Grants Support Research on LGB Family Psychology and Therapy
When romantic relationships end, individuals and families can experience distress and negative mental health outcomes. While numerous studies on this connection have led to relationship-based intervention strategies, programs have exclusively focused on heterosexual couples. Brian Buzzella, a graduate student in clinical psychology at Boston University, was awarded a $10,500 Roy Scrivner Research Grant for his research evaluating a same-sex relationship education program. The proposed intervention is expected to strengthen relationship satisfaction and decrease adverse mental health outcomes such as depression and anxiety. Buzzella hopes that the intervention can meet the needs of same-sex individuals and provide clinicians with important information to maintain healthy LGB families.
Buzzella earned his BA in Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests include LGBT mental health and ways in which families can improve the efficacy of interventions for individual mental illness.
Joanna Thome of Roosevelt University also received a $1,500 Scrivner Grant for her research examining the general population’s consideration of gender and sexual orientation in appraising male same-sex parents. By using adoption vignettes that vary by couple type (male-female, male-male, or female-female) and assessing gender role beliefs, Thome will examine how much these beliefs versus homophobia account for decisions to deny custody of the child for same-sex male couples over same-sex female couples. Thome hopes that her research can guide education and policy change to reduce discrimination faced by same-sex couples.
Thome went to Willamette University for her undergraduate education, and worked on the inpatient psychiatric unit at Seattle Children’s Hospital before starting a PsyD program at Roosevelt. Her clinical interests primarily include pediatric psychology, medical trauma, and mental health in refugee populations.