The IRIS Lab

Welcome to the Identity, Resilience, and Intersectional Science Lab at the Ohio State University

The research we conduct in our lab aims to:

  • Advance our understanding of the mental health of LGBTQ+ people
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the health of individuals with multiple marginalized identities, like LGBTQ+ BIPOC individuals, and the types of discrimination they experience
  • Identify factors that can inform interventions to improve the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ people

Our lab is particularly interested in understanding how negative societal attitudes toward LGBTQ+ people get under the skin to contribute to higher rates of anxiety and depression in these populations. We also work to identify factors that may help to promote resilience in the face of bias, contributing to better mental health among LGBTQ+ people.

Our research often focuses on populations that have been underrepresented in research, including LGBTQ+ women, nonbinary individuals, LGBTQ+ BIPOC individuals, and bisexual and pansexual individuals. We work to develop a better understanding of the unique bias directed toward these individuals and how that bias may contribute to elevated rates of anxiety and depression that they often experience.

We use a range of methods to conduct this research, but we focus largely on using longitudinal study designs (i.e., following participants over a month or year-long period and asking them to complete surveys about their experiences regularly). We then use advanced statistical modeling to understand how processes linking discrimination to mental health unfold. For example, our work has examined mechanisms that link experiencing a microaggression with elevated anxiety and depression later on the same day.

All of our work aims to promote social justice and health equity for people with marginalized gender, sexual, racial, and ethnic identities