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Ryan Wade

Assistant Professor

headshot of Ryan Wade


(217) 300-4682

School of Social Work
1010 W. Nevada St.
Urbana, IL
Office: 2111


SOCW 552: Mental Disorders
SOCW 210: Queer Visibility

What I Do

My substantive area of research examines social determinants of health and health disparity among LGBTQ people of color. I focus predominantly on psychological health outcomes (e.g., depression, anxiety, self-esteem), and secondarily on sexual health and well-being among this population. I also examine the ways in which stressors (e.g., racism, discrimination, stigma, etc.) across multiple
socioecological levels contribute to disproportionate health risk among these populations.


Ryan Wade earned his PhD in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 2018, and was a Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture, and Health (CRECH) Scholar. He earned his MSW in Interpersonal Practice and Mental Health from the University of Michigan School of Social Work in 2013, and his BA in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2010. Dr. Wade has worked as a clinical intern in higher education and as a licensed clinical practitioner in private practice. Dr. Wade was also a certified HIV test counselor in the state of Michigan for four years.


Professor Wade is currently investigating a phenomenon known as Racialized Sexual Discrimination (RSD), as experienced by gay/bisexual men of color on mobile apps and websites used for dating and sexual networking. He uses mixed methods to develop, validate, and refine a multidimensional scale of RSD. He also uses quantitative methods to examine the association between RSD sub-scales and markers of pyschological well-being (e.g., depressive symptoms and feelings of self-worth).

Selected Publications

  • Wade, R. M. & Harper, G. W. (in press). Racialized sexual discrimination (RSD) in online sexual networking: Moving from discourse to measurement. The Journal of Sex Research. https://
  • Wade, R. M. & Harper, G. W. (in press). Toward a multidimensional construct of racialized sexual discrimination (RSD): Implications for scale development. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity.
  • Wade, R. M., & Harper, G. W. (2020). Racialized Sexual Discrimination (RSD) in the age of online sexual networking: Are gay/bisexual men of color at elevated risk for adverse psychological health? American Journal of Community Psychology, 65(3-4), 504-523. doi: 10.1002/ajcp.12401
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