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Core Faculty, Marriage & Family Therapy Program
Clinical Assistant Professor
Primary Branch: MFT@NU Online
Ph.D. in Family Science — University of Maryland
M.S. in Couple and Family Therapy — University of Maryland
B.S. in Family Science — University of Maryland
Academic Bio

Grounded in a commitment to social justice, my program of research seeks to improve the health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people across the lifespan, with careful consideration to their intersectional lived experiences.

Informed by my training as a couple and family therapist, I am always oriented towards the broader social impact of my work as I examine how the interpersonal, familial, and contextual experiences of LGBTQ people inform their quality of life. To do so, I frame my scholarship with a queer/intersectional life course perspective (e.g., Allen, 2017; Allen & Mendez, 2018), and employ both qualitative and quantitative methodologies in my research (e.g., Kim & Allen, 2021; Allen & Golojuch, 2019).

Other Professional Involvement/Leadership Positions

Currently, Dr. Allen is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Family Psychology and an executive board member of the Feminism & Family Studies Section of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). Previously, he was the co-chair of the Qualitative Family Research Network of NCFR.

Dr. Allen is also a clinical fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and an AAMFT-approved supervisor. He is licensed in both Illinois and Washington, DC.

Research Interests
  • LGBTQ health and wellbeing
  • Intersectionality
  • Transgender families
  • Gender and sexuality in families and close relationships
  • Queer theory 
  • Racial socialization
  • Social justice in couple and family therapy
Grants Awarded
  • 2021-2022: The Family Institute at Northwestern University Seed Grant for “Pining for a Pegging: Analreceptive Heterosexual Men Negotiating Stigma & Masculinity.” PIs: Samuel H. Allen, Ph.D., & Jennifer Rafacz, Ph.D.
  • 2019-2020: National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Jesse Bernard Award for Outstanding Research Proposal from a Feminist Perspective for “Redoing Gender, Redoing Family: A Qualitative Examination of Parents Negotiating Their Child’s Nonbinary Gender Identity.” PI: Samuel H. Allen, Ph.D.
Selected Publications & Presentations

Roy, K. R. & Allen, S. H. (2022). Men, families, and the reconceptualization of masculinities. Journal of Family Theory & Review. DOI:10.1111/jftr.12441

Allen, S. H. & Leslie, L. A. (2020). Considering queer heterogeneity: Do immigrant Latinx sexual & gender minorities have poorer health outcomes than their U.S.-born counterparts? Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 32(4), 479-501.

Allen, S. H. & Mendez, S. N. (2018). Hegemonic Heteronormativity: Toward a new era of queer family theory. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 10(1), 70-86.

  • MSFT 430: Power, Privilege & Difference: Practicing Cultural Curiosity & Humility in a Multicultural World
  • MSFT 437: Family Therapy with Children and Adolescents
  • MSFT 414: Behavioral Medicine in Marriage & Family Therapy
  • COUN 422: Foundations of Family, Marital, and Couple Counseling
  • FMSC 330: Family Theories and Patterns
  • FMSC 430: Gender Issues and Families
Academic Activities
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Family Psychology (2019- )
  • Clinical Fellow, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (2019- )
  • Student & New Professional Representative, Feminism & Family Studies Section, National Council of Family Relations (2019-2021)
  • Co-Chair, Qualitative Family Research Network, National Council on Family Relations (2016-2017)
Community Outreach

2021: “Thinking of coming out to your family during the holidays? Why experts suggest 'have an ally on standby'.” Allen interviewed for, and quoted in, Yahoo! News.

2020: “Tackle reopening choices as a couple.” Allen interviewed for, and quoted in, The New York Times.

2019: “Don’t Call Me LGBTQ.” Allen’s opinion published in The Atlantic.

2019: “Some Modern Orthodox Jews will accept their gay sons—under two conditions.” Research covered by, and Allen quoted in, NewNowNext.

2021-2022: Chief Postdoctoral Clinical Scholar Fellowship, The Family Institute at Northwestern University
2020: Wesley Burr Graduate Student Scholarship Award, National Council on Family Relations
2018-2019: Graduate Teaching Fellowship — Teaching & Learning Transformation Center, University of Maryland
2017-2020: University Writing Fellowship, University of Maryland
2014: Rodler-Wood Scholarship for Academic Excellence in the Field of LGBT Studies — Department of Women's Studies, University of Maryland
Professional Memberships
National Council on Family Relations (NCFR)
American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT)