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

Professor, Human Development & Family Science
Photo of Russ; light skin with red hair, glasses, and a dark blue suit jacket and light blue button up shirt

McClelland Park
650 N Park Ave
Tucson, Arizona 85721-0078

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I will be accepting new graduate students for the 2024-2025 academic year. 

Areas of Expertise
  • Sexual orientation and gender diversity: identity development, minority stress, and resilience 

  • Latinx youth: identity development, minority stress, and resilience 

  • Intersections of multiple forms of minority stress 

  • Sociocultural and contextual influences on health and development

  • Adolescent/youth development 

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

Research Focus

I am a family and developmental scientist who examines the intersections of identity, oppression, public policy, and health and well-being among sexual and gender minority populations. My research examines how sexual and gender minority youth, and Latinx SGM youth in particular, thrive and are resilient despite the oppressive barriers and challenges they encounter in society. To accomplish these goals, my research identifies malleable individual-level mechanisms (e.g., coping, activism) and systems-level policies (e.g., inclusive school policies) that reduce the impact of discrimination and contribute to optimal health, well-being, and educational outcomes.

Current Projects

1. Identity, policy, and family relationships among trans youth during COVID-19

This ongoing project examines trans and nonbinary youths' (aged 13-17) experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic while simutaneously dealing with over 100 pieces of legislation that were targeted toward limiting the rights of trans youth.

2. Identity, family, and school experiences of Latinx 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 Latinx LGBTQ-identified youth. Data were collected online using social media recruitment via the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network.

3. 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

  • Professional Development (graduate) - FSHD 696z, Sections 001 and 002



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!

Select publications from the past two years:

  1. **Zhao, Z., Toomey, R. B., & Anhalt, K. (2021, accepted). Sexual orientation disclosure to classmates and well-being among Latinx sexual minority youth. Journal of Research on Adolescence.
  2. **Zhao, Z., Toomey, R. B., & Anhalt, K. (2021, accepted). Predictors of disclosing sexual orientation to parents, classmates, and school adults among Latinx sexual minority high school and college youth. Youth & Society.
  3. **Pollitt, A. M., Mernitz, S. E., Russell, S. T., Curran, M. A., & Toomey, R. B. (2021). Heteronormativity in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer young people. Journal of Homosexuality, 68(3), 522-544. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2019.1656032
  4. Toomey, R. B. (2021). Advancing research on minority stress and resilience in trans children and adolescents in the 21st century. Child Development Perspectives, 15(2), 96-102. doi:10.1111/cdep.12405
  5. Anhalt, K., Toomey, R. B., & **Shramko, M. (2020). Latinx sexual minority youth adjustment in the context of discrimination and internalized homonegativity: The moderating role of cultural orientation processes. Journal of Latinx Psychology, 8(1), 41-57. doi: 10.1037/lat0000134
  6. Grzanka, P. R., Zeiders, K. H., Spengler, E. S., Hoyt, L., & Toomey, R. B. (2020). Do beliefs about sexual orientation predict voting behavior? Results from the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 7(3), 241-252. doi:10.1037/sgd0000434
  7. Ryan, C., Toomey, R. B., Diaz, R. M., & Russell, S. T. (2020). Parent-initiated sexual orientation change efforts with LGBT adolescents: Implications for young adult mental health and adjustment. Journal of Homosexuality, 67, 159-173. doi:10.1080/00918369.2018.1538407
  8. Storlie, C., & Toomey, R. B. (2020). Facets of career development in a new immigrant destination. Journal of Career Development, 47(1), 44-58. doi:10.1177/0894845319828541


Select Key Publications:

  1. Santos, C. E., & Toomey, R. B. (Eds.). (2018). Envisioning the integration of an intersectional lens in developmental science. New Directions in Child and Adolescent Development, 161, 1123. doi: 10.1002/cad.20214
  2. 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 
  3. Toomey, R. B., Syvertsen, A.K., & **Flores, M. (2019). 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
  4. 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
  5. Toomey, R. B., Syvertsen, A. K., & **Shramko, M. (2018). Transgender adolescent suicide behavior: Understanding subgroup differences. Pediatrics, 142, e1-e8. doi:10.1542/peds.20174218
  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. Toomey, R. B., Ryan, C., Diaz, R., Card, N. A., & Russell, S. T. (2010). Gender nonconforming lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth:  School victimization and young adult psychosocial adjustment. Developmental Psychology, 46, 1580-1589. doi: 10.1037/a0020705