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Center for Prevention Research in Social Welfare: Paul Sterzing

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Dr. Paul Sterzing

Paul Sterzing, PhD
Co-Director, Assistant Professor of Social Welfare

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Dr. Paul Sterzing studies polyvictimization among vulnerable adolescent populations with a particular focus on family violence and bullying victimization among sexual and gender minority youth. Dr. Sterzing is currently 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. This study will be the first to provide a comprehensive examination of their victimization experiences across these different contexts and perpetrators. 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. Please visit www.speakout.berkeley.edu for more information.

Dr. Sterzing studies:

  1. Familial typologies—violent, non-violent adversity, and homo/transnegative microaggressive—that increase the risk for mental health and behavioral problems, bullying victimization, and polyvictimization;

  2. Multi-level protective factors—coping strategies, attributional styles, family functioning including sexual and gender minority affirming family environments, social supports, school climates—implicated in the reduction of bullying victimization and related consequences.

Dr. Sterzing currently works with graduate students interested in studying:

  1. Family typologies and pathways that increase risk for school-based and online bullying victimization and polyvictimization across different environmental contexts and perpetrators;

  2. Family-level homo/trans-negative microaggressions and their impact on adolescent mental and behaviorial health;

  3. Protective influence of family-level homo/trans-positivity;

  4. Role of gender-based microaggressions in youth sexual violence;

  5. Prevention strategies for bullying victimization, polyvictimization, and family-level homo/trans-negative microaggressions.

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