Luis Parra, Ph.D., MS

Assistant Professor
Department of Systems, Populations and Leadership
Room 4348 NURS1

University of Michigan School of Nursing
400 North Ingalls Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5482

Telephone: 734-763-5217


  • LGBTQ Latinx Health
  • Social and Structural Determinants of Health
  • Intersectionality
  • Minority Stress
  • HPA-axis

Dr. Parra approaches science and pedagogy with an intersectional anti-racist and anti-heterosexist perspective. He applies developmental, social, ecological, critical race, queer, and intersectionality theories to investigate how peoples’ racist and heterosexist beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors affect behavioral and mental health among marginalized populations. His work emphasizes how multiple intersecting forms of discrimination impair biopsychosocial adjustment among ethnically and racially diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) adolescents and emerging adults.

Current Research Grants and Programs

  • Healthy Young Men's (HYM) Cohort, 5U01DA036926; Kipke & Goldbach). Focusing on risk and protective factors relating to racial, ethnic, and sexual psychosocial health disparities in Black and Latinx sexual and gender minority emerging adults (Co-I).


Dr. Parra’s teaching expertise includes classroom and online teaching, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and one-on-one mentoring of undergraduate students in the Honor’s program. Dr. Parra uses anti-racist and anti-heterosexist perspectives when teaching courses on applied statistics and global health.

Affiliations / Service

  • Member, International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology (2022 - current)
  • Member, Society for Research on Adolescence Early Career (2019 - current)
  • Member, Society for Research in Child Development (2015 - current)

Notable Awards / Honors

  • The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Ford Foundation Dissertation Year Fellowship, 2018 - 2019
  • University of California Office of the President (UCOP) Dissertation Year Fellowship, 2018 - 2019
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide, 2018
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program, 2015 - 2018
  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Bay Area Training in Affective Science, 2015 - 2017
  • American Psychological Association for Graduate Students - Psi Chi Junior Scientist Fellowship, 2015


  • PhD, University of California - Davis, Davis, CA 2019
  • MS, University of California - Davis, Davis, CA 2015
  • BA, California State University - Northridge, Northridge, CA 2010
  • AA, Ventura County Community Colleges, Camarillo, CA 2004

Publication Highlights

  • O’Brien, R. P., Rhoades, H., Cabrera, J. R., Jr., Parra, L. A., Rusow, J., Schrager, S. M., Goldbach, J. T. (In press). Associations between state legislative activity, minority stress, and suicide attempt among sexual minority adolescents. Annals of LGBTQ Public and Population Health. DOI: 10.1891/LGBTQ-2022-0022

  • Vargas, S. M., Parra, L. A., Rivas, W. A., Payat, S., Mistry, R., Williams, C. R., Gamez, D., Chung, B., Huey, S. J., & Miranda, J. (2023). Recruitment and feasibility of hair cortisol collection in a sample of ethnically and sexually diverse, low-income adults: A qualitative community-partnered participatory research study. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 34(1), 74-101. DOI: 10.1353/hpu.2023.0006

  • Parra, L. A., Spahr, C. M., Goldbach, J. T., Bray. B. C., Kipke, M. D., & Slavich, G. M. (2023). Greater lifetime stressor exposure is associated with poorer mental health among sexual minority people of color. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 79(4), 1130-1155. DOI: 10.1002/jclp.23463

  • Parra, L. A., Helm, J. L., & Hastings, P.D. (2022). Adrenocortical responses of emerging adults in California in the two months following the Pulse Night Club massacre: Evidence for distal stress responses. Comprehensive Psychoneuroendocrinology, 10, 100129. DOI: 10.1016/j.cpnec.2022.100129

  • Mereish, E. H., Parra, L. A., Watson, R. J., & Fish, J. N. (2021). Subtle minority stress and depressive symptoms among sexual and gender minority adolescents of color: Mediating role of self-esteem and sense of mastery. Prevention Science, 23(1), 142-153. DOI: 10.1007/s11121-021-01294-9

  • Parra, L. A., & Hastings, P. D. (2020). Challenges to identity integration indirectly link experiences of heterosexist and racist discrimination to lower waking salivary cortisol in sexually diverse Latinx emerging adults. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 228. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00228

  • Parra, L. A., & Hastings, P. D. (2018). Integrating the neurobiology of minority stress with an intersectionality framework for LGBTQ-Latinx populations. In Santos, C. E. & Toomey, R. B. (Eds.), Envisioning the Integration of an Intersectional Lens in Developmental Science. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 161, 91–108. DOI: 10.1002/cad.20244