Rachel M. Schmitz

Rachel M. Schmitz
Oklahoma State University - Stillwater | Oklahoma State · Department of Sociology

Doctor of Philosophy

About

60
Publications
6,745
Reads
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Citations
Introduction
As a sociologist, my specialization in Women's & Gender Studies has shaped my academic career through a research focus on gendered social contexts and a teaching trajectory that emphasizes gender and sexuality as sources of social inequality. My dissertation research , which is currently in progress, qualitatively compares and contrasts life trajectories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer young adults in the varying social contexts of the college environment and homelessness.
Additional affiliations
August 2011 - May 2016
University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Position
  • PhD Candidate; Research/Teaching Assistant

Publications

Publications (60)
Article
Contemporary ideologies of fatherhood reflect the importance of instrumental support of breadwinning men; however, there has been an increased emphasis on the expressive and nurturing aspects of fathers. This content analysis explores popular portrayals of fatherhood as conceptualized in articles (N = 50) from five American parenting magazines. Dep...
Article
There are many similarities in gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals' coming out experiences, but bisexual people face unique challenges. Despite this, an explicit focus on bisexual people is missing from family research. Using family systems and cultural sociological perspectives, the authors analyzed how social and cultural factors shape disclos...
Article
This paper explores the dynamics of caregiver rejection experienced by 40 homeless young adults 19–21 years of age. Using qualitative interviews, our findings reveal that nearly all of the youth reported at least one type of familial rejection that was intertwined with wider household conflict, and several youth experienced multiple types of reject...
Article
This study explored the early family histories of homeless young adults, the types and number of transitions they experienced, and their pathways to the street. Intensive qualitative interviews were audio taped and transcribed with 40 homeless young adults 19 to 21 years of age in the Midwest. Findings show that family backgrounds were generally ch...
Article
College students have high rates of heavy drinking, and this dangerous behavior is strongly linked to sexual victimization. Although research has examined risk factors for sexual assault, few studies have simultaneously studied the various pathways through which risks may affect sexual assault and how these pathways may be uniquely different among...
Article
In the absence of adequate measurement efforts, expansive gender and sexual identities will remain underexplored in quantitative social science and health research. We use primary survey data (N = 309) to identify factors associated with U.S.based social and health science faculty's attitudes toward inclusive gender and sexuality measures in partic...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ+) people have historically been at the center of contentious political debates in the United States. The pandemic’s divisive politicization has created societal stress in both hindering mitigation efforts and exacerbating social marginalization. Research has examined relatively p...
Article
Full-text available
Resilience has come to define a wide breadth of impactful research on marginalized groups, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth. This resilience framework shifted the deficit “at-risk” model of research on marginalized populations to a more nuanced strengths-based perspective. In this critical review article, we ex...
Article
Full-text available
Men’s experiences with sexual violence is an understudied topic within sociological literature. Despite the few past research endeavors that have focused on men, little is known regarding the ways that men college students grapple with their lived experiences with sexual violence. Using a sample of 29 active men college students, semi-structured in...
Article
Full-text available
Health disparities persist for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ+)-identified people, often shaped by minority stress through anti-LGBTQ+ stigma. Resilience and coping are important for LGBTQ+ people widely, especially through social supports, but further examination is needed into more diverse, expansive mental health assets...
Article
Full-text available
Background In this study, we further explore the role of COVID-19 pandemic-related stress, social support, and resilience on self-reported eating disorder symptoms (using the EDE-QS) and perceived weight gain among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ+ adults) in the US context during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods Employing a...
Article
Applying a symbolic interactionist and minority stress framework, we examine how self-perceived gender expression and everyday discrimination contributes to gender disparities in mental health using a sample of 5896 cisgender women and 4433 cisgender men from Wave 1 (ages 11–18) and Wave 5 (ages 33–43) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolesce...
Article
Enduring multiple sources of marginalization, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ+) youth of color living at the United States-Mexico border navigate stigma and health challenges surrounding their LGBTQ+ and ethnic identities. This study sought to delineate barriers to health care experienced by marginalized young adult patient...
Article
Socialization surrounding gender and sexuality is prominent within the familial context. Gender and sexuality are frequently linked with the assumption that gender-expansive behavior leads to nonheterosexuality. Research has largely focused on parental perspectives, leaving queer youth experiences largely invisible. Utilizing semistructured intervi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background In this study, we seek to further explore the role of COVID-19 pandemic-related stress, social support, and resilience on self-reported eating disorder symptoms (using the EDE-QS) and perceived weight gain among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer (LGBTQ+ adults) in the US context during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods Employ...
Article
Full-text available
Experiences of homelessness are challenging for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ+) young people. LGBTQ+ young adults without stable housing endure mental health struggles stemming from multiple structural disadvantages. In navigating stressors, LGBTQ+ young people may develop bonds with companion animals, or pets. Demonstrat...
Article
Intersecting sources of stigma influence harmful mental health outcomes for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2S+) young adults (YA) of color as they must manage multiple oppressions. Experiencing both mental health challenges and victimization, LGBTQ2S+ YA of color struggle with distinctive psychological traumas. The...
Article
Introduction. Research demonstrates that both proximal personal characteristics (e.g., outness, emotion dysregulation) and distal stressors (e.g., heterosexism) may be associated with harmful alcohol use among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals. No study has systematically examined the factors linking LGB identity outness to harmful alcoh...
Article
Historically, mainstream LGBTQ+ activism in the United States has excluded the voices of multiple marginalized people, particularly LGBTQ+ people of color and immigrants. Despite increasing scholarly attention to formerly subordinated voices contesting conventional approaches to activism, little is known about how these groups utilize technology to...
Article
Lesbian and gay parents are becoming more prevalent, visible, and accepted in the United States. Despite these shifts, legal and social obstacles continue to shape pathways to parenthood. For many lesbians and gay men, access to parenthood is difficult, uncertain, and varies geographically. Using focus group interviews, this study explores how 36 M...
Article
Objective We developed an intersectional family systems framework to examine how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) Latino/a youth experience stressors stemming from familial resistance to their marginalized LGBTQ+ identities. Background Anti‐LGBTQ+ sentiments surrounding LGBTQ+ young people of color's multiple marginalized id...
Article
Full-text available
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, or queer (LGBQ+) youth’s sexual and reproductive health is often framed as “at-risk.” For LGBQ+ young people who inhabit multiple marginalized statuses, such as lesbian, bisexual, or queer (LBQ+) Latinas, managing these risk discourses and their health may be even more complicated. The perspectives of LBQ+ youth of color can...
Article
LGBTQ + young people of color manage societal marginalization related to their LGBTQ + and racial/ethnic identities, which can shape health challenges. Despite their elevated need for responsive health services, cultural competence among service providers has largely focused on race/ethnicity, rather than LGBTQ + status, resulting in a lack of incl...
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Full-text available
This study examines how social support and perceived discrimination influence depressive symptoms of sexual minorities (including, lesbian, gay, bisexual-identifying individuals, and others with same-sex sexual partners) relative to heterosexual peers, while considering the role of HIV-positive status. We surveyed low-income, predominantly Hispanic...
Article
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ+) young people of color encounter interlocking systems of social prejudice and discrimination. However, little is understood about how subjective meanings of perceived structural stigma associated with multiple marginalized social statuses influence mental health. We document how perceived st...
Article
Sexual minority youth are often described as at-risk for mental health comorbidities, including disordered eating behavior (DEB) and depression. This study assesses differences in late-adolescent DEB and depressive symptoms among gay/lesbian, bisexual, or mostly heterosexual individuals, and how their symptoms change across early adulthood. While s...
Article
This study examines child physical abuse, social and psychological resources, and street physical victimization among 150 homeless youth from the Midwest. Path analyses results show that males have higher self-efficacy than females, while older youth and those who experienced less child physical abuse reported higher self-esteem. Self-efficacy and...
Article
Understanding why socially marginalized individuals, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer (LGBTQ+) people, participate in research can improve qualitative research designs, as well as social services and policies. In providing a participant-centered foundation, we interviewed 65 LGBTQ+ young adults and asked “Why are certain LGB...
Article
Full-text available
U.S.-Mexico border communities are uniquely vulnerable to sexually transmitted infection (STI) transmission given the economic and social challenges these communities face. This study examines how marginalized statuses of U.S. border residents are associated with STI awareness and sexual behaviors. We surveyed low-income residents receiving STI tes...
Article
Background: Childhood abuse and neglect (CAN) and intimate partner violence victimization (IPV) is prevalent among lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals (LGB). Identification of distinct patterns of childhood and adult victimization, including technology-mediated and face-to-face IPV, and their cumulative relations to mental/behavioral health cha...
Article
Physical safety is a primary concern among homeless youth because they struggle to secure basic necessities and a permanent place to live. Despite this, studies have not fully examined the numerous linkages that might explain risk for victimization within the context of material insecurity. In this study, we examine multiple levels of both proximal...
Article
Though lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) young adults in the USA experience identity-based adversities, they also develop resilience. Research overemphasizes these young people's risks without fully considering their unique social environments. This study documents how LGBTQ young people subjectively and contextually interpret a...
Article
Full-text available
The role of religion and spirituality in young people’s lives is diverse and multifaceted. Little research has examined how religion shapes the experiences of socially marginalized groups, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) homeless young adults. This study illustrates how Midwestern LGBTQ homeless young people interpret...
Article
Though rates of bullying among general population youth are high, there is elevated prevalence among certain subgroups, in particular sexual minority homeless youth. Enduring bullying can have devastating consequences, including poor mental health, revictimization, and substance abuse. The current study compares risk factors (i.e., sexual orientati...
Article
Numerous homeless youth experience trauma prior to leaving home and while on the street. Bullying and trading sex (i.e. exchanging sexual favors for survival items such as food) are additional forms of trauma experienced by many homeless youth. Although lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) homeless youth experience higher rates of child abuse compared...
Article
Background: There is a well-documented link between eating disorders (EDs) and adverse health outcomes, including fertility difficulties. These findings stem largely from clinical data or samples using a clinical measure (e.g., diagnosis) of EDs, which may limit our understanding of how EDs or disordered eating behaviors (DEBs) shape female fertil...
Article
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) young people's identity management impacts their well-being, yet little is known about how distinctive social environments shape their identity management strategies. We qualitatively examined how 46 LGBTQ young adults ages 19–26, who are either homeless or attending college, manage their identi...
Article
Full-text available
Familial responses to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) young people’s identities range on a spectrum from rejection to acceptance and these reactions strongly impact family relationships and young adult well-being. Less is known, however, about how family members’ reactions may differ based on young people’s contexts of socioe...
Article
We used a life stress framework to examine linkages between distal or primary stressors (e.g., child abuse) and proximal or secondary stressors (e.g., street victimization) and their association with substance use among 150 youth experiencing homelessness in the Midwestern United States. Results revealed that numerous primary stressors such as numb...
Article
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) young people of colour are exposed to intersecting dynamics of social prejudice and discrimination related to sexuality and gender as well as race/ethnicity. In particular, Latinx-identifying LGBTQ+ young people face unique challenges in their lives, due to cultural stressors that s...
Article
Dating violence continues to be pervasive among college students (Stappenbeck & Fromme, 2010). Given the paucity ofresearch investigating the various pathways through which risk factors are linked to dating violence among different college campuses, we use multiple group path analysis to examine the role of child abuse, self-control, entitlement, a...
Article
Background: Though research has examined heavy drinking by housing type, the link between type of college student housing and protective behavioral strategies (PBS) has rarely been examined comparing different college campuses. Objectives: The purpose of this study is to examine the role of housing type, perceptions of peer drinking, and PBS wit...
Article
Full-text available
Certain types of masculinity undergird gender inequality, but different contexts may encourage individuals to conceptualize gender in new and unique ways. Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) university courses support this for women, but less is known about men’s experiences. Through an analysis of interview data from 15 men who have taken WGS courses...
Article
We employ a social stress framework, which examines the influence of multiple stressors (e.g., physical abuse, foster care placement) on an individual's ability to function (e.g., mental well-being), to longitudinally examine the effects of stressful life events on mental health and the role of the social environment in this process among 150 homel...
Article
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and other sexual and gender minority (LGBTQ+) young adults face unique identity-related experiences based on their immersion in distinctive social contexts. The predominant framework of performing separate analyses on samples of LGBTQ+ young people by their primary social status obfuscates more holistic understandings...
Article
While many homeless youth use cell phones to stay socially connected, and maintaining positive social ties can contribute to pathways out of homelessness, little is known about how using cell phones for data collection can improve these young people's lives. We conducted baseline and follow-up interviews with 150 homeless youth as well as provided...
Article
Using a hybrid masculinities framework, we qualitatively analyzed 15 college men's experiences with feminism and gender scholarship in Women's and Gender Studies (WGS) courses. Men described adopting particular strategies of discourse in their social interactions to manage varied reactions to feminism and gender studies. As a way of justifying thei...
Article
Background: Though college students have high rates of heavy drinking, few studies have examined the various pathways through which risks affect drinking and whether this varies by institution. We examined whether alcohol expectancy mediates the relationship between social factors (i.e., hooking up, friends drinking, Greek affiliation, entitlement)...
Article
The United States has a historical legacy of oppression and subjugation spanning an array of social locations, including class, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation and others. Contemporary research has documented a growth in themes of prejudice and racism present in popular media, such as the Internet. This study fills a gap in the literatur...
Article
The sub-Saharan African region has been disproportionately affected by HIV and Zambia has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates within this region. Moreover, new incidences of HIV infection are increasing most rapidly among those 15–24 years of age. Though young people are at high risk for HIV infection, street youth are even more vulnerable give...
Article
Full-text available
A growth in cultural ideologies concerned with men and masculinities in contemporary American society has recently emerged. Men’s rights activist (MRA) groups embody a movement emphasizing the crisis of masculinity. Despite men’s privileged societal status, MRAs seek to establish resources for men to utilize in elevating their perceived subordinate...
Article
Full-text available
Background: High rates of substance use have been reported among youth in Zambia. This is particularly concerning given that substance use is one of the biggest risk factors placing young people at risk for HIV infection. Objectives: The purpose of the current study is to examine how multi-level risk and protective factors (i.e., community, fami...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines the life course experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) homeless young adults and LGBTQ college students. Though both of these groups have in common their age (i.e. young adults) and LGBTQ identity, college students generally have more resources and are expected to fare better into later life compare...
Article
Substance use among homeless young people is a pervasive problem, and there have been many efforts to understand more about the dynamics of this health-compromising behavior. The current study examined perceived substance use norms within homeless youths' social networks utilizing in-depth interviews. The sample included 19 homeless individuals age...
Article
Though dating violence is widespread among young adult homeless populations, its risk factors are poorly understood by scholars. To address this gap, the current study uses a social learning theory to examine the effects of abusive parenting and caretaker arrests on dating violence among 172 homeless young adults. Results from path analyses reveale...
Article
The number of homeless young adults living in unstable conditions is a growing social problem. However, less is known about the multiple transitions young people experience as they enter into street life and how these pathways differ for males and females. While some young people may run away from home never to return, others may move between house...

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Projects

Projects (7)
Project
Using a convergent mixed method design, this project seeks to better understand the role of technology and community in LGBTQ+ individual's experiences of stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Project
To examine mental health experiences of LGBTQ2S+ young adults.