiveness of an arts-based suicide prevention program for SGM Youth

This project examines the feasibility and effectiveness of an arts-based suicide prevention program for sexual and gender minority youth. Funded by the University of Arizona Faculty Seed Grant and Alliance Foundation.

5. Athletes’ perceptions of the climate for LGBTQ athletes in collegiate sports and athlete ally development

This project explores perceptions of the climate for LGBTQ athletes and athlete ally identity among 159 college-student athletes at NCAA Division I schools. 

Subjects Taught

  • Adolescent Development (undergraduate) - FSHD 377

  • Human Sexuality (undergraduate) - FSHD 450

  • Structural Equation Modeling (graduate) - FSHD 607a

  • Intermediate Quantitative Analysis (graduate) - FSHD 537b

  • LGBT Families and Individuals Across the Lifespan (graduate) - FSHD 604



Select Publications

Please find my publications via Google Scholar:

If you need assistance in accessing any of my publications, please do not hesistate to email me!

Most recent publications (from the past year):

  1. Anhalt, K., Toomey, R. B., & **Shramko, M. (in press). Latinx sexual minority youth adjustment in the context of discrimination and internalized homonegativity: The moderating role of cultural orientation processes. Journal of Latinx Psychology.
  2. **Pollitt, A. M., Mernitz, S. E., Russell, S. T., Curran, M. A., & Toomey, R. B. (2019). Heteronormativity in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer young people. Journal of Homosexuality. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2019.1656032
  3. Storlie, C., & Toomey, R. B. (2019). Facets of career development in a new immigrant destination. Journal of Career Development. Advance online publication. Doi:10.1177/0894845319828541
  4. Syvertsen, A. K., Scales, P. C., & Toomey, R. B. (2019). The Developmental Assets Framework revisited: Confirmatory factor analysis and invariance testing to create a new generation of assets measures for applied research. Applied Developmental Science. Advance online publication. Doi:10.1080/10888691.2019.1613155
  5. Hoyt, L. T., Zeiders, K. H., Chaku, N., Toomey, R. B., & Nair, R. L. (2018). Young adults’ psychological and physiological reactions to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 92, 162-169. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2018.03.011
  6. Perez-Brena, N. J., Rivas-Drake, D., Toomey, R. B., & Umana-Taylor, A. J. (2018). Contributions of the Integrative Model for the Study of Developmental Competencies in Minority Children: What have we learned about adaptive culture? American Psychologist, 73(6), 713-726. doi:10.1037/amp0000292
  7. Romero, A. J., Piña-Watson, B., & Toomey, R. B. (2018). When is bicultural stress associated with loss of hope and depressive symptoms? Variations by ethnic identity status among Mexican descent youth. Journal of Latina/o Psychology, 6(1), 49-63. doi:10.1037/lat0000078
  8. Ryan, C., Toomey, R. B., Diaz, R. M., & Russell, S. T. (2018). Parent-initiated sexual orientation change efforts with LGBT adolescents: Implications for young adult mental health and adjustment. Journal of Homosexuality. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/00918369.2018.1538407
  9. Santos, C., & Toomey, R. B. (2018). Introduction: Integrating an intersectionality lens in theory and research in developmental science. New Directions in Child and Adolescent Development, 161, 7-15. doi: 10.1002/cad.20214
  10. **Shramko, M., Toomey, R. B., & Anhalt, K. (2018). Profiles of minority stressors and identity centrality among sexual minority Latinx youth. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 88, 471-482. doi:10.1037/ort0000298
  11. ***Shulla, R. M., & Toomey, R. B. (2018). Sex differences in behavioral and psychological expression of grief during adolescence. A meta-analysis. Journal of Adolescence, 65, 219-227. doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2018.04.001
  12. Toomey, R. B., McGeorge, C. R., & Carlson, T. S. (2018). Profiles of LGBTQ ally engagement in college athletics. Journal of LGBT Youth, 15, 162-178. doi:10.1080/19361653.2018.1453428
  13. Toomey, R. B., McGeorge, C. R., & Carlson, T. S. (2018). Athletes’ perceptions of the climate for sexual and gender minority athletes and their intervention in bias. Journal of the Study of Sports and Athletes in Education, 12(2), 133-154. doi:10.1080/19357397.2018.1477278
  14. Toomey, R. B., Ryan, C., Diaz, R. M., & Russell, S. T. (2018). Coping with sexual orientation-related minority stress. Journal of Homosexuality, 65, 484-500. doi:10.1080/00918369.2017.1321888
  15. Toomey, R. B., **Shramko, M., **Flores, M., & Anhalt, K. (2018). Family socialization for racism and heterosexism: Experiences of Latinx sexual minority adolescent and young adults. Journal of Family Issues, 39, 3586-3611. doi:10.1177/0192513X18783807
  16. Toomey, R. B., Syvertsen, A.K., & **Flores, M. (2018). Are developmental assets protective against suicidal behavior? Differential associations by sexual orientation. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 48, 788-801. doi:10.1007/s10964-018-0954-y
  17. Toomey, R. B., Syvertsen, A. K., & **Shramko, M. (2018). Transgender adolescent suicide behavior: Understanding subgroup differences. Pediatrics, 142, e1-e8. doi:10.1542/peds.2017-4218

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