Richard Brandon-Friedman

Permanent URI for this collection

Families in Transition: Development of a Therapeutic Group for Gender-Diverse Youth and Their Caregivers

Professor Richard Brandon-Friedman's academic research focuses on sexual and gender identity development among youth, youth sexual wellbeing, LGBTQ+ identity development, youth sexual behaviors, sexuality discourse within social work, and addressing sexuality within the child welfare system. Professor Brandon-Friedman has spent 15 years working with LGBTQ+ youth and their families in mentoring and clinical capacities. In 2015, he helped found the Riley Hospital Gender Health Program and has worked there clinically and as a researcher since that time.

He continually meets with community members, maintaining a list of needs they have identified. He also works with the community clinically, providing ongoing hands-on experience. When examining research opportunities, Professor Brandon-Friedman starts with the population that would be impacted, turning to the members of the population to see how their needs may fit within funding mechanisms. This grounds his research within community members’ experiences.

Families in Transition is a therapeutic support group designed to meet the needs of gender-diverse youth and their caregivers. Developed collaboratively with GenderNexus, GEKCO, PFLAG Fishers, and members of the gender-diverse community, the group will enhance the social and emotional well-being of participants through psychoeducation, skill development, familial relationship and communication building, and community connectedness.

Professor Brandon-Friedman's translation of community-engaged research into practices that promote health and well-being within the LGBTQ+ community is another excellent example of how IUPUI's faculty members are TRANSLATING their RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE.

Browse

Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 28
  • Item
    Former Foster Youths’ Perceptions of Their Acquisition of Sexual Health Information While in Foster Care
    (The 6th Annual Riley Maternal and Child Health Partners in Leadership Education Excellence, 2016-04-15) Brandon-Friedman, Richard A.; Kinney, Marea K.; Pierce, Barbara; Fortenberry, J. Dennis
    In response to disproportionately high rates of pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and engagement in sexual risk behaviors, a qualitative pilot study of eight former foster youth was conducted. Semi-structured interviews explored relationships with caregivers, opportunities for sexual health information, and comfort making decisions with current sexual health knowledge. Multiple themes were identified and implications for child welfare systems were discussed.
  • Item
    "An Institution Can Have Good Intentions and Still Be Atrocious": Transgender and Gender Expansive Experiences in Social Work Education
    (WMU, 2023) Kinney, M. Killian; Cosgrove, Darren; Swafford, Tayon R.; Brandon-Friedman, Richard A.; School of Social Work
    Educational settings have been found to be challenging arenas for transgender and gender expansive (TGE) youth and young adults due to misgendering, lack of affirming bathrooms, systemic exclusion (e.g., legal names and lack of inclusive gender identity demographic options), and frequent silence or avoidance related to TGE issues. Though studies of TGE adult experiences in higher education are emerging, most explore disaffirming experiences. Social work education focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion, along with how to promote social justice, which suggests more affirming environments for TGE individuals. However, little is known about the experiences of TGE students and even less about faculty in social work education. To help fill this gap, the researchers interviewed 23 TGE social work students and faculty to explore their experiences of gender-related affirmation and challenges in social work educational programs. The findings from a thematic analysis identified examples of affirming and disaffirming experiences and recommendations for improving gender affirmation and inclusion in social work programs. Social work is in a strategic position to serve the needs and impact the social welfare of TGE individuals, starting with educational settings.
  • Item
    Enhancing the psychosocial and sexual well-being of gender-diverse young adults within a multidisciplinary clinic
    (Routledge, 2022-12-27) Brandon-Friedman, Richard A.; Heinz, Marissa “MJ”; School of Social Work
    This chapter focuses on meeting the psychosocial and sexual health needs of gender-diverse young adults through the provision of services within a university hospital-based gender health program. The case study involves a 19-year-old transfeminine youth who has begun the process of hormonal gender affirmation and is navigating the complex process of developing her identity as a transgender woman while exploring her personal, social, and sexual desires. Areas of biases related to care for gender-diverse patients as well as their interactions with others are covered as well.
  • Item
    Social Work Practice with LGBTQ+ Populations
    (Oxford, 2022) Brandon-Friedman, Richard A.; School of Social Work
  • Item
    Gender Differences in Sexual Well-Being and Sexual Identity Development among Youth Formerly in the Foster Care System in the United States
    (MDPI, 2023-02) Brandon-Friedman, Richard A.; Swafford, Tayon R.; School of Social Work
    Little research has heretofore examined differences in the sexual well-being and sexual health outcomes between female and male youth in the foster care system. This cross-sectional study examined these differences and as well as how sexual identity development impacts sexual well-being using a sample of 217 youth formerly in the foster care system. It found that females have lower levels of overall sexual well-being, lower scores on several components of sexual well-being, and more negative sexual health outcomes than males. The four domains of sexual identity development explored all predicted overall sexual well-being for both females and males, with a pronounced negative impact of being a gay male. These results support the importance of sexual identity development and indicate that the sexual health needs of females within the foster care system are not being addressed as well as those of their male counterparts. To address these discrepancies professionals and caregivers working with youth in the foster care system need to be attuned to the specific needs of female youth and work to address these needs in a manner that considers their gender.
  • Item
    “An Institution Can Have Good Intentions and Still Be Atrocious": Transgender and Gender Expansive Experiences in Social Work Education
    (2023) Kinney, M. Killian; Cosgrove, Darren; Swafford, Tayon R.; Brandon-Friedman, Richard A.
    Educational settings have been found to be challenging arenas for transgender and gender expansive (TGE) youth and young adults due to misgendering, lack of affirming bathrooms, systemic exclusion (e.g., legal names and lack of inclusive gender identity demographic options), and frequent silence or avoidance related to TGE issues. Though studies of TGE adult experiences in higher education are emerging, most explore disaffirming experiences. Social work education focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion, along with how to promote social justice, which suggests more affirming environments for TGE individuals. However, little is known about the experiences of TGE students and even less about faculty in social work education. To help fill this gap, the researchers interviewed 23 TGE social work students and faculty to explore their experiences of gender-related affirmation and challenges in social work educational programs. The findings from a thematic analysis identified examples of affirming and disaffirming experiences and recommendations for improving gender affirmation and inclusion in social work programs. Social work is in a strategic position to serve the needs and impact the social welfare of TGE individuals, starting with educational settings.
  • Item
    Intersections between Body Image, Sexual Identity, and Sexual Well-Being among Gender-Diverse Youth
    (Routledge, 2021) Brandon-Friedman, Richard A.; Snedecor, Rachel; Ramseyer Winter, Virginia
    Body image, sexual identity, sexual well-being, and gender identity interact in complex ways in youths’ lives. While separate concepts, they inherently intertwine as each affects the other socially, emotionally, developmentally, and physically. Gender-diverse youth must navigate the development of their gender and sexual identities in a social environment that often stigmatizes them while also confronting gender dysphoria that can harm their body image. Disruptions in the development of gender and sexual identities and negative body image can lead to reduced levels of sexual well-being, which can negatively impact gender-diverse youths’ overall well-being. This chapter reviews literature regarding body image, sexual and gender identity development, and sexual well-being among gender-diverse youth, with a focus on how the four aspects of gender-diverse youths’ lives intersect. It concludes with recommendations for social work practice, education, and research so that social workers can be better attuned to gender-diverse youths’ complex gender-, sexuality-, and body image-based needs.
  • Item
    Exploring Gender Identity with a Photo Diary
    (Routledge, 2021) Kinney, M. Killian; Brandon-Friedman, Richard A.
    Gender identity is an abstract component of one’s identity, yet a person’s physical appearance can be a significant source of anxiety and dysphoria or acceptance and integration. Distinct from individuals’ sex assigned at birth, gender identities refer to the internal sense of self. The social construct of gender identity, however, has been predominantly understood as a continuum or dichotomy of masculinity and femininity. According to J. Butler, gender is a performative act with a basis that lies in socialization, whereas sex is a biological categorization of male, female, or intersex according to scientific indicators, including external genitalia, gonads, internal reproductive organs, and sex chromosomes. When working with transgender people of color, A. A. Singh and V. S. McKleroy note the importance of understanding their resilience and how it may have helped them navigate challenges related to race and ethnicity in addition to gender identity. For affirming care, practitioners need to integrate understanding of intersectionality into their practice.
  • Item
    Sexual Identity
    (ABC-CLIO, 2021) Brandon-Friedman, Richard A.
  • Item
    Working with Transgender and Nonbinary Youth in the Child Welfare System
    (Routledge, 2020) Brandon-Friedman, Richard A.; Karnoski, Ryan; Hall, Seventy F.
    For transgender and nonbinary (TNB) youth, the child welfare system (CWS) is often an unfriendly environment. Many experience continued rejection, discrimination, harassment, and hostility from those who are tasked with protecting them. Working with these youth requires understanding their unique needs and targeted strategies to address concerns related to their gender identities and facilitate healthy development. This chapter begins by exploring the limited data available on the number of TNB youth in the CWS and their experiences within the CWS. Next, the chapter provides recommendations for policy changes to better address the unique needs of TNB youth, before outlining guidelines for working with TNB youth based on a synthesis of prior recommendations. The fourth component of the chapter consists of two case studies, one that explores the experiences of a transgender youth in a pre-adoptive placement and the other looking at a nonbinary youth living in a group home. Following this is a list of resources for professionals seeking additional information on working with TNB youth in the CWS. Through the provision of supportive services within an affirming environment, TNB youth in the CWS can grow and thrive, meeting the primary goals of the CWS.