Shelley L Craig

Shelley L Craig
University of Toronto | U of T · Department of Social Work

BSc, MSW, PhD, LCSW

About

169
Publications
124,721
Reads
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2,826
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2018 - August 2020
University of Toronto
Position
  • Professor
July 2014 - June 2018
University of Toronto
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
July 2009 - July 2014
University of Toronto
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (169)
Article
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This article describes the planning and implementation of a mixed-method community needs assessment with the intent of creating a system of care for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (GLBTQ) youths in an urban area. Flowing from qualitative to quantitative research strategies, this needs assessment utilized key informant intervie...
Article
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Sexual minority youth (SMY) are at high risk for negative mental health outcomes such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicidality. However, there has been a disconnect between clinical social work practice and research with SMY, resulting in a lack of rigorous research that demonstrates the use of effective interventions. While cogniti...
Article
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Sexual minority youth [SMY] are a population who experience considerable stress related to their sexual identities. Previous investigations have identified individual risk factors that contribute to suicide among SMY, yet little research has focused on cumulative stressors that may exacerbate negative outcomes for multiethnic sexual minority youth...
Article
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Sexual minority youth (SMY) face multiple challenges as a result of their marginalized sexual and/or gender identities, yet evidence informed programs for the population are absent from the literature. This study describes the pilot research efforts of affirmative supportive safe and empowering talk (ASSET), the first LGBTQ affirmative school-based...
Article
This pilot study sought to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of a brief, eight module affirmative cognitive behavioral coping skills group intervention (AFFIRM) with sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY) developed through community partnerships. A diverse sample of SGMY (n = 30) participated in the AFFIRM pilot and completed reliable mea...
Article
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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other sexual and/or gender minority (LGBTQ+) populations experience significant mental and behavioral health disparities. Social workers are uniquely positioned to address these vulnerabilities. However, clinical graduate education has not effectively promoted or taught competent practice with LGBTQ+...
Article
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There is a dearth of research that examines COVID‐19‐related stress among multiply marginalized individuals who are in the developmental phase of emerging adulthood. This qualitative study investigated how the intersection of emerging adulthood, sexual and gender minority (SGM) identity, and migrant status were reflected in the experiences of SGM i...
Article
Objective: compare and analyze the implications of COVID-19 on the sexual health of Mexican gay and bisexual young and adult men (GBM). Method: an online survey with 1001 GBM participants. Information was collected on sexual desire, use of mobile applications, sexual practices during the pandemic, and prevention of sexually transmitted infections (...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted social work practice globally. Using a cross-sectional survey, we examined the experiences of hospital social workers (N = 230) in Ontario, Canada during the second wave of the pandemic. Nearly three quarters (73%) of respondents reported workload changes, and 82% had increased responsibilities due to pa...
Article
Purpose Support implementation fidelity in intervention research with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and sexual and gender diverse (LGBTQ+) populations, this study explores the systematic development of a fidelity process for AFFIRM, an evidence-based, affirmative cognitive behavioral therapy group intervention for LGBTQ+ youth and adu...
Article
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The purpose of this qualitative research was to understand how the practices and discourses undermining the dignity and integrity of trans youth operate. Focus groups and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 trans youth between the ages of 16 and 29 in Mexico. Content analysis was used to identify the practices and discourses through w...
Article
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The most common form of social work (SW) practice in Canada is clinical which requires specialized knowledge and advanced clinical skills. The SW profession is more than 100 years old, but regulation is new to Canada and presently most jurisdictions have regulatory bodies to advance safe, competent, and ethical practices. Regulatory bodies establis...
Article
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Introduction Canadian youth (aged 15–24) have the highest rates of cannabis use globally. There are increasing concerns about the adverse effects of cannabis use on youth physical and mental health. However, there are gaps in our understanding of risks and harms to youth. This scoping review will synthesise the literature related to youth cannabis...
Article
There is a paucity of research exploring sources of resilience among transgender and gender diverse (TGD) young people with multiple marginalized identities. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) offer unique opportunities for authentic self-expression, which is not always possible offline. The primary aims of this study were to underst...
Article
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have been shown to facilitate LGBTQ+ emerging adult development as well as international migration. Nonetheless, few studies have examined pre-and post-migration ICT use among LGBTQ+ emerging adult migrants. To fill this knowledge gap, we conducted online interviews with 37 LGBTQ+ individuals (ages...
Article
Interdisciplinary collaboration fuels research innovation and funders are increasingly offering long-term grants prioritizing partnerships. However, a gap remains regarding the effective development, evaluatation, and sustainment of research partnerships; particularly those supporting marginalized populations such as sexual and gender minority yout...
Article
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Embodiment refers to understanding the body as the object and subject of culture, as a process that allows an understanding of political, cultural, social, and emotional processes in the assemblage of a particular identity. We describe a qualitative study utilizing focus groups and interviews in three Mexican cities with 75 LGBTQ+ youth to understa...
Article
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Objectives Sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY) experience disproportionate mental health disparities, and are often overlooked in mental health practice and research. Mindfulness and self-compassion interventions have been shown to improve mental health among youth, including anxiety and depression. This study sought to examine the utility of a...
Article
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Online social work services (e.g., telemental health; telebehavioral health; virtual care; telehealth) present significant opportunities for clinical social workers to provide effective care to marginalized populations, such as LGBTQ+ youth. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased focus on telehealth, and while there are excellent resources t...
Article
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Although cognitive-behavioural therapy has demonstrated effectiveness in improving mental health outcomes for sexual minority young people (SMYP), existing interventions are primarily designed and evaluated in Western contexts, and their acceptability and responsiveness to culturally relevant issues in the Chinese contexts is uncertain. This study...
Article
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Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic has brought tremendous changes in healthcare delivery and exacerbated a wide range of inequities. Social workers across a broad range of healthcare settings bring an expertise in social, behavioural and mental healthcare needed to help address these health inequities. In addition, social workers integrate policy-d...
Article
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While often included in the spectrum of sexual minority identities, asexuality receives comparatively little attention. Awareness and understanding remains limited, and knowledge has been generated primarily from adult populations. This paper employs a sample of 711 self-identified asexual youth (aged 14–24, M = 17.43 years) who identified as membe...
Article
There have been longstanding debates about Master of Social Work (MSW) Advanced Standing programs. Many schools of social work offer Advanced Standing status to students with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) that allows students to enter directly into a concentrated and specialized second year of the MSW program. There are arguments that BSW program...
Article
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Cognitive impairment is an important comorbidity for people aging with HIV, and group therapy may ameliorate the associated anxiety and stress. Combination psychosocial interventions may have better outcomes than single technique approaches. A pilot, parallel design, two-arm trial randomized people aging with HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorder...
Article
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Purpose: Sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY) experience unique challenges related to identity and disclosure, and cope in vibrant ways. Qualitative research has not yet fulsomely explored the risk, resilience, and identity intersections that impact vulnerable SGMY wellbeing. Methods: This digital photo-elicitation study (QueerView) recruited...
Article
Background: Since many people now live with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as a complex, chronic health condition that may require frequent medical and psychosocial services, a potential new role for HIV-positive peers involves support during an inpatient admission that extends past discharge to improve the transition home from hospital. We sou...
Article
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Objective: This study tested the efficacy of AFFIRM, a brief affirmative cognitive-behavioural group intervention tailored to reduce psychosocial distress and improve coping among sexual and gender minority adolescents and young adults (SGMY). Method: SGMY (n = 138; M age = 22.44) were allocated to immediate 8-week AFFIRM intervention delivered a...
Article
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ+) youth are notably overrepresented in the foster care system, often entering the child welfare system because of abuse or neglect associated with familial rejection of youths’ sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression. LGBTQ+ foster youth are often exposed to identity-b...
Article
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The variety of formats in which qualitative data may be collected have been explored within the methodological literature. Yet, the multiple options for coding these data formats have not been comprehensively detailed. While transcript analysis is widely used across disciplines, it may have limitations-particularly for research involving marginaliz...
Article
People with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expression are at greater risk for trauma, discrimination, and victimization than heterosexual and cisgender populations. Trauma-informed care (TIC) provides a framework for providing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ +) mental health services. Substa...
Article
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The global community has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic. LGBTQ+ (i.e., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, etc.) youth may face increased stressors amidst the pandemic given their significant mental and sexual health disparities, pervasive rejection — including quarantining in homes with heightened risk of abuse...
Article
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Social work students are expected to engage diversity and difference in practice, yet few approaches in social work education explicitly focus on strengthening skills required for such allyship engagement. Constructs such as cultural competence, cultural humility, and intersectionality are often difficult for students to learn and for educators to...
Article
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Digital mental health interventions may enable access to care for LGBTQA+ youth and young adults that face significant threats to their wellbeing. This study describes the preliminary efficacy of AFFIRM Online, an eight-session manualised affirmative cognitive behavioural group intervention delivered synchronously. Participants (Mage = 21.17; SD =...
Article
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Social media sites offer critical opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and other sexual and/or gender minority (LGBTQ+) youth to enhance well-being through exploring their identities, accessing resources, and connecting with peers. Yet extant measures of youth social media use disproportionately focus on the detrimental impacts o...
Article
The current study examined the efficacy of an affirmative group cognitive behavioral intervention on the sexual self-efficacy level of sexual and gender minority youths (SGMY). SGMY (n=30) between the age of 15 and 18 participated in a series of eight cognitive behavioral-focused groups. They also completed measures on sexual self-efficacy before a...
Article
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AFFIRM, an empirically based affirmative CBT intervention was adapted and delivered virtually to LGBTQ+ youth as a rapid response to their exacerbated mental health vulnerabilities due to Covid-19. Key innovations that enabled the transition to technology-mediated groups—leveraging technology, engaging effectively, and facilitating groupwork—are de...
Article
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Background: The experiences of resilience and intersectionality in the lives of contemporary sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY) are important to explore. SGMY face unique experiences of discrimination in both online and offline environments, yet simultaneously build community and seek support in innovative ways. SGMY who identify as transgende...
Article
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) promotes sexual and mental health risk reduction. Tailored affirmative approaches, where facilitators validate participants’ lived experiences, can bolster CBT’s potential to improve coping and mood, especially for sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY). Specialized training better prepares clinicians to deliver...
Article
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Party-n-Play (PNP) refers to sex between gay and bisexual men that occurs under the influence of drugs. Growing evidence suggests gay and bisexual men who PNP experience significant stigma and social exclusion. Less is known about the resilience of this population. Utilising critical discourse analysis, this study examined how gay and bisexual men...
Article
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Introduction: Competencies that integrate research findings and practice expertise are necessary to maintain comprehensive evidence-based practice for allied health professions, such as social work. The context of modern multidisciplinary healthcare, especially in acute or emergency settings, means that an individual clinician may only have a singl...
Article
Background Trauma, specifically adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), predicts significant health and mental health disparities, yet there is a paucity of research with LGBTQ + youth. Objective This study explored ACE prevalence in a large sample of LGBTQ+ youth; examined ACE patterns within and across subgroups; and compared results with the gene...
Preprint
Full-text available
The experiences of resilience and intersectionality in the lives of contemporary sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY) are important to explore. SGMY face unique experiences of discrimination in both online and offline environments, yet simultaneously build community and seek support in innovative ways. SGMY who identify as transgender, trans*, o...
Article
Despite increasing scholarship on sexual minority youth (SMY), little is known about the experiences and outcomes of those who identify as asexual. This study investigates how internal and external stressors, mental health, and health risk behaviours differ between asexual youth and other SMY. The study uses a sub-group analysis (n = 5,314) of an o...
Article
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This study examined the discourses of gay and bisexual men who seek Party-n-Play (PNP; sex that occurs under the influence of drugs) on mobile apps and websites. In-depth interviews were conducted with 44 gay and bisexual men who lived in Toronto, and who used drugs before or during sex in the previous month. Data were analysed using critical disco...
Article
Integrating contextual competency frameworks into health social work education and practice can bolster student training and staff supervision strategies. This article describes the iterative development of a Health Social Work Competency Rating Scale (HSWCRS), generated using a competency framework tested through simulation and an iterative resear...
Article
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Purpose: Complex and widespread stigma exposes sexual minority people to disproportionate risks for adverse mental health. Intersectionality theory calls for consideration of the unique experiences of living with multiple forms of inequality. Yet, concerns remain regarding the extent to which intersectionality theory has been integrated into mental...
Article
Data indicate that 82% of transgender individuals have considered killing themselves and 40% have attempted suicide, with suicidality highest among transgender youth. Using minority stress theory and the interpersonal theory of suicide, this study aims to better understand suicide risk among transgender youth. The present study examines the influen...
Presentation
Full-text available
Background: Cognitive impairment is an important comorbidity for people aging with HIV, yet we lack non-medical techniques to address the associated anxiety and stress. Combination psychosocial interventions may have better outcomes than single technique approaches. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and tablet-based Brain Training Activitie...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Cognitive impairment is an important comorbidity for people aging with HIV, yet we lack non-medical techniques to address the associated anxiety and stress. Combination psychosocial interventions may have better outcomes than single technique approaches. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and tablet-based Brain Training Activitie...
Article
LGBTQ+ youth experience negative health and wellbeing outcomes resulting from the stress of marginalization and unsupportive environments. Further, access to LGBTQ+ community resources often vary based on geographical factors. Previous research has focused on the risks of online spaces for LGBTQ+ youth, and has perceived offline environments as a p...
Article
Healthcare is increasingly delivered through interprofessional collaborations (IPC). The social work perspective of IPC is important to understand, as the profession has contributed to other interprofessional models, yet less is known about social workers’ actions within interprofessional teams. Using a grounded theory approach, this study examines...
Article
Background: Public awareness of Transgender and Gender Diverse (TGD) identities has grown significantly; however, acceptance and support remain elusive for many TGD youth. Resultant experiences of marginalization and stigmatization contribute to elevated rates of psychological distress and suicidality among TGD youth. Emergent evidence suggests tha...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) may affect 30%–50% of people ageing with HIV. HAND may increase stress and anxiety, and impede coping. Psychosocial group therapy may ameliorate HAND’s symptoms, yet the ideal intervention is unclear. This protocol outlines a pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT)—designed using community-...
Article
The Council on Social Work Education mandates that students be prepared to work competently across lines of difference. Research suggests that social work programs have inadequate curricula for preparing students to work with LGBTQ+ people, and can be unsupportive of the needs of LGBTQ+ students. Little is understood about the experiences of LGBTQ+...
Article
Full-text available
LGBTQ+ (e.g., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) youths’ engagement with information and communication technologies (ICTs) allows them to access social support, develop their identities, and increase their well-being in a context of relative safety. However, a significant knowledge gap remains regarding the patterns of LGBTQ+ youths’ use o...
Article
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This study examines students’ negative experiences in field placement related to their sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression, examining areas of conflict and emotional responses to conflicts. Using a subset of data gathered as part of a larger survey of 1,018 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) undergraduate and gra...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY) often lack support to navigate their minority identities and elevated psychosocial risks. When their offline environment presents challenges to wellbeing, many SGMY turn to internet-enabled information and communication technologies (ICTs) to develop identities, cope with daily stressors, and access support....
Article
Classroom-based microaggressions are a critical problem, associated with a range of negative impacts for students in targeted groups. Central to the problem of microaggressions is that they are often unacknowledged or unaddressed by educators in their own classrooms. Findings from the Social Work Speaks Out! mixed-method survey demonstrate that LGB...
Presentation
Full-text available
Background: Sexual and Gender Minority Youth (SGMY) often lack support navigating their minority identities and psychosocial risks. When their offline environment presents challenges or barriers to wellbeing, many SGMY turn to information and communication technologies to develop identities, cope with daily stressors, and find supportive communitie...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY, aged 14-29 years) face increased risks to their well-being, including rejection by family, exclusion from society, depression, substance use, elevated suicidality, and harassment, when compared with their cisgender, heterosexual peers. These perils and a lack of targeted programs for SGMY exacerba...
Presentation
Full-text available
Background: By 2020, the average age of people living with HIV in the United States and Canada will be over fifty (Bourgeois et al., 2017; Brooks et al., 2012). HIV may accelerate and/or exacerbate aging comorbidities; HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorder (HAND) – HIV-specific dementia – may be the most prevalent of these comorbidities, with 30-5...
Article
Full-text available
LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, etc.) youth are at increased risk for negative outcomes. Yet little is known about their engagement with communities and resources that may ameliorate risk, particularly online. Oriented by a uses and gratifications approach, this secondary analysis (n = 4,009) of LGBTQ+ youth (aged 14-29) compare...
Article
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Objectives To pilot a peer-based intervention for people living with HIV who used substances, had challenges with antiretroviral adherence and would be discharged from hospital to community. Study design A community-based, quasi-experimental pilot intervention study designed to assess feasibility, acceptability and connection to a community-based...
Article
Full-text available
Internet-enabled information and communication technologies may play an increasingly crucial role in the identity development of sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY). This article uses data drawn from an online survey and employs qualitative content analysis to explore the potential influence of participation in media-driven online fandom commun...
Article
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Social work education globally expresses an unwavering commitment to promoting social justice and the amelioration of oppression. Nevertheless, mounting research suggests that social work programs (SWPs) may inadvertently perpetuate microaggressions toward individuals who are transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC). This qualitative study eluc...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Sexual and Gender Minority Youth (SGMY) (ages 14 – 29) face increased risks to their well-being compared to their cisgender, heterosexual peers—including rejection by family¬¬, exclusion from society, depression, substance use, elevated suicidality and harassment. These perils and a lack of targeted programs for SGMY exacerbate their ri...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY, aged 14-29 years) face increased risks to their well-being, including rejection by family, exclusion from society, depression, substance use, elevated suicidality, and harassment, when compared with their cisgender, heterosexual peers. These perils and a lack of targeted programs for SGMY exacerb...
Article
Full-text available
Peer researchers are members of a population under study who have a decision-making role or staff position on a research team. Peer researchers are increasingly required for funding proposals to succeed in Canadian HIV/AIDS research, and are strongly recommended for community-based participatory research in other fields. There is a need to better u...
Article
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A school-based needs assessment was undertaken with a sample of primarily Hispanic and African American lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) (N = 180) high school students in the United States. Applying grounded theory techniques, researchers conducted focus groups using a semistructured protocol that included a vision question. Five them...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Hospital discharge can result in discontinuity of care, non-adherence to medications, and other negative outcomes, especially for people living with HIV who face complex medical and psychosocial challenges. ‘Peer’ programming (provided by trained community members who share lived experience with clients) may be a helpful and cost-effective compleme...