Our Research

*See our latest section, In the News, at the bottom of this page to see how our findings have recently been disseminated!*

Research AIMS

Operationalize and promote intersectionality. Our goal is to increase awareness of the intersectionality framework within the counseling fields. There is a need for more scholarship in the fields that acknowledge the basic fact that most individuals in society hold membership in both privileged and marginalized social identity categories. We are currently validating a measure that is intended to assess people’s levels of critical consciousness around their multiple intersecting identities.

Document discriminatory counseling practices. We are interested in identifying overt and covert forms of discrimination perpetrated by practicing counseling professionals. Disparities in access to mental health care between whites and communities of color have often been attributed to economic and cultural factors. We have found evidence for racially discriminatory behaviors among mental health professionals that may be due to implicit or overt biases. On the heels of this study we are conducting a similar audit investigation to examine the potential for heterosexist discriminatory behaviors among mental health professionals.

Explore the process of internalized heteronormativity. Through the use of qualitative and quantitative research methods, we seek to better understand the ways in which heterosexual identifying individuals navigate and struggle against their internalized heteronormativity. One specific study focuses on the ways in which heterosexual identifying individuals of color define and make sense of their intersecting social identities. The purpose of this research is to create more nuanced approaches to improving counseling services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer clients.

Current Projects

The Development of the Contemporary Critical Consciousness Scale. We are currently developing and validating a measure that assesses an individual’s consciousness of systemic, institutionalized discrimination in terms of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, and transgender identity. We have succeeded in developing and validating three of these subscales to date.

Racially Biased Call Back Patterns Among Counseling Professionals. We have analyzed voicemail messages left by approximately 250 practicing mental health professionals who received a request for services from a confederate with either the name Allison or Lakisha, and found evidence for racially biased rates of response between the two callers.

Heterosexism Bias in Call Back Patterns Among Counseling Professionals. We are currently conducting an audit wherein practicing mental health professionals are receiving requests for services from a confederate who identifies themselves as straight or gay, and examining the data for potentially biased rates of response amongst counseling professionals.

The Development of the Heterosexism Blindfold Scale. We are currently developing a measure to assess heterosexism blindfolding, which is defined as a position adopted by some well-intentioned heterosexual identifying individuals that results in the disappearing of queer identities, as well as the minimization and even denial of the oppression experienced by those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.

Content Analysis of Intersectionality within Counseling Psychology. We are currently conducting a content analysis of The Counseling Psychologist and the Journal of Counseling Psychology to determine the extent to which the theory of intersectionality has been used in counseling psychology.

Representative Presentations

Vernay, C., Sharma, R., Welch, J., Shin, R.Q., & Smith, L.C. (2016). A boyfriend, a girlfriend, and a lisp: Which Jon is more likely to receive a call back from counseling professionals? Presented at Winter Roundtable Conference, New York, NY.

Welch, J., Ezeofor, I., Shin, R. Q., Smith, L. C. (2015). Is “Allison” more likely than “Lakisha” to get a call back from counseling professionals? Presented at The American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Toronto, Canada.

Welch, J., Ezeofor, I., Shin, R. Q., Smith, L. C. (2015). The development and validation of the contemporary critical consciousness scale. Presented at The American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Toronto, Canada.

Shin, R. Q., Smith, L. C., Ezeofor, I., Welch, J. (2015). Is “Allison” more likely than “Lakisha” to get a call back from counseling professionals: Preliminary findings. Presented atThe Winter Roundtable on Cross-Cultural Psychology and Education, Columbia University, New York.

Welch, J., Ezeofor, I., Shin, R. Q., Smith, L. C.(2014). The development and initial validation of the contemporary critical consciousness scale. Presented at The American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Washington, D. C.

Shin, R. Q., Smith, L. C., Welch, J., Ezeofor, I. (2014). The development and initial validation of the contemporary critical consciousness scale. Presented at The Winter Roundtable on Cross-Cultural Psychology and Education, Columbia University, New York.

Representative Publications

Shin, R., Welch, J., C., Kaya, A. E., Yeung, J. G., Obana, C. A., Sharma. R., Vernay, C. N., & Yee, S. (in press). The Intersectionality Framework and Identity Intersections in the Journal of Counseling Psychology and The Counseling Psychologist: A Content Analysis. Manuscript submitted to the Journal of Counseling Psychology.
Shin, R. Q., Smith, L. C., Welch, I., & Ezeofor, I. (2016). Is Allison more likely than Lakisha to get a call back from counseling professionals: A racism audit study. The Counseling Psychologist, 44(8), 1187-1211.

Shin, R. Q., Ezeofor, I., Smith, L. C., & Welch, J. C. (2016). The development and initial validation of the contemporary critical consciousness measure. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 63(2), 210-223.

Ezeofor, I., Welch, J., & Shin, R. Q. (2016). Promoting critical consciousness in Latina/o Youth. In K. Malott (Ed.). Group activities for Latino youth: Strengthening identities and resiliencies through counseling (pp. 147-166). New York: Routledge.

Smith, L. C. & Shin, R. (2015). Negotiating the intersection of racial oppression and heteronormativity. Journal of Homosexuality. doi 10.1080/00918369.2015.1073029

Shin, R. Q. (2015). The application of critical consciousness and intersectionality as tools for de-colonizing racial/ethnic identity development models in the fields of counseling and psychology. In R. Goodman & P. Gorski (Eds.). Decolonizing “Multicultural” Counseling and Psychology: Visions for Social Justice Theory and Practice (pp.11-22). New York: Springer SBM Publications.

Smith, L. C. & Shin, R. (2014). Queer blindfolding: Difference “blindness” towards persons who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Journal of Homosexuality 61,940-961. DOI: 10.1080/00918369.2014.870846

Shin, R. Q., & Kendall, M. (2012). Dropout prevention: A (re)conceptualization through the lens of social justice. In E. Vera (Ed.). The Oxford Handbook of Prevention in Counseling Psychology (pp. 213-225). New York: Oxford University Press.

Smith, L. C., & Shin, R. Q. (2012). Moving counseling forward on LGBT Issues: Speaking queerly on discourses and microaggressions. The Counseling Psychologist, 40(3), 385-408.

Shin, R. Q., Morgan, M. L., Buhin, L., Truitt, T. J., & Vera, E. M. (2010). Expanding the discourse on urban youth of color. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 16(3), 421-426.

Shin, R. Q., Rogers, J., Silas, M., Smythe-Brown, C. Stanciu, A., Austin, B. (2010). Advancing social justice in urban schools through the implementation of transformative groups for youth of color.The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 35(3), 230-235.

Shin, R. Q. (2008). Advocating for social justice in academia through recruitment, retention, admissions, and professional survival. The Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 36(3), 180-192.

Smith, L. C., & Shin, R. Q. (2008). Social privilege, social justice, and group counseling: An inquiry.The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 33(4), 351-366.

In the News

Our racism audit study was recently featured in a number of outlets, including the APA’s Monitor and Daily Mail UK. Check out those stories below!

APA Monitor

Daily Mail UK

Psych Central

Science Daily

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