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Keith J. Watts

Research Interests:
Black LGBTQ+
mental health
Identity and Intersectionality
Dr. Keith J. Watts

Assistant Professor in the College of Social Work.

Affiliate Faculty, African American & Africana Studies

Core Faculty, Center for Health Equity Transformation

Dr. Keith J. Watts' research explores the complex and intersectional experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals with multiple marginalized identities, including Black LGBTQ+ individuals, with a focus on belongingness to identity-based communities. His work aims to optimize these communities' mental health and well-being outcomes by informing programs and practices to improve service delivery and deepen practitioners' cultural sensitivity and humility. Dr. Watts' research has been published in journals such as Race and Social Problems, Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health, Journal of Social Work Education, and Child & Youth Services Review. He received his PhD in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University, his Master of Social Work from Clark Atlanta University, and his Bachelor of Arts from Georgia State University.

Selected Publications:

Watts, K. J., & Thrasher, S.S. (2023). The impact of community belongingness on mental health and well-being among Black LGBTQ adults. Race and Social Problems

Watts, K. J., Wagaman, M. A., Eaton, A. D., Leung, V. W. Y., & Craig, S. L. (2023). Examining the role of peer and family belongingness in the mental health of Black LGBTQ+ youth. Child & Youth Services.

Watts, K. J., Matijczak, A., Tomlinson, C. A., Wagaman, M. A., Murphy, J. L., O’Connor, K., & McDonald, S. E. (2022). Transgender and gender expansive emerging adults: The moderating role of thwarted belongingness on mental health. Psychology & Sexuality.

Watts, K. J., & Bentley, K. J. (2021). Perceptions of gay Black men on the social construction of masculinity and its role in mental health. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health

Dentato, M. P., Verdino, A., Argüello, T. M., & Watts, K. J. (2022). Practice with the gay male community. In M. P. Dentato (Ed.), Social work practice with the LGBTQ+ community: The intersection of history, health, mental health and policy factors (2nd Ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Wagaman, M. A., Gattis, M. N., Watts, K. J., Yabar, M. P., Blair, D., Haynes, T., & Williams, E. G. (2022). The role of schools in supporting students experiencing homelessness: Perceptions of school staff. Children & Schools

Wagaman, M. A., Watts, K. J., Lamneck, V., D’Souza, S., McInroy, L. B., Eaton, A., & Craig, S. (2020). Managing stressors online and offline: LGBTQ+ youth in the Southern United States. Children and Youth Services Review

Wagaman, M. A., Alessi, E., Goffnett, J., Watts, K. J., Iacono, G., Thomas, D., Paceley, M. S., & Craig, S. (2019). Interrupting hetero- and cisnormativity in social work programs: LGBTQ+ student strategies for increasing inclusion. Journal of Social Work Education.