A large part of the Prevention Research Center involves conducting research examing mental health and health care issues that plague and are unique to the LGBTQ+ population. Below you can find a list of the PRC's projects as well as projects from partners of the PRC. Please contact the Primary Investigator (PI) if you have any questions.

Core Projects

Amazon Turk:  LGBTQ+ Mental Health Care Needs Assessment
PI: Travis Hyams, Co-PIs:  Barbara Curbow, Jessica Fish, Brad Boekeloo

National survey assessing mental health care needs and experiences in care for LGBTQ+ individuals. The survey will oversample for individuals identifying as LGBTQ+ to ensure adequate representation. The survey will explore questions related to discrimination, experiences in mental health care, and sexual/gender identity.

Mental Health Professional Association LGBTQ+ Policies and Guidelines Analysis
PI: Natasha Williams, Co-PIs:  Jessica Fish, Brad Boekeloo, Liz Aparicio, Mia Smith-Bynum

The purpose of this study is to examine the protections for sexual and gender minorities in the institutional policies of mental health professional organizations. Through template analysis of the accreditation standards and ethical guidelines for nine mental health professions, we document differences in non-discrimination language, professional development expectations, training program competencies, and service delivery protections as they relate to sexual and gender minorities. Recommendations for the inclusion and enumeration of SGM identities to follow. 

LGBTQ Mental Health in National Datasets; Secondary Data Analyses
PI: Rod Turpin, Co-PI: Min Qi Wang

This project involves the analysis of several secondary datasets containing sexual identity and mental health-related measures. Using these datasets, we will produce research aimed to answer questions related to mental health among sexual minority populations.

Sexual and Gender Diversity Learning Community Implementation Project (SGDLC)
PI:  Jessica Fish, Co-PIs:  Michael Vigorito, Sean Lare, Brad Boekeloo, John Salerno

This study seeks to evaluate the quality and implementation of an evidence-informed LGBTQ cultural competency training for mental health care providers. 

Simulated Patient Assessment and Feedback for Mental Health Provider LBGTQ+ Cultural Sensitivity
PI: Richard Shin, Co-PIs: Mia Smith-Bynum, Liz Aparicio, Brad Boekeloo

The purpose of this study is to assess the LGBTQ+ cultural competency skills of mental health clinicians who will receive the SGDLC training versus a control group of clinicians who will not. Another key aim of the study is to develop an evaluation tool for assessing LGBTQ+ cultural competencies among mental health professionals. 

UMD-PRC Mentoring Program
PI:  Barbara Curbow,  Team: Brad BoekelooSharon Desmond, John Salerno

The goals of this program are to (1) develop educational and mentoring experiences for all undergraduate and graduate students that will improve their ability to conduct mental health research with the LGBTQ+ population: (2) to provide programs and mentoring to assist LGBTQ+ student and faculty scholars navigate a career path in academia; and (3) to develop and disseminate best practices in the mentoring of LGBTQ+ scholars.

Webinar Needs Assessment
PI: Brad Boekeloo,   UMD-PRC Stakeholder Leads: Liz Aparicio, Richard Shin, John Salerno, Sean Lare, Mia Smith-Bynum, Erin McClure, Rod Turpin, Jessica Fish, Michael Vigorito

This assessment will determine the current needs for LGBT clients and providers, resources available for LGBT clients and providers, and gaps in practice and research that the UMD-PRC can address.

Affiliated Projects

AAMC Health Equity Research Project
PI: Jessica Fish, Team: Rod Turpin, Brad Boekeloo, Natasha Williams

Using population-based data, this study seeks to document sexual orientation and gender identity differences in mental health and health care access and experiences in the United States.  

Availability of LGBT-Specific Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment
PI: Natasha Williams, Team: Jessica Fish

This project uses two national surveys of state-approved mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities to examine the availability of LGBT-specific mental health and substance abuse treatment in the United States.

Community-Based Services for Queer People of Color
PI: Natasha Williams, Team: Jessica Fish, external collaborators

This project utilizes data from a 2018 survey of LGBTQ community-based organizations to document organizational characteristics associated with offering services specifically for queer people of color.
Fostering Healthy Relationships
This community-based participatory research project seeks to explore the sexual and mental health needs of youth in foster care from the perspectives of youth, parents, and staff to inform the development of an innovative multi-level health intervention for foster youth. To improve the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ youth in foster care, the current study also seek to learn more about the sexual and mental health needs of sexual and gender minority youth. The project is a collaboration between University of Maryland researchers and students and multiple community partner agencies that serve foster youth.
Gold Award Project
The proposal seeks to evaluate the process and implementation of a pilot digital chat platform for LGBTQ young people (Q Chat Space: The Digital LGBTQ+ Center for Youth). Findings will help inform the digital interface and systematic delivery of the Q Chat Space program.
HIV Risk and Linkage to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) at KPGA 
PI: Brad Boekeloo. Team: Mona Mittal, Min Qi Wang, Tina Davis, Brandi Robinson
The purpose of this research is to examine individual and partner level risk factors for HIV among Kaiser Permanente Georgia (KPGA) members. This research can provide guidance on next steps for connecting more eligible KPGA members to PrEP.


PI: Brad Boekeloo, Team: John Salerno, Michael Vigorito, Sean Lare

The IMPACT DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) Coalition aims to provide a holistic health and wellness system to strengthen and support LGBTQ persons of color in healthy decision making, especially in regard to sexual health. Our UMD-PRC team works to explore and identify LGBTQ healthcare barriers and challenges, and implement and evaluate a LGBTQ healthcare cultural competency program in the DMV area.

LGBTQ Community Centers and Programs
PI: Jessica Fish, Team: Natasha Williams, external collaborators 

This mixed-method project examines LGBTQ youth-serving community based centers around the country to document their service provision efforts and impact.

LGBQ Family Socialization
PI: Jessica Fish, Team: Mia Smith-Bynum, Natasha Williams, external collaborators

Funded by the Lesbian Health Fund (GLMA) this project explores the potential protective effects of positive parental messaging regarding sexual minority girls’ sexual minority identities and whether these practices buffer the negative effects of LGBQ-related discrimination on mental health and substance use. 

Mental Health and Wellbeing Among Latinx Immigrant Youth
PI: John Salerno, Co-I: Brad Boekeloo

This project is an evaluation of a mental health and acculturation intervention to improve wellbeing and integration, and increase high school success and higher education pursuit among Latinx immigrant youth attending high school.

Mental Health and Victimization Among Latinx LGBT Youth
PI: John Salerno, Co-Is: Brad Boekeloo, Liz Aparicio, Fryer, Getrich, Jessica Fish

This project is a mixed-methods study that includes a cross-sectional examination of Latinx LGBT youths’ mental health and victimization experiences using state and district data, and a qualitative study that seeks to explore mental health and victimization among Latinx LGBT immigrant youth.

Sexual Health in Recovery (SHIR)
PI: Brad Boekeloo, Team: Evelyn King-Marshall, David Hawthorne

In collaboration with the Maryland Department of Health, the UMD-PRC will conduct a multiphase evaluation of the Sexual Health in Recovery (SHIR) program, a treatment program among numerous drug addiction facilities throughout the state of Maryland. The SHIR curriculum aims to increase diagnosis and treatment of HIV, increase retention in substance abuse treatment, and reduce co-existing risky sexual behaviors and drug relapse.    

SGM Youth Substance Use: Subgroup differences, risk, and protective factors
PI: Jessica Fish, Team: external collaborators

This study (1R03DA046827) examines how sexual and gender minority youth experiences of distal and proximal minority stressors are associated with substance use (i.e., alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and polysubstance use) and the potential protective influence of family and teacher support. 

Population Health Trends among Heterosexual and Sexual Minority Adults
PI: Jessica Fish, Team: external collaborators

This project explores trends in mental, behavioral, and physical health among heterosexual and sexual minority adults from the early 2000s to 2015 using three population-based datasets.