Current Scholar

Andrew S. Arriaga

PhD Student, Counseling Psychology
Andrew S. Arriaga
Academic Institution: University of Texas at Austin Location: Austin, Texas Cohort Start Year: 2018
Research Topics: Addiction and Substance Use, Behavioral and Mental Health, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Education, Healthcare Access, Healthcare Quality, Public Policy, Public, Population, and Community Health
Populations Served: Adolescents (12-20 years), African-American/Black, At-Risk/Vulnerable Populations, Children and Families, Hispanic/Latino/Latinx, Homeless, LGBTQ+ Communities, Low-Income Communities, Men's Health, People Living with HIV/AIDS, People with Addictions, Rural Communities, Young Children (0-5 years)

Andrew’s research is motivated by a desire to see equitable health and wellness services integrated more prominently in marginalized communities. His work seeks to particularly explore cultural factors related to help-seeking behaviors and health disparities among sexual and gender minority individuals of color—a population that has long faced adverse health outcomes and significant health care mistreatment. Andrew believes that a move toward health equity begins with a willingness to work collaboratively with underserved communities to identify the prominent barriers to healthy living that they face daily. He ultimately aspires to utilize his scholarship in psychology, cultural identity development, and social justice to contribute to public health efforts that are collaborative, advocacy-based, and action-oriented.

Andrew is a counseling psychology doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his BA in Culture, Identity, and the Arts from New York University in 2009. Andrew’s passion for promoting the health and wellness of LGBTQ+ individuals has been greatly informed by his life experiences as a gay Latino youth growing up in rural and traditional Texas Panhandle communities. He draws from training in psychology, community advocacy experience, and collaboration with public service and health professionals to understand the social and systemic mechanisms that can both adversely influence health outcomes and promote greater quality of life across diverse communities.

It’s the Law?: A Study of Policy, Minority Stress, and Gay Men’s Barriers to Parenthood in the United States

Research on family planning decisions among childless, sexual minority adults has often focused on individuals’ attitudes towards having children, availability of familial and social support, and various other individual traits related to parenthood. However, a recent increase in proposed state and federal legislation surrounding an agency’s right to deny placement of children with sexual minority parents on the basis of personal beliefs has presented evolving psychosocial and systemic barriers to parenthood for many within these populations. Examined through a minority stress lens, this study thus seeks to explore how such policy-based factors may further impact gay men’s decisions to have children.


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