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Paul Sterzing

Assistant Professor

PAUL STERZING is an assistant professor at the School of Social Welfare and a graduate of the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Sterzing is currently the co-director of the Center for Prevention Research in Social Welfare (UC Berkeley) and a research affiliate with the Center for Violence and Injury Prevention (Washington University in St. Louis). Dr. Sterzing is a recent recipient of a Regent’s Junior Faculty Fellowship, which is helping to fund his research on developing a new scale on bullying-specific forms of parent support for sexual minority youth.

Dr. Sterzing is also the PI on a three-year study entitled "SpeakOut," which is funded by the National Institute of Justice (2013-IJ-CX-0029; $456,606). SpeakOut will identify sexual and gender minority youth's rate of exposure to more than 40 different forms of victimization across family, peer, school, online and community contexts.

The study will interview 760 sexual and gender minority youth between the ages of 14-19 years old utilizing an online survey advertised through Facebook and LGBTQ youth organizations from across the country. This study will be the first to provide a comprehensive examination of their victimization experiences across these different contexts and perpetrators. In addition, the study will examine different family experiences (e.g., homo/trans-positivity, homo/trans-negativity, violence, and non-violent adversity) that may place some sexual and gender minority youth at lower or higher risk of becoming polyvictimized (i.e., experiencing five or more unique forms of violence each year). The long-term goals of the project are to inform new policies, practices, and interventions that endeavor to prevent and reduce rates of victimization for this adolescent population. 


  • Polyvictimization of vulnerable adolescents
  • Bullying involvement and peer rejection
  • Sexual orientation and gender identity microaggressions
  • Impact of mental and behavioral health problems on rates of revictimization
  • Impact of family-level homo/trans-positivity and negativity on mental health and extra-familial forms of victimization



  • Theories for Multi-Level Practice (SW 200)
  • Seminar in Social Welfare Research (SW 282a / SW 282b)

Current Projects

In the News


Honorable Mention for Outstanding Social Work Doctoral Dissertation Award, Society for Social Work and Research"Risk and Protective Factors for Bullying Victimization among Sexual Minority Youths."

Curriculum Vitae

Expanded Publications

Orsmond, G. I., Shattuck, P. T., Cooper, B. P., Sterzing, P. R., & Anderson, K. A. (2013). Social participation among young adults with an autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 1–10. doi:10.1007/s10803-013-1833-8

Shattuck, P. T., Narendorf, S. C., Cooper, B. P., Sterzing, P. R., Wagner, M., & Taylor, J. L. (2012) Postsecondary education and employment among youth with an autism spectrum disorder. Pediatrics, 129(6), 1042–1049. doi:10.1542/peds.2011-2864

Narendorf, S. C., Shattuck, P. T., Sterzing, P. R., (2011). Mental Health Service Use Among Adolescents with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Psychiatric Services, 62, 975-978. doi: 10.1176/

Shattuck, P. T., Wagner, M., Narendorf, S. C., Sterzing, P. R., & Hensley, M. (2011). Post-high school service use among young adults with an autism spectrum disorder. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 165(2), 141-146. doi: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.279

Auslander, W. F., Sterzing, P. R., Zayas, L. E., & White, N. H. (2010). Psychosocial resources and barriers to self-management in African American adolescents with type 2 diabetes: A qualitative analysis. Diabetes Educator, 36(4), 613-622. doi: 10.1177/0145721710369706

Bender, K., Thompson, S. J., Pollio, D. E., & Sterzing, P. R. (2010). Comparison of social estrangement among youth who are accessing homeless services in St. Louis, Missouri and Austin, Texas. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 20(3), 361-378. doi: 10.1080/10911350903343974