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Brian A. Feinstein, PhD

Associate Professor

Dr. Brian A. Feinstein (he/him) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology. He obtained his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Stony Brook University in 2015 after completing an APA-accredited internship at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Then, he completed an NIH-funded postdoctoral fellowship (F32) at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University from 2015-2018. Following the completion of his postdoctoral fellowship, he served as a Research Assistant Professor at the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing at Northwestern University from 2018-2020. He joined the Department of Psychology at RFUMS in 2020. Dr. Feinstein is also involved in a number of professional activities including serving as an Associate Editor at Archives of Sexual Behavior and the Behavior Therapist. He is also a licensed clinical psychologist in Illinois.

His research interests include:

  • Sexual and gender minority (SGM) health
  • Bisexuality and pansexuality
  • Stigma-related stress and coping
  • Mental health, substance use, sexual health, and relationship functioning in SGM populations
  • Developing and testing interventions to improve SGM health

Dr. Feinstein directs the Sexuality, Health, and Gender (SHaG) Lab at RFUMS. For updates on current and recent projects, you can visit the lab's website and Facebook page.

Connect with Dr. Feinstein on Twitter: @BFeinsteinPhD

Are You a Prospective Graduate Student?

Dr. Feinstein will be accepting a student for the 2022/2023 academic year.

Current Students

  • Isabel Benjamin, BA (1st year, PhD program)
  • Kate Dorrell, BS (1st year, PhD program)

Current Projects

B*SMART: An online sex education program for bisexual, pansexual, and queer male youth ages 14-17

Principal Investigator: Dr. Brian Feinstein
Funder: National Institute on Drug Abuse (K08DA045575)

The goal of this project is to develop and pilot test an online intervention to increase sexual health knowledge and to decrease sexual risk behavior (including substance use) among bisexual, pansexual, and queer male youth ages 14-17. The feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of the intervention (compared to a waitlist control condition) will be tested in a pilot randomized clinical trial with 60 participants.

Recently Completed Projects

The Bi+ Youth Project

Principal Investigator: Dr. Brian Feinstein
Funder: National Institute on Drug Abuse (K08DA045575)

The goal of this project was to learn about factors that drive engagement in sexual risk behavior and substance use among bisexual, pansexual, and queer male youth ages 14-17. This was accomplished using a mixed-methods approach, which included surveying and interviewing 60 participants about their sexual orientation, sexual decision-making, motivations for substance use, and intervention preferences. Data from this project were used to inform the development of a sex education program tailored to the unique needs of this population (described above).

The Bi+ Visibility Project

Principal Investigator: Dr. Brian Feinstein
Co-Investigators: Dr. Joanne Davila (Stony Brook University) and Dr. Christina Dyar (Northwestern University)
Funders: The American Psychological Foundation and the Sexualities Project at Northwestern

The goal of this project was to learn about bisexual, pansexual, and queer (“bi+”) people’s attempts to make their sexual identity visible to others (referred to as visibility attempts). Specifically, we were interested in answering the following questions:

  • How frequently do bi+ people use different strategies to make their bi+ identity visible to others?
  • Does the frequency of making visibility attempts differ across contexts (e.g., in different environments, with different people)?
  • What motivates bi+ people to make visibility attempts?
  • To what extent do bi+ people perceive different types of visibility attempts as successful in communicating their bi+ identity to others?
  • How do different types of visibility attempts relate to bi+ stressors, aspects of bi+ identity, and health?

These questions were addressed in two phases. First, 715 bi+ people completed a survey focused on visibility attempts, bi+ stressors (e.g., discrimination, internalized stigma), aspects of bi+ identity (e.g., centrality, pride), and health (e.g., depression, anxiety, substance use). Then, 208 bi+ people from the larger sample completed a 28-day daily diary study focused on antecedents and consequences of visibility attempts.

FUNDING AND Publications

Please see Dr. Feinstein’s CV for a complete list of his current/previous research funding and peer-reviewed publications.