Jillian R. Scheer, Ph.D.
Education and Training
T32 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, Yale School of Public Health
Predoctoral Clinical Internship, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s/West Hospital
Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, Boston College
M.A. in Mental Health Counseling, Boston College
B.A. in Psychology, Sociology, Rutgers University
Research and Teaching Interests
My primary areas of research include (1) examining trauma exposure, such as physical and sexual abuse, as a key driver of sexual and gender minority disparities in alcohol misuse and mental health comorbidities (e.g., PTSD, depression, anxiety) and (2) identifying maladaptive cognitive, affective, and behavioral pathways through which trauma exposure and minority stress affect sexual and gender minorities’ sustained psychosocial health issues. My research establishes that trauma exposure represents one primary social determinant of sexual orientation and gender identity disparities in alcohol use and misuse, suicidality, and sexual-risk behavior among youth and adults. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, my work also demonstrates the need for programmatic shifts related to resource allocation and culturally sensitive service availability for trauma-exposed sexual and gender minority populations who hold multiple marginalized identities. My current interdisciplinary research program seeks to inform epidemiologic, etiologic, and clinical treatment models of sexual and gender minorities’ alcohol use and related morbidities by specifying psychosocial stressors (i.e., violence exposure, identity-related stressors such as heterosexism, racism, and sexism) that uniquely affect this vulnerable population.
Undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in learning more about this work or joining my research team are encouraged to contact me.
PSY 860 Diversity and Cultural Issues in Assessment and Psychotherapy
Ongoing Research Projects
Yale Fund for Lesbian and Gay Studies (PI: Scheer). “The daily effects of violence on PTSD symptom clusters and fluctuations among sexual minority women.” Sexual minority women disproportionately suffer from PTSD and other mental and behavioral health comorbidities as a direct consequence of their elevated risk of violence and stigma-related stress. Using a daily diary approach over a 2-week period, this pilot study assesses the proximal relationships among daily trauma exposure; stigma-related stress; cognitive, affective, and behavioral coping behaviors; and, mental and behavioral health.
Yale Women’s Faculty Forum Seed Grant (PI: Scheer). “The price of minority stress on violence-exposed sexual minority women’s mental health and coping strategies.” This study uses a qualitative approach to assess violence-exposed sexual minority women’s coping strategies and help-seeking barriers. Results from this study will inform the development of a trauma-informed and culturally sensitive alcohol intervention for sexual minority women exposed to violence.
Yale Fund for Lesbian and Gay Studies. (PI: Jackson). “Border identity stress among bisexual, multiracial, and gender non-binary populations.” This study seeks to identify and study a new form of minority stress: border identity stress (i.e., the unique mental strain caused by holding an identity that transgresses two binary groups such as bisexual, multiracial, and gender nonbinary identities) using cross-sectional and ecological momentary assessment methodology. Role: Co-Investigator
Pachankis, J. E., McConocha, E. M., Clark, K. A., Wang, K., Behari, K., Fetzner, B. K., Brisbin, C. D., Scheer, J. R., & Lehavot, K. (2020). A transdiagnostic minority stress intervention for sexual minority women’s depression, anxiety, and alcohol abuse: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. DOI: 10.1037/ccp0000508
Scheer, J. R., & Pachankis, J. E. (2019). Psychosocial syndemic risks of chronic physical health problems among LGBTQ individuals. LGBT Health, 8. [Preprint] Available from: DOI: 10.1089/lgbt.2019.0025
Scheer, J. R., McConocha, E., Behari, K., & Pachankis, J. E. (2019). Sexual violence as a mediator of sexual orientation disparities in alcohol use, suicidality, and sexual-risk behavior among female youth. Psychology & Sexuality. doi: 10.1080/19419899.2019.1690031. [Epub ahead of print] NIHMSID: 1554918.
Scheer, J. R., & Mereish, E. H. (2019). Intimate partner violence and illicit substance use among sexual and gender minority youth: The protective role of cognitive reappraisal. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
Scheer, J. R., & Baams, L. (2019). Help-seeking patterns among LGBTQ young adults with intimate partner violence exposure. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1-20. https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0886260519848785
Scheer, J. R., & Antebi-Gruszka, N. (2019). A psychosocial risk model of potentially traumatic events and sexual risk behavior among LGBTQ individuals. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1080/15299732.2019.1597815
Scheer, J. R., Woulfe, J. M., & Goodman, L. A. (2019). Psychometric validation of the identity abuse scale among LGBTQ individuals. Journal of Community Psychology, 47(2), 371-384. DOI: 10.1002/jcop.22126
Scheer, J. R., Harney, P., Esposito, J., & Woulfe, J. M. (2019). Self-reported mental and physical health symptoms among LGBTQ individuals with potentially traumatic events exposure: The role of shame. Psychology of Violence. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/vio000024
Scheer, J. R., & Poteat, V. P (2018). Trauma-informed care, mobilizing mechanisms, and health among LGBTQ intimate partner violence survivors. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1-23. [Preprint] Available from: https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260518820688
Scheer, J. R., & Poteat, V. P. (2016). Factors associated with straight allies’ current engagement levels within Gay-Straight Alliances. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 43, 112-119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2016.01.007