Samantha L. Tornello

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, United States

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Publications (8)18.61 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Objectives. We examined associations between adolescent girls' sexual identity and the gender of their sexual partners, on one hand, and their reports of sexual health behaviors and reproductive health outcomes, on the other. Methods. We analyzed weighted data from pooled Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (2005 and 2007) representative of 13 US jurisdictions, focusing on sexually experienced girls in 8th through 12th grade (weighted n = 6879.56). We used logistic regression with hierarchical linear modeling to examine the strength of associations between reports about sexual orientation and sexual and reproductive health. Results. Sexual minority girls consistently reported riskier behaviors than did other girls. Lesbian girls' reports of risky sexual behaviors (e.g., sex under the influence of drugs or alcohol) and negative reproductive health outcomes (e.g., pregnancy) were similar to those of bisexual girls. Partner gender and sexual identity were similarly strong predictors of all of the sexual behaviors and reproductive health outcomes we examined. Conclusions. Many sexual minority girls, whether categorized according to sexual identity or partner gender, are vulnerable to sexual and reproductive health risks. Attention to these risks is needed to help sexual minority girls receive necessary services. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print August 14, 2014: e1-e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302037).
    American Journal of Public Health 08/2014; 104(10):e1-e7. · 4.23 Impact Factor
  • Robert E Emery, Samantha L Tornello
    Journal of Marriage and Family 02/2014; 76(1):234-240. · 3.01 Impact Factor
  • Robert E. Emery, Samantha L. Tornello
    Journal of Marriage and Family 02/2014; 76(1). · 3.01 Impact Factor
  • Samantha L Tornello, Rachel G Riskind, Charlotte J Patterson
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    ABSTRACT: We studied sexual and reproductive health among self-identified bisexual, lesbian, and heterosexual adolescent young women. Prior research has suggested that bisexual and lesbian young women may be at greater risk for many negative health outcomes, including risky sexual and reproductive health behavior. Using data from the U.S. nationally representative 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), we examined sexual and reproductive health among young women 15-20 years of age as a function of sexual orientation. We used logistic regression and ANCOVA to examine differences in sexual and reproductive health across groups while controlling for demographic group differences. Bisexual and lesbian young women reported elevated sexual and reproductive health risks. Bisexual and lesbian participants reported being younger at heterosexual sexual debut, and having more male and female sexual partners, than did heterosexual participants. Further, they were more likely than heterosexual young women to report having been forced to have sex by a male partner. Bisexual young women reported the earliest sexual debut, highest numbers of male partners, greatest use of emergency contraception, and highest frequency of pregnancy termination. Overall, sexual minority young women-especially those who identified as bisexual-were at higher sexual and reproductive risk than their heterosexual peers.
    Journal of Adolescent Health 10/2013; · 2.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Large numbers of infants and toddlers have parents who live apart due to separation, divorce, or nonmarital/noncohabiting childbearing, yet this important topic, especially the controversial issue of frequent overnights with nonresidential parents, is understudied. The authors analyzed data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a longitudinal investigation of children born to primarily low-income, racial/ethnic minority parents that is representative of 20 U.S. cities with populations over 200,000. Among young children whose parents lived apart, 6.9% of infants (birth to age 1) and 5.3% of toddlers (ages 1 to 3) spent an average of at least 1 overnight per week with their nonresident parent. An additional 6.8% of toddlers spent 35%–70% of overnights with nonresident parents. Frequent overnights were significantly associated with attachment insecurity among infants, but the relationship was less clear for toddlers. Attachment insecurity predicted adjustment problems at ages 3 and 5, but frequent overnights were not directly linked with adjustment problems at older ages.
    Journal of Marriage and Family 08/2013; 75(4). · 3.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Social climate—specifically, the level of support for sexual minorities in a given locale—helps to explain well-being among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals. No published reports have examined whether well-being also varies as a function of social climate for family members of LGB individuals. We present results from two studies (Study 1, n = 69; Study 2, n = 70) demonstrating that social climate predicts well-being among adults reared by LGB parents, regardless of their own sexual orientation. Across both studies, population characteristics (e.g., density of same-sex couples in an area) emerged as the strongest and most consistent predictors of well-being. Some variables assessing local politics (e.g., LGB hate crime policy) also predicted well-being, though these associations were less robust. Overall, findings suggest that the social environment for sexual minorities is an important correlate of psychological adjustment for many Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation.
    Sexuality Research and Social Policy: Journal of NSRC 06/2012; 9(2). · 0.72 Impact Factor
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    Samantha L. Tornello, Charlotte J. Patterson
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    ABSTRACT: Many gay men have become parents in the context of heterosexual relationships; ultimately, some separate from female partners while others stay with them. In this study, we compared the experiences of 110 formerly married gay fathers who were currently in relationships with men, 44 formerly married gay fathers who were currently single, and 14 gay fathers who remained married to women. In an Internet survey, we examined relationship satisfaction, parenting stress, sexual orientation disclosure, and gay identity among these men, all of whom had become fathers in the context of heterosexual relationships. Results showed that gay fathers who were currently married to women reported lower relationship satisfaction, affection, consensus, and lower overall dyadic adjustment in their current relationships. Formerly married gay fathers who were currently single or currently in relationships with male partners reported greater openness about their sexual identities than did still-married gay fathers. The men who were currently in relationships, however, did not report differences in relationship cohesion or parenting stress as a function of partners’ gender. In summary, self-identified gay men who were currently in relationships with women reported less openness about their sexual orientation and lower relationship satisfaction, but not more parenting stress than did formerly married gay fathers.
    Journal of GLBT Family Studies 01/2012; 8(1):85-98.
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    Samantha L Tornello, Rachel H Farr, Charlotte J Patterson
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    ABSTRACT: The authors examined correlates of parenting stress among 230 gay adoptive fathers across the United States through an Internet survey. As with previous research on adoptive parents, results showed that fathers with less social support, older children, and children who were adopted at older ages reported more parenting stress. Moreover, gay fathers who had a less positive gay identity also reported more parenting stress. These 4 variables accounted for 33% of the variance in parenting stress; effect sizes were medium to large. Our results suggest the importance of social support and a positive gay identity in facilitating successful parenting outcomes among gay adoptive fathers.
    Journal of Family Psychology 06/2011; 25(4):591-600. · 1.89 Impact Factor