The Lavender Lab seeks to produce and disseminate knowledge to better understand and reduce sexual orientation, gender, and racial/ethnic disparities in health. The lab conducts NIH-funded research on the psychological, social, and cultural determinants of health for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals and racial/ethnic minorities.
Members of marginalized or stigmatized groups frequently experience unique stressors associated with their identity, including real or perceived discrimination, harassment, violence, microaggressions, and internalized stigma. These types of stressors are often referred to as "minority stressors." LGBTQ youth and adults, for example, report poorer mental health and increased substance use compared to heterosexual and cisgender individuals. These disparities are often explained by minority stressors and stigma that LGBTQ people experience (e.g., heterosexism, biphobia, transphobia). As such, The Lavender Lab is particularly interested in individuals' experiences with minority stress and its effects on mental health and substance use. We are also interested in identifying factors that may serve as protective or resilience promoting against minority stress.