Dr. Tornello has three major research interests: Family, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The majority of her work has focused on the role of family composition and parental gender in the family system (children’s development, parental dynamics, and couple functioning). How do variations (e.g., pathways to parenthood or division of unpaid labor) and changes (e.g., divorce) in family composition relate to family members’ development and functioning? Specifically, for this area of work she is interested in the role and experiences of parents across gender and sexual orientation, as it relates to individual development within these differently designed families.
Dr. Tornello’s research also focuses on the unique challenges, strengths, and issues among this population, with a focus on how to harvest the resiliency and minimize the risk impacting sexual and gender minority people and their families. Dr. Tornello hopes that all areas of her research can add to knowledge as well as inform public debates about families, parenting, sexual orientation, gender, and children’s development.