Kalina Fahey (she/her) is conducting cutting-edge research on helping understand and find ways to reduce stress for LGBTQ+ groups while addressing LGBTQ+ health disparities.
Originally from San Diego, Kalina completed a master's in psychology at San Diego State University. Kalina is now a 5th-year psychology Ph.D. candidate at Oregon State with a concentration in health. Kalina is advised by Dr. Anita Cservenka and Dr. Sarah Dermody.The psychology program is part of the School of Psychological Science in the College of Liberal Arts.
Kalina chose to come to Oregon State because she was excited about the opportunity to work with Dr. Sarah Dermody, "… she's an expert in quantitative methods and is great at thinking through…top-notch research designs, specifically in addiction and LGBTQ+ health." Dr. Sarah Dermody is currently serving a courtesy appointment with OSU.
Kalina told us how her dissertation covers "...two different domains…The first is looking at how stress impacts LGBTQ+ health broadly. And then the second is looking at the religious and spiritual experiences in LGBTQ+ communities and how that relates to health." Kalina's research is unique because it is experimental. The methodology allows her to "...actually see in real time that experiencing unique stress actually causes poor health outcomes."
"[My] dissertation is adapting [the] stress paradigm used in substance use research where you bring people into the lab, and you give them a guided meditation [and a] stress experience based on something that's… happened to them and adapting that specifically for minority stress, and then seeing how it impacts alcohol-related outcomes like craving…."
Kalina is ensuring participants are comfortable with the experience "because if [the participants are] not, then maybe we can't adopt minority stress in an experimental way because it's too stressful and unsafe."
While the research Kalina is currently conducting is a pilot study, she is looking at the future. She hopes to expand the study to include sexual minority men, trans, and gender-expansive individuals, with a goal of representing more identities.