Current Projects

Current Projects

Student Health Adjustment & Relationship Experiences (SHARE) Study

Welcome to the online source for information about the Student Health Adjustment and Relationship Experiences Study (SHARE)! On this page, you can learn more about the goals of this project and the research team.

This exciting new study is being conducted on 15 campuses across the United States with students, faculty, staff and campus administrators. As part of this project, researchers are seeking to better understand the role of stigma in partner violence among sexual minority (LGBQ+) individuals. This research project evaluates a new sexual stigma model for intimate partner violence and examines the relation between LGBQ+ students’ experiences of stigma along with social, emotional, psychological, and behavioral factors that may increase risk for intimate partner violence.

All student participants must be enrolled as an undergraduate at one of the participating universities and must be between the ages of 18 and 24. Faculty, staff and campus administrators must be employed by a participating university and must be 18 years or older.

If you have questions about this study or would like to receive a link to the survey to participate, please contact the SHARE research team at


This study is being funded through a generous grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and is led by researchers from the University of Nebraska Lincoln (Dr. Katie Edwards) and East Carolina University (Dr. Heather Littleton).

Katie Edwards

Katie M. Edwards

Principal Investigator


Katie Edwards

Katie Edwards, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL) and the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families, and Schools. Dr. Edwards’ interdisciplinary program of research aims to utilize research data to implement and evaluate violence prevention and intervention initiatives and policies. Over the past ten years, she has published more than 90 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, many of which are directly related to the proposed study. Dr. Edwards has experience working on large-scale, interdisciplinary, community- and campus-based studies, including those currently funded by CDC, NIH, and DOJ (in addition to this NSF-funded project). Dr. Edwards is committed to conducting research that informs prevention and policy efforts on a broader scale, in addition to ensuring that her research directly benefits participating communities and schools.

Heather Littleton

Heather Littleton

Co-principal Investigator


Heather Littleton

Heather Littleton, Ph.D., is a Full Professor in the Department of Psychology at East Carolina University. She is a licensed psychologist and health services provider (NC Lic. 3752). She has extensive clinical experience and training working with individuals who have experienced trauma, including victims of interpersonal violence. Dr. Littleton has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles, the vast majority of which focus on trauma and trauma recovery, including following sexual assault and IPV. She also has previously conducted multiple cross-sectional and longitudinal online studies with women who have experienced interpersonal trauma, including childhood sexual abuse and sexual assault.

Additional team members include faculty, staff, administrators, and students at each of the participating universities who are assisting in the planning and implementation of the project.

FAQs for Students

Who is participating in this study?
Fifteen colleges and universities throughout the US have been selected to participate in this study. Students, faculty, staff and campus administrators from the selected schools will be participating.

What are the requirements for participation?
Students must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate at a participating school, 18-24 years of age and take at least some classes on the physical campus. Faculty, staff and campus administrators must be employed by a participating university and at least 18 years of age.

What will I be asked to do if I participate?
If you choose to participate in this study, you will be asked to complete two confidential online surveys, six months apart (one in the fall semester and one in the spring semester). These surveys will ask you about your attitudes toward yourself and other groups of individuals (including LGBQ+ individuals), your psychological adjustment, social support, and alcohol use. You will also be asked questions about your experiences in romantic and sexual relationships, including whether you experienced unwanted sex or any form of aggressive behavior from a dating or sexual partner.

Will I be paid for taking part in this research?
We will not be able to pay you for the time you volunteer while being in this study. However, if you participate you will have the chance to enter a raffle to win one of five $50 Amazon gift cards being awarded to students at your campus for completing each survey. In other words, for taking both surveys, you have the chance to win one of 10, $50 gift cards.

How will the data be managed/shared?
Throughout data collection, care will be taken to ensure preservation of all data. All quantitative data will be downloaded from Qualtrics on a weekly basis and a copy will be stored on a secure, password protected server. Only the principal investigators and a few other key personnel (e.g., graduate students, postdoctoral scholar) will have access to the data.

If you would like to have your data removed, you can contact us requesting that we remove your data from the study. However, we can only do this if you provided your name in the gift card/future contact section of the survey.

De-identified data will be made available for access and sharing within one year of publication of the primary study findings. The prepared dataset will not include identifying information (e.g., names) about participants. Research participants and schools will be identified by number; institutional names will not be included in the data set. Any information that could potentially identify a participating school will be removed from the data set.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the study?
You may contact the Principal Investigators at 402-472-2448 (Dr. Edwards) or 252-328-6488 (Dr. Littleton).

Faculty/Staff Consent Form

Student Consent Form

Additional Resources

If you would like to learn more about the topics that we are focusing on in this study, please reach out to one of the organizations listed below:

LGBT National Youth Talkline

The LGBT National Help Center offers free and confidential peer counseling and information on local resources for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth up to age 25.

Trevor Lifeline

The Trevor Project runs the nation’s only 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention hotline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning people ages 13 to 24.

National Sexual Assault Hotline

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline by partnering with local sexual assault service providers across the country. It is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a network of local crisis centers that offer free and confidential emotional support to people considering suicide or who are in emotional distress. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

The National Domestic Violence hotline offers free, confidential and immediate support by trained volunteers via phone and online chat to victims of family and dating abuse.