JEREMY GOLDBACH joined the USC School of Social Work in 2012 after completing both his master's and doctoral degrees in social work at The University of Texas at Austin. His work at UT-Austin was funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, specializing in prevention science.
His research is broadly focused on the relationship between social stigma, stress and health among minority populations. His work seeks to identify and measure stigma, and develop interventions that address these unique determinants of health. He currently holds funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for psychometric instrument development (2014-16); the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (Loan Repayment Program, 2013-17); the Department of Defense to examine the behavioral health needs of active duty LGBT service members (2015-17) as well as to test a neuro-feedback intervention (2016-18); and The Trevor Project to explore pathways of suicidality among LGBTQ youth (2015-16). Since joining the faculty at USC, Goldbach has also been funded by the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Institute and through the Zumberge Small Grant Program.
He serves as a member-at-large for the Society for Social Work and Research and sits on the Council on Social Work Education’s Council on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression and the National Association of Social Workers’ National Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues.
His practice background includes both clinical and community organizing. Before returning for his doctoral education, Goldbach oversaw a large community-organizing project in Texas that funded 32 community coalitions to reduce substance use concerns through environmental, policy-based strategy. His teaching interests include direct social work practice, human behavior and research with vulnerable populations.
It was a “eureka!” moment for assistant professor Jeremy Goldbach that led him to focus his research career on substance use prevention and intervention for Latino and LGBT adolescents. “It hit me all of a sudden that maybe we were spending so much time on the outcomes that we were completely overlooking the unique circumstances that led these kids to make poor health decisions,” he said.
Most adolescents deal with stress at some point during their youth, but how that stress is managed varies greatly not only between individuals, but also from one community to another. Risk behaviors and their resulting negative outcomes play a significant role in how adolescents act out in the face of stress. Goldbach’s research explores what goes into making the choice to engage in risk behaviors and what cultural stressors may influence that choice.
Stressful experiences that are unique to certain populations (i.e., minority groups) sometimes lead to negative outcomes. “Instead of focusing on just the individual outcome, we may be able to help youths to change how they interpret and manage stressors,” said Goldbach. “Then those negative outcomes will be subsequently affected.”
As a young researcher at USC, Goldbach plans to continue collaborating with his long-time mentor, Dr. Richard Cervantes, a clinical psychologist who has studied Latino-specific health and cultural concerns for more than 30 years. Goldbach and Cervantes have worked together to identify the unique stress experiences of Latinos, such as intergenerational conflict or losing a family member to deportation. The challenge they face now is determining whether interventions that address stress, rather than its manifestations, will reduce the likelihood of engaging in risky behavior for relief.
“How can we adapt the curriculum and interventions we use to other cultures and groups to make it resonate and be more meaningful?” Goldbach said. “We can treat the issue, certainly, but we also need to be looking further upstream at the cause. If you don’t give kids some other way to manage their stress, they will just find ways to do it themselves. If it’s not drugs, it will be something else.”
Goldbach is also focusing his attention on another vulnerable population, as evidenced by his award-winning doctoral dissertation, “Toward the Prevention of Substance Use in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth,” which received recognition from the Journal of Social Work Practice in Addictions.
Although Goldbach is still in the formative stages of identifying how stressors related to victimization, school policies, family relationships, and discrimination affect LGBT youth and lead to negative health outcomes, he said his experiences working with Latino adolescents has informed his approach with LGBT youth and provided a valuable framework for understanding their unique needs.
“We need better measurements of the stressors in this population,” he said. “For example, there is a tendency to think that families simply accept or reject their child when they come out, but these are likely not two ends on the same continuum, and we need to understand this and other complicated mechanisms much more accurately before we can think about intervention.”
Goldbach, J.T., Berger Cardoso, J. & Cervantes, R. (in press). Cultural stress and problem drinking among Latino adolescents. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.
Goldbach, J.T. and Castro, C. (2016). Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender service members in a post-DADT world. Current Psychiatry Reports, 18(6), 1-7.
Talley, A., Gilbert, P., Mitchell, J., Goldbach, J.T., Marshall, B. & Kaysen, D. (2016). Addressing Gaps on Risk and Resilience Factors for Alcohol Use Outcomes in Sexual and Gender Minority Populations. Drug and Alcohol Review.
Cardoso, J.B., Goldbach, J.T., Cervantes, R.C. & Swank, P. (2016). Stress and multiple substance use behaviors among Hispanic adolescents. Prevention Science, 17(2), 208-17.
Goldbach, J.T., Mereish, E. & Burgess, C. (R&R). Sexual Orientation Disparities in the Use of Emerging Drugs. Substance Use & Misuse.
Goldbach, J.T. and Gibbs, J. (2015). Strategies employed by sexual minority adolescents to cope with minority stress. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 2(3), 297-306.
Goldbach, J.T., Schrager, S., Dunlap, S. & Holloway, I. (2015). The Application of Minority Stress Theory to Marijuana Use in Sexual Minority Adolescents. Substance Use & Misuse, 50(3), 366-375.
Goldbach, J.T., Fisher, B. & Dunlap, S. (2015). Traumatic Experiences and Drug Use by LGB Adolescents: A Critical Review of Minority Stress. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 15(1), 90-113.
Orellana, E., Goldbach, J.T., Rountree, M. & Bagwell, M. (2015). Access to mental health and substance abuse services by people living with HIV/AIDS: The case manager perspective. Health & Social Work, 40(2), e10-e14.
Rice, E., Petering, R., Winetrobe, H., Rhoades, H., Goldbach, J.T., Plant, A., Montoya, J. & Kordic, T. (2015). Cyberbullying perpetration and victimization among middle-school students. American Journal of Public Health, 105(3), e66-72.
Gibbs, J. and Goldbach, J.T. (2015). Religious Conflict, Sexual Identity, and Suicidal Behaviors among Sexual Minority Youth. Archives of Suicide Research, 19(4), 472-488.
Cervantes, R.C., Goldbach, J.T., Santisteban, D. & Varela, A. (2014). Self-harm among Hispanic adolescents: Investigating the role of cultural stressors. Journal of Adolescent Health, 55(5), 633-639.
Cervantes, R., Berger Cardoso, J. & Goldbach, J.T. (2014). Examining differences in culturally based stress among clinical and non-clinical Hispanic Adolescents. Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology.
Goldbach, J.T., Tanner-Smith, E., Bagwell, M. & Dunlap, S. (2014). Minority stress and substance use in sexual minority adolescents: A meta-analysis. Prevention Science, 15(3), 350-363.
Sterzing, P., Auslander, W. & Goldbach, J.T. (2014). An Exploratory Study of Bullying Involvement for Sexual Minority Youth: Bully Only, Victim Only, and Bully/Victim Roles. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 5(3), 321-337.
Holleran Steiker, L., Hopson, L. & Goldbach, J.T. (2014). Evidence for Site-Specific, Systematic Adaptation of Substance Prevention Curriculum with High Risk Youth in Community and Alternative School Settings. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 23(5), 307-317.
Cervantes, R., Padilla, A., Klip, L. & Goldbach, J.T. (2013). Acculturation Related Stress among Three Generations of Hispanic Adolescents. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 35(4), 451-468.
Cervantes, R.C., & Goldbach, J.T. (2012). Adapting Evidence-Based Prevention Approaches for Latino Adolescents: The Familia Adelante Program – Revised. Journal of Psychosocial Intervention, 21(3), 281-290.
Cervantes, R.C., Goldbach, J.T. & Padilla, A. (2012). Using Qualitative Methods to Revise the Hispanic Stress Inventory. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 34(2), 208-231.
Cervantes, R.C., Goldbach, J.T., Yeung, A. & Rey, T. (2012). Development of a measurement tool to examine environmental strategies and social norms change: Results from a phone survey. The American Journal of Evaluation.
Goldbach, J.T. & Holleran Steiker, L. (2011). An examination of cultural adaptations performed by LGBT identified youth to a culturally grounded, evidence based substance abuse intervention. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 23(2), 188-200.
Goldbach, J.T., Thompson, S. & Holleran Steiker, L. (2011). Special Considerations for Substance Abuse Intervention with Latino Youth. The Prevention Researcher, 18(2), 8-11.
Cervantes, R.C., Goldbach, J.T. & Santos, S. (2011). Familia Adelante: A multirisk prevention intervention for Latino youth. Journal of Primary Prevention.
Holleran Steiker, L., Goldbach, J.T., Hopson, L. & Powell, T. (2011). The value of cultural adaptation processes: Older youth participating as substance abuse Preventionists. Child and Adolescent Social Work.
Holleran Steiker, L., Powell, T., Goldbach, J.T. & Hopson, L. (2011). Dissonance-Based Interventions for Substance Using Alternative High School Youth. Practice, 23(4), 235-252.
Roundtree, M., Goldbach, J.T., Bent-Goodley, T. & Bagwell, M. (2011). HIV/AIDS knowledge and prevention programming in domestic violence shelters: How are we doing?. Journal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services, 10(1), 42-54.
Holleran Steiker, L., Pomeroy, B., Goldbach, J.T. & Sanchez, K. (2011). Adults. In Jordan, C. & Franklin, C (Eds.) Clinical Assessment for Social Workers: Quantitative and Qualitative Methods.: Lyceum Books, Inc.
Montgomery, K. & Goldbach, J.T. (2010). An Empirical and Conceptual Application of Self- Esteem: A Review of the Literature. Perspectives on Social Work, 9, 30-37.
Sen, S., Aguilar, J. & Goldbach, J.T. (2010). Does social capital act as a buffer against HIV risk among migrant men in Sub-Saharan Africa?. The Journal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services, 9(2), 190-211.
Holleran Steiker, L., Goldbach, J.T., Hopson, L., Sagun, D. & Laird, J. (2009). Prevention Science. In Cohen, L. M., Collins, F. L, Young, A. M., McChargue, D. E., & Leffingwell, T. R (Eds.) The Pharmacology and Treatment of Substance Abuse: Evidence and Outcome Based Perspectives. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Holleran Steiker, L. & Goldbach, J.T. (2008). Research to practice: The value of engaging youth in adapting substance abuse prevention interventions.Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Resear, supp. 32, 368A.