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

Associate Professor
Chair, Youth Development and Resilience Initiative, FMI
Family Studies and Human Development
650 N Park Ave
Tucson, Arizona 85721-0078
(520) 621-4009
I will be accepting graduate students for entry in 2018. Please contact me for more information!

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 (R) 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. 

6 Risk/protection factors related to school experiences of urban youth

This project examines several risk and protective factors related to school achievement for students in an urban school in Northeastern Ohio. The school has one of the lowest graduation rates in the state of Ohio and has experienced tremendous demographic shifts in the past 15 years (e.g., the percentage of Latin@ students has increased by 40%). Funded by the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation.

7 College 2016 election study

The purpose of this study is to examine college students’ stress hormone profiles before, during, and after the 2016 U.S. presidential election. We hope to understand how individuals’ political affiliations, beliefs, thoughts, and attitudes relate to key election issues, and in turn, predict differential physiological responses.

Subjects Taught

  • Adolescent Development (undergraduate) - FSHD 377

  • Structural Equation Modeling (graduate) - FSHD 607a

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



Select Publications

PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS (Google Scholar profile):

** Graduate student collaborator.

*** Undergraduate student collaborator.

  1. **Shramko, M., Toomey, R. B., & Anhalt, K. (in press). Profiles of minority stressors and identity centrality among sexual minority Latinx youth. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.  
  2. Casper, D. M., Card, N. A., Bauman, S., & Toomey, R. B. (in press). Overt and relational aggression participant role behavior: Measurement and relations with sociometric status and depression. Journal of Research on Adolescence.
  3.  Romero, A. J., Piña-Watson, B., & Toomey, R. B. (in press). 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.
  4. Toomey, R. B., McGeorge, C. R., & Carlson, T. S. (in press). 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. 
  5. Toomey, R. B., Ryan, C., Diaz, R. M., & Russell, S. T. (in press). Coping with sexual orientation-related minority stress. Journal of Homosexuality.
  6. Toomey, R. B., Huynh, V. W., **Jones, S. K., ***Lee, S., & **Revels-Macalinao, M. (2017). Sexual minority youth of color: A content analysis and critical review of the literature. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health, 21(1), 3-31. doi: 10.1080/19359705.2016.1217499
  7. **Bravo, D., Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Toomey, R. B., Updegraff, K. A., & Jahromi, L. B. (2016). Risky behaviors and educational attainment among Mexican-origin mothers: The role of acculturative stress and the educational aspiration-expectation gap. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 52, 13-26. doi:10.1016/j.ijntrel.2016.02.003
  8. **Derlan, C. L., Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Toomey, R. B., Jahromi, L. B, & Updegraff, K. A. (2016). Measuring cultural socialization attitudes and behaviors of Mexican-origin mothers with young children: A longitudinal investigation. Family Relations, 65, 477-489. doi:10.1111/fare.12196
  9. McGuire, J. K., Kuvalanka, K. A., Catalpa, J. M., & Toomey, R. B. (2016). Transfamily theory: How the presence of trans* family members informs gender development in families. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 8, 60-73. doi:10.1111/jftr.12125
  10. Russell, S. T., Day, J. K., Ioverno, S., & Toomey, R. B. (2016). Are school policies focused on sexual orientation and gender identity associated with less bullying? Teachers’ perspectives. Journal of School Psychology, 54(1), 29-38. doi:10.1016/j.jsp.2015.10.005
  11. Storlie, C. A., & Toomey, R. B. (2016). Professional school counselor perceptions of systemic barriers affecting Latino students: Implications for socially just preparation and practice. The Journal of Counselor Preparation and Supervision, 8(2). doi:10.7729/82.1156
  12. Toomey, R. B., & Anhalt, K. (2016). Mindfulness as a coping strategy for bias-based school victimization among Latina/o sexual minority youth. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 3(4), 432-441.
  13. Toomey, R. B., Anhalt, K., & **Shramko, M. (2016). An examination of the validity and reliability of a measure of sexual orientation identity exploration, resolution, and affirmation. Self & Identity, 15, 488-504. doi:10.1080/15298868.2016.1157516
  14. Toomey, R. B., McGeorge, C. R., & Carlson, T. S. (2016). LGBTQ ally development and engagement in sports: A mixed-methods study. Journal of Intercollegiate Sports, 9(2), 247-267. doi:10.1123/jis.2015-0049
  15. Toomey, R. B., & Russell, S. T. (2016). The role of sexual orientation in school victimization: A meta-analysis. Youth & Society, 48(2), 176-201. doi: 10.1177/0044118X13483778
  16. Toomey, R. B., & Storlie, C. A. (2016). School counselors’ intervention in bias-related incidents among Latino students. Journal of School Violence, 15(3), 343-364. doi: 10.180/15388220.2015.1049354
  17. **Bravo, D., Toomey, R. B., Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Updegraff, K. A., & Jahromi, L. B. (2015). Growth trajectories of Mexican-origin adolescent mothers’ educational expectations. International Journal of Behavioral Development. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/0165025415616199
  18. **Derlan, C. L., Umaña -Taylor, A. J., Toomey, R. B., Updegraff, K. A., & Jahromi, L. B. (2015). Person-environment fit: Everyday conflict and coparenting conflict in Mexican-origin teen mother families. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 21(1), 136-145. doi:10.1037/a0037069
  19. McGeorge, C. R., Carlson, T. S., & Toomey, R. B. (2015a). An exploration of family therapists’ beliefs about the ethics of conversion therapy: The influence of negative beliefs and clinical competence with LGB clients. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 41, 42-56. doi: 10.1111/jmft.12040
  20. McGeorge, C. R., Carlson, T. S., & Toomey, R. B. (2015b). Assessing lesbian, gay, and bisexual affirmative training in couple and family therapy: Establishing the validity of the faculty version of the affirmative training inventory. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 41, 57-71. doi: 10.1111/jmft.12054
  21. Toomey, R. B., Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Updegraff, K. A., & Jahromi, L. B. (2015). Trajectories of problem behavior among Mexican-origin adolescent mothers: An examination of risk enhancing and reducing factors. Journal of Latina/o Psychology, 3(1), 1-10. doi: 10.1037/lat0000028
  22. Toomey, R. B., Updegraff, K. A., Umaña-Taylor, A. J., & Jahromi, L. B. (2015). Gender role attitudes across the transition to adolescent motherhood in Mexican-origin families. Family Process, 54, 247-262. doi: 10.1111/famp.12127
  23. Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Tynes, B. M., Toomey, R. B., Williams, D. R., & Mitchell, K. (2015). Latino adolescents’ perceived discrimination in online and off-line settings: An examination of cultural risk and protective factors. Developmental Psychology, 51, 87-100. doi: 10.1037/a0038432

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