Research Assistant Professor, Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing
Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing
625 N. Michigan Ave. #14-047
Chicago, IL 60611
Brian Feinstein, Ph.D., (he/him) is a research assistant professor at the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing (ISGMH). He has secondary appointments in the Department of Psychology and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Stony Brook University in 2015 after completing an APA-accredited internship at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Prior to joining the faculty at ISGMH, he received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to complete a postdoctoral research fellowship in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Feinstein’s program of research broadly focuses on understanding and reducing the health disparities affecting sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations, especially bisexual and other non-monosexual individuals. He is particularly interested in understanding how different types of stress (e.g., discrimination, internalized stigma, rejection sensitivity) influence mental health, substance use, sexual risk behavior, and relationship functioning among SGM individuals and couples. He is also interested in developing and testing interventions to improve health and relationships in these populations. Finally, Dr. Feinstein is also a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Illinois.
- Sexual and gender minority (SGM) health: Overall, my program of research focuses on understanding and reducing the broad range of health disparities affecting SGM populations, including mental health problems, substance use, and HIV/STIs. I am particularly interested in understanding how different types of stress, including general stress and minority stress (e.g., discrimination, internalized stigma, anxious expectations of rejection) influence health outcomes among SGM individuals, as well as the mechanisms underlying these associations and protective factors that buffer these associations.
- Bisexual and other non-monosexual populations: While I am broadly interested in the health of all SGM populations, I am particularly interested in those who are attracted to more than one gender (e.g., bisexual, pansexual, queer). Accumulating research indicates that bisexual/non-monosexual individuals are at increased risk for negative health outcomes compared to both heterosexual and gay/lesbian individuals, yet they remain underrepresented in research. As such, I am interested in understanding the unique stigma-related stressors affecting bisexual/non-monosexual individuals and their influence on health and relationship functioning.
- SGM relationships/couples: Despite evidence that SGM individuals face unique stressors in their relationships, there has been limited attention to stress and relationship functioning among SGM couples. I am interested in understanding how individual and partner experiences of stress influence relationship functioning (e.g., satisfaction, conflict) among SGM couples. To that end, I use the Actor Partner Interdependence Model to test actor and partner effects of different types of stress (e.g., general stress, minority stress) on different aspects of relationship functioning. I am also interested in using observational measures (e.g., coded interactions between partners) to understand how stress influences communication behavior.
- Prevention and intervention with SGM populations: Finally, I am interested in developing and testing prevention and intervention programs to reduce negative health outcomes among SGM individuals and to improve their well-being and relationship functioning. I am also interested in understanding the mechanisms underlying effective prevention/intervention programs and who benefits most/least from them (e.g., moderators of treatment outcomes). I have been involved in clinical trials of an online HIV prevention program for young men who have sex with men (Keep It Up; PIs: Mustanski, Parsons, & Sullivan) and an HIV prevention and relationship education program for young male couples (2GETHER; PI: Newcomb).
Current Research Funding
2018-2023 Principal Investigator, K08DA045575, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Understanding and reducing HIV risk behavior and substance use among self-identified bisexual adolescent men. The goals of this study are to: (a) understand factors that drive engagement in HIV risk behavior and substance use among self-identified bisexual adolescent men; and (b) develop and pilot test an HIV and substance use prevention intervention for this population.
2018-2019 Principal Investigator, Sexualities Project at Northwestern (SPAN) Faculty Research Funding, Bisexual visibility: Understanding motivations, strategies, and perceived success across contexts. The goal of this study is to advance our understanding of bisexual individuals’ attempts to make their sexual orientation visible in their day-to-day lives.
View Dr. Feinstein’s CV for a complete list of his current/previous research funding and peer-reviewed publications.