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Russell, Stephen

Stephen Russell

Department Chair, Human Development and Family Sciences, Director, School of Human Ecology
College of Natural Sciences, Department of Human Development and Family Sciences

Amy Johnson McLaughlin Administrative Chair in Human Ecology | Priscilla Pond Flawn Regents Professorship in Child Development | Elizabeth Tarpley Regents Fellowship in Textiles and Clothing

I study LGBTQ youth health and rights; programs and policies to improve human development; and cultural processes in families.


Phone: 512-471-0753

Office Location
SEA 2.444

Postal Address
AUSTIN, TX 78712

I will consider applications for graduate students for fall 2023.

I study adolescent development, with an emphasis on LGBTQ+ health and wellbeing. Much of my research is guided by a commitment to create social change to support healthy development. I am most proud of my research that has been used to shape local and state policies and laws for school safety, and my most rewarding work is with trainees: I work with an amazing group of postdoctoral scholars, graduate and undergraduate students, and I find supporting their development and learning from them to be the most satisfying part of my job.

Read profiles of current graduate students: Meg Bishop, Armin Dorri, and Andre Gonzales Real.

I have been an elected board member of the National Council on Family Relations (2005-2008), was President of the Society for Research on Adolescence (2012-2014), and am a member of the Governing Council of the Society for Research in Child Development (2019-2025), the Boards of the Council on Contemporary Families and the New York Institute for the Humanities and Social Studies, and served for many years on the Board of Directors for SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change.

Diversity & Inclusion: Diversity and inclusion are a central focus of my research, teaching, service, and administrative leadership. I was pleased that our department received recognition for outstanding leadership in diversity in fall 2017. I have chaired the college's Diversity & Inclusion Committee when it was established in 2016, until 2019. For the university, I co-chair both the President's LGBTQ Advisory Council, as well as the Provost's Advisory Council on LGBTQ+ Faculty Access, Equity and Inclusion. My undergraduate teaching is designed to expose students to diverse perspectives and experiences in adolescence and human sexuality, and my research focuses on intersectionality in the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ populations, with a focus on practices and policies that contribute to wellbeing.

Read about my projects on my lab webpage:


See my publications on my profiles on:


Google Scholar

Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Schooling (with Stacey Horn, Oxford University Press)

      American Psychological Association Division 44 Distinguished Book Award (2017)

      Society for Research on Adolescence Social Policy Book Award (2018)

Elected Fellow of the National Council on Family Relations (2017)

University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Administrator of the Year Award (2015)

University of Arizona Peter Likins Inclusive Excellence Award (2013)

University of Arizona LGBTQ Affairs Fabulous Faculty Award (2012)

University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Research Faculty of the Year Award (2011)

University of Arizona Norton School Council of Alumni and Friends Faculty Award (2011)

University of Arizona Honors College, Excellence in Mentoring Award (2011)

President, Society for Research on Adolescence (President Elect 2010-2012; President 2012-2014; Past President 2014-2016)

Shirley O’Brien Diversity Award, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (2006)

Elected Full Member of the International Academy of Sex Research (2004)

Distinguished Visiting Professor of Sexuality Studies, San Francisco State University (2001-2007)

William T. Grant Foundation Scholar (2001-2006)

Wayne F. Placek Award, American Psychological Foundation (2000)

Gallup Research Professor, University of Nebraska, Lincoln (1998-1999)

If you are a student interested in learning more about the SOGI Health & Rights Lab and our work, including being a research assistant or doing an project for independent inquiry, please read the lab webpage on teaching and mentoring: