Sarah Mitchell: Identity and Cross-Relation Study | Undergraduate research



Study of identities and cross relations


Sarah mitchell


Human development and family studies

Organic sketch

Sarah Mitchell, Ph.D. received her Masters and Doctorate degrees. in Human Development and Family Sciences from the University of Missouri. His research focuses on family structure and processes; her main areas of interest include LGBTQ + people, identity formation processes, sexual orientation disclosure decisions, perceptions of family support, gender, ethnicity and the impact of cross identities. (particular minority status) in the context of the family.

The courses she taught at HDFS (e.g., Human Sexuality, Intimate Relationships and Marriage, Black Families, Divorce, Introduction to Families and Children and Families in a Multiethnic Society) incorporate the study of diverse individuals and families and under-represented. She has a passion for teaching and mentoring students and since joining faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno in 2019, she has mentored ten undergraduate students: one was awarded a scholarship in part of the University’s Nevada Undergraduate Research Award. She is also interested in community service and engagement involving diverse populations.

Project overview

The purpose of this study is to explore the lived experiences of LGBTQ + people of color in relation to everyday experiences, identity development, disclosure decisions, their relationships, and other concepts important to them. The growing visibility of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community calls for a focused awareness of the issues faced by these individuals and their families, especially given ambiguous social attitudes. LGBTQ + people face stigma, and many individual orientations within the LGBTQ + umbrella have not been considered as distinct and ethnically diverse groups. This study seeks to better understand the lives, experiences and relationship / family processes of LGBTQ + people taking into account orientation, ethnicity, gender and other specific identities by gathering both quantitative data (via electronic survey) and in-depth interviews. Students must, however, participate in one or more activities: gain experience in quantitative data analysis, gain experience in qualitative data analysis, conduct interviews, do other errands related to the project ( for example, publish leaflets, assist the Institutional Review Board (IRB), help organize data, review the literature).

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