Samuel Allen, PhD, LMFT

Core Faculty, Marriage & Family Therapy Program
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University’s Psychology Department


Postdoctoral Clinical Scholar Fellow; Chief Fellow
The Family Institute at Northwestern University

Ph.D. in Family Science
University of Maryland

M.S. in Couple and Family Therapy
University of Maryland

B.S. in Family Science
University of Maryland

Academic Bio

Dr. Samuel Allen (he/him/his) is a clinical assistant professor and a core faculty member in the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy program at Northwestern University. He received his MS in Couple and Family Therapy and his PhD in Family Science from the University of Maryland, from which he also received a graduate teaching certificate. He then completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at The Family Institute at Northwestern University. 

Dr. Allen’s research, teaching, and clinical work are all grounded in an unwavering commitment to social justice. His scholarly expertise centers on the study of gender and sexuality in families—especially among LGBTQ populations—with a particular emphasis on intersectionality and how intersectional minority experiences influence mental and physical health outcomes. His clinical work is client-centered, emotionally focused, and integrative. He specializes in treating couples, sexual and gender minorities, racial minorities, non-monogamous couples, and couples who are interracial, intercultural, and/or interfaith. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Family Psychology, a clinical fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), and an AAMFT-approved supervisor. He is currently licensed in both Illinois and Washington, DC.

Research Interests

  • Gender and sexuality in families and close relationships
  • LGBTQ health and wellbeing
  • Transgender people, identities, and families
  • Intersectionality
  • Queer theory
  • Family theories
  • Racial identity and racial socialization
  • Social justice in couple and family therapy

Grants Awarded

2021-2022— “Pining for a Pegging: Analreceptive Heterosexual Men Negotiating Stigma & Masculinity.” Funded by The Family Institute at Northwestern University Seed Grant. Co-PIs: Samuel H. Allen, Ph.D., & Jennifer Rafacz, Ph.D. 

2019-2020— “Redoing Gender, Redoing Family: A Qualitative Examination of Parents Negotiating Their Child’s Nonbinary Gender Identity.” Funded by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Jesse Bernard Award for Outstanding Research Proposal from a Feminist Perspective. PI: Samuel H. Allen, Ph.D.

Selected Publications & Presentations

Allen, S. H., Fish, J. N., McGuire, J. K., & Leslie, L. A. (2022). Beyond the (family) binary: Family environment heterogeneity among transgender adults. Journal of Marriage & Family, 84(4), 941-961. 

Allen, S. H. (2022). Queering family science: Applications of queer theory for family research & practice. In Adamsons, K., Few-Demo, A., Proulx, C., & Roy K. R. (Eds). Sourcebook of Family Theories and Methodologies: A dynamic approach (3rd ed.). New York: Springer.

Roy, K. R. & Allen, S. H. (2022). Men, families, and the reconceptualization of masculinities. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 14(1), 28-43. 

Kim, H.S. & Allen, S. H. (2021). A double-edged sword? Assessing a structural equation model of dual identity salience and health outcomes among Asian-American sexual minority individuals. Journal of Homosexuality. DOI:10.1080/00918369.2021.1945339.

Allen, S. H. & Leslie, L. A. (2020). Considering queer heterogeneity: Do immigrant Latinx sexual & gender minorities have poorer health outcomes than their U.S.-born counterparts? Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 32(4), 479-501. 

Davis Tribble, B. L., Allen, S. H., Hart, J., Francois, T. F., & Smith-Bynum, M. A. (2019). “No [right] way to be a Black woman”: Exploring gendered racial socialization among Black American women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 43(3), 381-397.

Allen, S. H. & Golojuch, L. A. (2019). “She still doesn’t want me to tell my next-door neighbor:” The familial experiences of Modern Orthodox Jewish gay men. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 15(4), 373-394. 

Allen, S. H. & Leslie, L. A. (2019). Considering the role of nativity in the health and psychological wellbeing of Black LGBT adults. Journal of Homosexuality, 66(3), 1769-1796.

Allen, S. H. & Mendez, S. N. (2018). Hegemonic Heteronormativity: Toward a new era of queer family theory. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 10(1), 70-86.

Kuvalanka, K. A, Allen, S. H., Goldberg, A. E., Munroe, C., & Weiner, J. (2018). The experiences of sexual minority mothers with trans* children. Family Relations, 67(1), 70-87.

Allen, S. H. (2017). Moonlight, intersectionality, and the life course perspective: Directing future research on sexual minorities in family studies. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 9(4), 595-600.

Courses Taught

  • Power, Privilege, and Difference
  • Basic Concepts in Systems Therapy
  • Family Theories and Patterns
  • Gender Issues and Families
  • Family Therapy with Children and Adolescents
  • Behavioral Medicine in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Foundations of Family, Marital, and Couple Counseling
  • Cultural Diversity though Intergroup Dialogue: Gender and Sexuality

Media Coverage

2021: “Thinking of coming out to your family during the holidays? Why experts suggest ‘have an ally on standby’.” Allen interviewed for, and quoted in, Yahoo! News

2020: “Tackle reopening choices as a couple.” Allen interviewed for, and quoted in, The New York Times

2020: “Coronavirus telecommuting changes the dynamic for couples.” Allen interviewed for FOX News 

2019: “Don’t Call Me LGBTQ.” Allen’s opinion published in The Atlantic Magazine

2019: “Some Modern Orthodox Jews will accept their gay sons—under two conditions.” Allen interviewed for, and his research cited by, NewNowNext

Awards and Recognition

  • Chief Postdoctoral Fellow, The Family Institute at Northwestern University (2021)
  • Wesley Burr Scholarship Award, National Council on Family Relations (2020)
  • Graduate Teaching Fellowship, University of Maryland (2018-2019)
  • University Writing Fellowship, University of Maryland (2017-2020)
  • Rodler-Wood Award for Academic Excellence in the Field of LGBT Studies, Department of Women’s Studies, University of Maryland (2014)

Academic Activities

  • Advisory Editor, Family Process (2020 – Present)
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Family Psychology (2019 – Present)
  • Clinical Fellow, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (2019 – Present)
  • Student & New Professional Representative, Feminism & Family Studies Section, National Council on Family Relations (2019 – 2021) 
  • Co-Chair, Qualitative Family Research Network, National Council on Family Relations (2016 – 2017)

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