Ph.D., Georgia State University (2001)
Key words: heterosexism; lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues; sexual objectification; masculinity; resilience, activism; multicultural-feminist therapy
My research interests are primarily in the areas of multicultural-feminist issues, broadly defined (e.g. sexual orientation, gender, race/ethnicity, social class), the impact of external and internalized oppression on psychosocial health, as well as multicultural-feminist theory, therapy, training, and supervision.
My program of research primarily focuses on how social and cultural factors affect the identity development, mental health, and relationship quality of minority/non-dominant group members [e.g., lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) persons, women, racial/ethnic minorities]. More specifically, my research focuses on examining how external oppression (e.g., sexual orientation, gender, and/or race based prejudice, rejection, harassment, discrimination, and violence), internalized oppression (e.g., negative attitudes, beliefs, and feelings about oneself as a minority group member and about one’s minority group), traditional/restrictive gender role socialization processes (e.g., adherence to traditional/restrictive masculine and feminine norms, gender role conflict), and culture influence individual experience and psychological and relational health among members of minority/non-dominant groups. I attend to the complexity of individuals’ lives by investigating the potential additive, interactive, and intersectional influences of multiple oppressions on the mental and relational health of those with multiple minority identities (e.g., heterosexism and sexism for sexual minority women; heterosexism and racism for LGB persons of color; gendered racism for African American women). I investigate variables, such as social support and coping strategies, which exacerbate, buffer, or mediate/explain the oppression-distress links. I also examine positive identity, resilience, activism, and well-being despite the challenges associated with a marginalized status. In addition to studying minority group stress, I investigate how members of privileged/dominant groups become aligned with members of an oppressed/non-dominant group to actively work to create egalitarian relationships and social change. Finally, I am committed to training therapists and students in multicultural feminist issues and conduct research and write applied articles aimed at promoting culturally competent clinical services to diverse groups of clients, particularly LGB and female clients.
- Editor-Elect, Psychology of Women Quarterly, 2018-2020
- Laura Brown Award 2017, American Psychological Association Division 35 (Psychology of Women); For recognition of “outstanding contributions in advancing lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women’s psychology through research, teaching, practice, and/or activism.”
- Senior Associate Editor, Psychology of Women Quarterly, (3-year term) 2017-2019
- Associate Editor, Psychology of Women Quarterly, 2010-2016
- Featured on the list of 99 Top Professors in Counseling, Psychology, & Therapy, 2013
MastersinCounseling.org. For the complete list: CLICK HERE
- The Outstanding Major Contribution Award in The Counseling Psychologist for Sexual Objectification of Women 2012, American Psychological Association Division 17 (Counseling Psychology); Co-recipients Erika Carr and Lauren Moffitt
- Woman of the Year Award 2012, American Psychological Association Division 17 (Counseling Psychology) Section for the Advancement of Women
- Chancellor's Honors Jefferson Award 2011, University of Tennessee-Knoxville Chancellor's Office
- Fellow, American Psychological Association, Division 17 (Counseling Psychology) 2010, Division 44 (LGBT Issues) 2011, Division 35 (Psychology of Women) 2011
- Diversity Leadership Award 2010, University of Tennessee-Knoxville College of Arts and Sciences
- Chancellor's Honors Angie Warren Perkins Award 2010, University of Tennessee-Knoxville Chancellor's Office
- Emerging Leader for Women in Psychology Award 2009, American Psychological Association Committee on Women in Psychology
- Chancellor's Honors LGBT Ally Research Award 2009, University of Tennessee-Knoxville Chancellor's Office
- Psychotherapy with Women Award 2005, 2002, 1999, American Psychological Association Division 35
- None Listed
Below are selected publications for each of my seven major domains of interest: (1) heterosexism and LGB persons’ psychosocial health, (2) sexism/sexual objectification and women’s psychosocial health, (3) additive, interactive, and intersectional influences of multiple oppressions (4) gender role socialization processes, (5) positive identity, resilience, and activism among marginalized groups, (6) socio-cultural identity development among privileged groups, and (7) promotion of multicultural feminist competence among clinicians and supervisors. For a full listing of my publications, see my Curriculum Vita and Recent Citations and Abstracts located on my bio page.
(* indicates graduate student collaborator)
I. Heterosexism and LGB Persons’ Psychosocial Health
- Szymanski, D. M., & Mikorski, R.*(2016). External and internalized heterosexism, meaning in life, and psychological distress. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 3, 265-274. doi: 10.1037/sgd0000182
- Bandermann, K. M.*, & Szymanski, D. M. (2014). Exploring coping mediators between heterosexist oppression and post-traumatic stress symptoms among lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons. Journal of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 1, 213-224. doi: 10.1037/sgd0000044
- Szymanski, D. M. (2009). Examining potential moderators of the link between heterosexist events and gay and bisexual men's psychological distress. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56, 142-151. doi: 10.1037/0022-018.104.22.168
- Szymanski, D. M., Kashubeck-West, S., & Meyer, J.* (2008). Internalized heterosexism: A historical and theoretical overview. The Counseling Psychologist, 36, 510-524. doi: 10.1177/0011000007309488.
- Szymanski, D. M., Kashubeck-West, S., & Meyer, J.* (2008). Internalized heterosexism: Measurement, psychosocial correlates, and research directions (Major Contribution). The Counseling Psychologist, 36, 525-574. doi: 10.1177/0011000007309489
II. Sexism/Sexual Objectification and Women’s Psychosocial Health
- Feltman, C. E.*, & Szymanski, D. M. (2018). Instagram use and self-objectification: The roles of internalization, comparison, appearance commentary, and feminism. Sex Roles, 78, 311-324. doi:10.1007/s11199-017-0796-1
- Szymanski, D. M., & Mikorski, R.* (2016). Sexually objectifying restaurants and waitresses’ burnout and intentions to leave: The roles of power and support. Sex Roles, 75, 328-338. doi: 10.1007/s11199-016-0621-2
- Szymanski, D. M., &Feltman, C. E.*(2015). Examining sexually objectifying environments and experiences among female waitresses and their links to psychological and job related outcomes. Psychology of Women Quarterly. doi: 10.1177/0361684314565345
- Szymanski, D. M., &Feltman, C. E.*(2014). Experiencing and coping with sexually objectifying treatment: Internalization and resilience. Sex Roles, 71, 159-170. doi: 10.1007/s11199-014-0392-6
- Szymanski, D. M., Moffitt, L. B.*, & Carr, E. R.* (2011). Sexual objectification of women: Advances to theory and research (Major Contribution). The Counseling Psychologist, 39, 6-8. doi:10.1177/0011000010378402
- Carr, E. R.*, & Szymanski, D. M. (2011). Sexual objectification and substance abuse among young adult women. The Counseling Psychologist, 39, 39-66. doi: 10.1177/ 0011000010378449
III. Additive, Interactive, and Intersectional influences of Multiple Oppressions
- Szymanski, D. M., Ikizler, A. S.*, & Dunn, T. * (2016). Sexual minority women’s relationship quality: Examining the roles of multiple oppressions and silencing the self. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 3, 1-10. doi: 10.1037/sgd0000145
- Szymanski, D. M., & Lewis, J. A.(2016). Gendered racism, coping, identity centrality, and African American college women’s psychological distress. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 40, 229-243. doi: 10.1177/0361684315616113
- Ikizler, A. S.*, & Szymanski, D. M. (2014). A qualitative study of Middle Eastern/Arab American sexual minority identity development. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 8, 206-241. doi: 10.1080/15538605.2014.897295
- Szymanski, D. M., & Sung, M. R.* (2010). Minority stress and psychological distress among Asian American sexual minority persons. The Counseling Psychologist, 38, 848-872. doi: 10.1177/0011000010366167
- Szymanski, D. M., & Gupta, A.* (2009). Examining the relationship between multiple internalized oppressions and African American lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons' self-esteem and psychological distress. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56, 110-118. doi: 10.1037/a0013317.
IV. Gender Role Socialization Processes
- Mikorski, R.*, & Szymanski, D. M. (2017). Masculine norms, peer group, pornography, Facebook, and men’s sexual objectification of women. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 17. doi: 10.1037/men0000058
- Henrichs-Beck, C. L.*, & Szymanski, D. M. (2017). Gender expression, body-gender incongruence, thin ideal internalization and lesbian body dissatisfaction. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 5. doi: 10.1037/sgd0000214
- Szymanski, D. M., &Stewart, D. N.* (2014). Psychological, relational, and sexual correlates of men's pornography use on young adult heterosexual men in romantic relationships. The Journal of Men's Studies, 22(1), 64-82. doi:10.3149/jms.2201.64
- Szymanski, D. M., &Ikizler, A. S.* (2013). Internalized heterosexism as a mediator in the relationship between gender role conflict, heterosexist discrimination, and depression among sexual minority men. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 14, 211-219. doi: 10.1037/a0027787
V. Positive Identity, Resilience, and Activism among Marginalized Groups
- Dunn, T. L.*, & Szymanski, D. M. (2018). Heterosexist discrimination and LGBQ activism: Examining a moderated mediation model. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 5, 13-24. doi: 10.1037/sgd0000250
- Szymanski, D. M., Mikorski, R.*, & Carretta, R. F.* (in press).Heterosexism and LGB positive identity: The roles of coping and personal growth initiative. The Counseling Psychologist.
- Szymanski, D. M., & Lewis, J. A.(2015). Race-related stress and racial identity as predictors of African American activism. Journal of Black Psychology, 41, 170-191. doi:10.1177/0095798414520707
- Sung, M. R.*, Szymanski, D. M., &Henrichs-Beck, C.* (2015). Challenges, coping, and benefits of being an Asian American lesbian or bisexual woman. Journal of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 2, 52-64. doi: 10.1037/sgd0000085
- Szymanski, D. M. (2012). Racist events and individual coping styles as predictors of African American activism. Journal of Black Psychology, 38, 342-367. doi: 10.1177/0095798411424744
VI. Socio-Cultural Identity Development among Privileged Groups
- Hilton, A. N.*, & Szymanski, D. M. (2014). Predictors of heterosexual siblings' acceptance of their lesbian sister or gay brother. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 8,164-188. doi: 10.1080/15538605.2014.895664
- Hilton, A. N.*, & Szymanski, D. M. (2011). Family dynamics and changes in sibling of origin relationship after lesbian and gay sexual orientation disclosure. Contemporary Family Therapy, 33, 291-309. doi: 10.1007/s10591-011-9157-3
- Baird, M. K., Szymanski, D. M., & Ruebelt, S. G.* (2007). Feminist identity development and practice among male therapists. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 8, 67-78. doi: 10.1037/1524-922.214.171.124
- Ancis, J. R., & Szymanski, D. M. (2001). Awareness of white privilege among white counseling trainees. The Counseling Psychologist, 29, 548-569. doi: 10.1177/0011000001294005
VII. Promotion of Multicultural Feminist Competence among Clinicians and Supervisors
- Szymanski, D. M. (2013). Counseling lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender clients. In G. McAuliffe (Ed.), Culturally alert counseling: A comprehensive introduction (2nd Edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Szymanski, D. M., & Hilton, N.* (2013). Feminist counseling psychology and lesbians, bisexual women, and transgender persons. In C. Z. Enns and E. Nutt-Williams (Eds.) The Oxford handbook of feminist multicultural counseling psychology (pp. 131-154). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
- Szymanski, D. M., Carr, E. R.*, & Moffitt, L. B.* (2011). Sexual objectification of women: Clinical implications and training considerations. The Counseling Psychologist, 39,107-126. doi: 10.1177/1534765609358464
- Ancis, J. R., Szymanski, D. M., & Ladany, N. (2008). Development and psychometric evaluation of the Counseling Women Competencies Scale (CWCS). The Counseling Psychologist, 36, 719-744. doi: 10.1177/0011000008316325
- Szymanski, D. M. (2003). The Feminist Supervision Scale (FSS): A rational/theoretical approach. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 27, 221-232. doi: 10.1111/1471-6402.00102