Profile for Jason Sumontha

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FirstGeneration badge,
FriendlyFace badge, I identify as a queer cis-man
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Specialty area(s)

Developmental and Community Psychology; sexual orientation and gender diversity; parenting and socialization; child development; LGBTQ+ parents; resilience; family processes

Brief biography

Jason Sumontha, Ph.D., earned his doctoral degree from the University of Virginia where he studied the qualities that promote health among diverse family systems, with a focus on child development, parenting, and family functioning among LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) parents and their children. Prior to that, he received his B.A. in psychology from the University of Minnesota where he worked in the lab of Dr. Richard Lee, examining socialization and ethnic identity among Korean youth and adults who were adopted internationally by White families.

Dr. Sumontha's primary research interests focus on ways to promote the positive development and health of LGBTQ+ families, considering their social context and intersections of identity. This includes:

  1. Resilience and protective factors among LGBTQ+ parents and their children
  2. The intersections between sexual orientation, gender identity, race, socioeconomic status, and other marginalized social statues 
  3. The application of research on queer families to policy, practice, and law

At UWL, he is currently teaching courses in cross-cultural psychology and in the at-risk child and youth care minor. If interested in Dr. Sumontha's research or teaching, you are encouraged to reach out to him via email or by visiting his office in person. 

Current courses at UWL

PSY 282: Cross-Cultural Psychology
CYC 301: Overview of Child and Youth Care


Ph.D., University of Virginia (Developmental & Community Psychology)

M.A., University of Virginia (Developmental & Community Psychology)

B.A., University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (Major: Psychology)

Teaching history

University of Virginia:
PSYC 4559 Modern Families: Parenting and Child Development in Diverse Family Systems
PSYC 3460 Psychological Study of Children, Families, and the Law


Research and publishing

  1. Patterson, C. J., Tate, D. P., Sumontha, J., & Xu, R. (2018). Sleep difficulties among sexual minority adults: Associations with family relationship problems. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 5(1), 109-116.
  1. Sumontha, J., Farr, R. H., & Patterson, C. J. (2017). Children’s gender development: Associations with parental sexual orientation, division of labor, and gender ideology. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 4(4), 438-450.

  2. Sumontha, J., Farr, R. H., & Patterson, C. J. (2016). Coparenting and social support among lesbian, gay, and heterosexual adoptive couples. Journal of Family Psychology, 30(8), 987-996.
  1. Tornello, S. L., Blanchfield, B. V., & Sumontha, J. (2015). LGBTQ romantic relationships. Oxford Bibliographies Online: Psychology.
  1. Patterson, C. J., & Sumontha, J. (2015). Children with LGBQ parents, gender development and identity. SAGE encyclopedia for LGBTQ Studies.

In Preparation: 

  1. Sumontha, J., Tornello, S. L., & Patterson, C. J. (In preparation). Stigmatization and parenting stress among gay fathers: An examination of the mediational role of relationship quality

  2. Simon, K. A., Sumontha, J., Lee, S., Kim, A., Farr, R. H., & Lee, R. M. (In preparation). The Effects of Colorblindness and Parent-Child Relationship Quality on Parent’s Perceived Discrimination among adolescent Korean Adoptees. 



Ashley Edwards and Jessica Peterson, both Communication Studies; Daniel Hyson and Jason Sumontha, both Psychology; and Moira Ozias, Student Affairs Administration; received a CASSH Small Grant. The grant, "Racial Justice and Equity at UWL: Investing in Our Community," allows them to bring Rowen Thomas to campus to hold a customized workshop with CASSH faculty and staff. It will allow them to work on best practices to close equity gaps with underrepresented communities. Their workshop will ground individuals in their identities, and have CASSH faculty and staff walk away with action plans to integrate what they learn over the two hour workshop.

Submitted on: Mar. 4