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Rockway Institute


Rockway Institute Overview

The Rockway Institute, a national center for LGBT psychology research, education and public policy, advances the use of scientific and professional expertise to counter anti-gay prejudice and inform public policies affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.

The Institute's view is that public opinion, policies, and programs should be shaped by the facts about LGBT lives, not by political ideology. A primary goal is to organize the most knowledgeable scientists, mental health professionals, and physicians in the United States to provide accurate information about LGBT issues to the media, legislatures, and courts. In addition, the Institute conducts research to answer the nation's most pressing LGBT policy questions in the areas of couple/family relations, mental health, education, and health care.

Rockway Institute Initiatives

To carry out its programs, the Rockway Institute draws on a 19-member National Advisory Board, 21 core faculty members at Alliant International University’s Graduate Schools (including California School of Professional Psychology, the largest training institution for clinical psychologists in the U.S.), and a large group of professionals located throughout the country.  In collaboration with other organizations, the Institute calls upon these experts to provide accurate information to the media, legislatures, and the courts.  The Institute also serves as a “go-to” resource for other groups that need experts and research information about LGBT issues in their public education and advocacy activities.

Areas of LGBT expertise at Rockway Institute include:

  • Couple relationships and same-sex marriage
  • Lesbian/gay parenting and child development
  • LGBT youths in families and schools
  • False claims by “ex-gay” groups
  • Effects of discrimination in the workplace, health-care, and religious communities
  • Mental health and substance abuse
  • Aging and the elderly
  • Successful coping with minority stress
  • Transgender healthcare

Funding for the Institute’s Initiatives

The Rockway Institute relies on private donations and grants for its operations. Tax-deductible contributions by check can be made out to Alliant Educational Foundation (specifying Rockway Institute in the memo line or a separate note) and sent to Alliant Educational Foundation, 10455 Pomerado Road, San Diego, CA 92131.

Rockway Institute

New Certificate in LGBT Psychotherapy for Professionals

Learn more about our new Rockway Institute Certificate in Affirmative LGBT Psychotherapy.


The Rockway Institute was founded by Dr. Robert-Jay Green during his tenure at CSPP as Distinguished Professor of Clinical Psychology in the PhD program on the San Francisco campus (currently retired). The Institute was named in memory of the late Alan Rockway, a pioneering psychologist who helped write and defend the first lesbian and gay employment non-discrimination ordinance to be approved in a major urban area in the U.S.(Dade County, Florida, 1977). Passage of this ordinance became a pivotal event in LGBT history because of the widely televised efforts by Anita Bryant, Jerry Falwell, and their anti-gay followers to repeal it. He also was one of the founders of Bi-Pol in San Francisco, a group advocating for the equal rights of bisexual people. Dr. Rockway started two of the nation's first LGBT mental health programs—in Miami, Florida, and Berkeley, California.


Rockway Institute for LGBT Psychology & Public Policy Scientific Advisory Board Members

  • Alvin Baum, LCSW, Psychotherapist and Community Leader, San Francisco
  • Connie S. Chan, PhD, Chair, Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs, University of Massachusetts, Boston
  • Susan D. Cochran, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Jack Drescher, MD, Psychiatrist, Training and Supervising Analyst, William Alanson White Psychoanalytic Institute, New York; Editor, Journal of Gay and Lesbian Psychotherapy
  • Oliva Espin, PhD, Professor (Emerita) of Women’s Studies, San Diego State University
  • Linda Garnets, PhD, Affiliated Professor of Psychology, Women’s Studies, and LGBT Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Terry Gock, PhD, MPA, Director, Asian Pacific Family Center, Pacific Clinics, Los Angeles
  • Beverly Greene, PhD, Professor of Psychology, St. John’s University, New York
  • Douglas C. Haldeman, PhD, Counseling Psychologist in Independent Practice; Professor, John F. Kennedy University, Pleasant Hill, CA
  • Janie Long, PhD, Director of LGBT Student Services, Duke University
  • Shannon Minter, Esq., Legal Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights, San Francisco
  • Kate O’Hanlan, MD, Gynecologic Oncology Associates, Portola Valley, CA; former president, Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
  • Charlotte Patterson, PhD, Professor of Psychology, University of Virginia
  • Esther Rothblum, PhD, Professor of Women’s Studies, San Diego State University; Editor, Journal of Lesbian Studies
  • Ritch C. Savin-Williams, PhD, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Cornell University
  • Judith Stacey, PhD, Professor of Sociology, New York University
  • Michael R. Stevenson, PhD, Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Northern Arizona University

Current Rockway Institute Research Projects


LGBT Scientific Accuracy in Media Project

Funded in part by a grant from the Gill Foundation, the Rockway Institute is assembling a national cadre of 75-100 scientists studying LGBT issues to convey the results of their research to the media. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) will provide media training to these experts, and we will deploy them for television, radio, and print media interviews, especially when spokespeople are needed on talk shows to debate antigay ideologues or as commentators on current LGBT events. In addition, Rockway Institute will write (and GLAAD will help distribute to news media) a steady stream of press releases, a public policy newsletter, and public policy reports describing the latest LGBT research findings with policy implications. In this way, the Institute will serve as a scientific counterpoint to antigay groups distributing misinformation and propaganda to the media.


Emotional Intelligence in Children of Lesbian, Gay, or Heterosexual Parents

This study being conducted by researcher Shawn Giammattei examines parenting styles that may be associated with the emotional intelligence of children raised by lesbian, gay male, or heterosexual parents. Of special importance, the emotional intelligence of the children is being measured not only through self-report questionnaires but also by teachers’ ratings of the children in the three types of families.  This study is likely to have significant implications for legal and social policy pertaining to lesbians and gay men’s parenting rights (child custody, adoption).


Gay Male Couples Longitudinal Follow-up Study

This study being conducted by researcher Jason Jones will follow-up on a sample of 126 gay male couples whose interactional patterns were carefully assessed 8 years ago by CSPP researcher Kevin Campbell. The follow-up study seeks to determine which couples stayed together versus separated, and what are the predictors and reasons for breaking-up over an 8-year period. Variables examined at the initial assessment included the partners’ closeness, openness of communication, and intrusiveness with each other. Variables examined at the second assessment include whether the couple is still together and, if so, their current levels of satisfaction with the relationship. For couples who are separated, reasons for breaking-up also are assessed. The long-range goal is to design intervention programs that will help gay couples maintain satisfying, committed, long-term relationships.


Comparing Lesbian, Gay, and Heterosexual Couples from the Mid-1970s to 2000

This study being coordinated by researcher Gabrielle Gotta compares responses to the same questionnaire from a national sample of lesbian, gay male, and heterosexual couples in the mid-1970s to a different national sample of such couples in the year 2000. The mid-1970s data originally were collected by researchers Phillip Blumstein and Pepper Schwartz at the University of Washington and are archived at Radcliffe College. The more recent data were collected by Esther Rothblum, Sondra Solomon, and Kimberly Balsam at the University of Vermont and have been given to the Rockway Institute for the present study. Comparing these two cohorts will shed light on what changes, if any, have occurred in these three types of couple relationships over the last 30 years in the United States.


Gay Men’s Coming-Out Follow-up Study

This study being conducted by researcher Robert McMillan will follow-up on 155 gay men studied 10 years ago by researcher Kevin Pedretti. Of these men, 127 had come out to their parents whereas 28 had not come out to their parents between the ages of 18 and 36. Although there have been several studies of the initial coming-out process, there have been few studies of what happens to family relationships afterwards. This 10-year follow-up study will examine changes in parent/son relationships as a function of length of time being out and as a function of the kinds of conversations about being gay that parents and sons have after coming out. The ultimate goals are to understand what factors predict parents’ levels of closeness, openness of communication, and intrusiveness after the initial disclosure, and to design intervention programs to improve family relationships of gay men.


All Couples Research Project at Rockway Institute

The Rockway Institute invites couples throughout the U.S. and Canada to help us understand what makes all kinds of couple relationships work. All responses to this online survey are kept strictly confidential.

This study seeks to enroll 8,000 partners/spouses in all kinds of couples including:

  • Same-sex couples
  • Male/female couples
  • Couples from all racial/ethnic groups including inter-racial couples
  • Couples from all parts of the U.S. and Canada

Benefits of participating in this study:

  • You can choose to receive a summary of the results when the research is completed
  • We expect you will find the questions thought-provoking and relevant to your life
  • You will be making an important contribution to understanding what makes couple relationships work well over time

To participate in this survey, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be in a couple relationship for at least one year
  • Be able to read and write English
  • It is not necessary for both members of a couple to fill-out the survey. However, if both members of the couple are willing to participate, one of them should complete the survey first. Then he or she will be given instructions that will allow the other member to participate separately.

Participate Now

For questions about the study, please contact Robert-Jay Green, Executive Director, Rockway Institute, California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University by email at

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