Shannon L. Dunlap
MSW from USC
Areas of Interest:
Shannon’s research is interdisciplinary and centers on adolescent and family development, mental health, stress and support. Her mixed-methods dissertation uses a life history calendar qualitative approach to interview transgender adolescent-parent dyads to explore their stress and support experiences across the adolescent life-span. Additionally, her dissertation includes a quantitative survey to further describe adolescent and parent perceptions of current adolescent psychological distress and school experiences. This research is important because it explores the role of parent- adolescent stress and support for adolescent gender identity development and affirmation.
Shannon earned her MSW from the University of Southern California and spent the 8 years prior to her doctoral training as a clinical social worker with children, families and adolescents. Specifically, she has worked as a clinical social worker within the field of child-adolescent mental health, LGBT adolescent mental health and youth HIV. During her PhD training, Shannon coordinated multiple research projects which included developing research protocols, collecting both quantitative and qualitative data and grant writing. Shannon has developed expertise in qualitative methodology and analysis, family mental health and qualitative dyadic analysis. Shannon used her clinical social work and research experiences within her teaching. During her doctoral education, she taught both MSW and Public Affairs undergraduate courses including human behavior, child and adolescent psychopathology and research methods.
Shannon received funding for her work from the American Psychological Foundation Roy Scrivner Memorial Research Grant and a National Research Service Award (NRSA) F31 predoctoral fellowship from NICHD. Shannon’s funding enabled her to expand her work to explore transgender adolescent-parent stress and support outside the contexts of her dissertation. During her doctoral studies and through her F31, she has collaborated with and been mentored by scholars across multiple institutions including UCLA, USC, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Pitt and University of Hawaii. Through these collaborations, she published a manuscript as a lead author in the Journal of Sexuality Education and has collaborated on multiple manuscripts published in AIDS Care, Substance Use and Misuse, Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, and LGBT Health. Shannon plans to apply knowledge gained to: (1) develop larger grants and context specific interventions to support transgender children, adolescents and their families across multiple social domains; and (2) build upon the broader field of child, adolescent and family research and health.