Amy Hequembourg, PhD

Amy Hequembourg, PhD.

Senior Research Scientist

Sociology

School of Nursing

Contact Information

1021 Main Street
Buffalo, NY  14203-1016
Phone: (716) 887-3343
Email: ahequemb@ria.buffalo.edu

Primary Research Areas

Health disparities among sexual minorities (i.e., gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals); social inequalities associated with sexual orientation and gender identity; risk taking among vulnerable groups (e.g., sexual minorities, adolescents, heterosexual women); exploring differences in health, discrimination, and self-identity among women (e.g., bisexual compared to lesbian women); developing culturally informed interventions to reduce health disparities and associated risk behaviors among sexual minorities; microaggressions based on sexual orientation; same-sex couples and families; utilizing mixed methods in research.

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Research Agenda

Dr. Hequembourg’s research portfolio is focused on understanding and dismantling health disparities among sexual minorities (i.e., gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals). To this end, the bulk of her research is focused on understanding why sexual minorities experience higher rates of adverse health outcomes (e.g., mental health problems, cancer), elevated rates of health risk behaviors associated with those outcomes (e.g., heavy alcohol use, cigarette smoking), and a higher prevalence of other stressful and traumatic life experiences (e.g., sexual assault, discrimination and microaggressions) compared to heterosexual individuals.

Several ongoing projects focus on these themes, including studies to identify the mechanisms associated with sexual assault among lesbian and bisexual compared to heterosexual women, and to understand the role of microaggressions in mental health outcomes among bisexual women. Other related projects in the planning or review stage include studies to develop and refine a culturally-informed intervention to reduce multiple cancer-related risk factors among sexual minority women, a mixed methods study to understand dating violence among sexual minority youth, and a mixed-method investigation to identify factors that predict alcohol-related IPV in same-sex couples.

Areas of Expertise

Conceptual

  • Health disparities among sexual minorities
  • Sexual victimization among vulnerable groups (women, adolescents, sexual minorities)
  • Unique health concerns and experiences of bisexual women
  • Sexual orientation microaggressions

Methodological

  • Mixed methods (i.e., integration of qualitative and quantitative methodologies and analyses in research)
  • Qualitative methods, particularly face-to-face interviewing and focus groups
  • Proficient in the use of Atlas.ti, a specialty software program to assist with data organization during qualitative analyses
  • The use of Respondent-Driven Sampling, an advanced hybrid snowball recruitment/sampling strategy that uses a coupon referral system and nominal incentives to efficiently reach hidden populations
  • Daily diary studies