Adrian J. Ballard

Adrian J. Ballard, MSW, LCSW (he/him/his) is a licensed clinical social worker with post-MSW practice experience in outpatient mental health services. Adrian’s research focuses on the role of sexual socialization and sexuality development in people’s overall mental, emotional, and social wellbeing, across and at intersections of identities and cultures. His dissertation entails development and validation of a measure to assess characteristics of sexual socialization messaging individuals receive and perceive. This will serve as a foundation for the research agenda Adrian intends to pursue, exploring relationships between sexual socialization experiences and psychosocial outcomes, with a particular emphasis on advancing sexual harm prevention innovations. As an educator, Adrian strives to embody a social work practice approach to serving students according to their unique and diverse strengths, needs, and self-determination. 

Adrian’s research interests and teaching philosophy are influenced significantly by his clinical social work experience in a New York State-certified community clinic in rural Upstate New York. There he conducted assessment, diagnosis, and psychotherapy with adolescents, adults, and older adults. He headed a group treatment program for mandated adults convicted or accused of sexual offenses or other problematic sexual behavior. Other prior employment and service experience includes adoptive family services, suicide prevention and crisis intervention, health care, medical education, non-profit, and corporate work in the Washington, DC, metro area. In addition to a PhD, Adrian will be completing a certificate in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. 

Research Interests 

  • Sexual socialization across the lifespan 
  • Gender and sexual diversity and intersectionality 
  • Sexual harm prevention 
  • Social work education advancement and innovation 


Fussell-Ware, D. J., Ballentine, K. L., Flores, A. T., Mangum, L. C., Omowale, S., MacKenzie, K. T., Ballard, A. J., Thyberg, C., & Ashcraft, L. E. (2022). Using the consolidated framework for implementation research to promote anti-racism in social work higher education. Advances in Social Work, 22(2).

Moon, D. J., & Ballard, A. J. (2022). The Comprehensive Framework for Integrated Healthcare Implementation: A realist evaluation of positive parenting in rural primary care in the U.S. Journal of Integrated Care, 30(1), 52-65.

Escobar-Viera, C. G., Melcher, E. M., Miller, R. S., Whitfield, D. L., Gordon, J. D., Jacobson, D. A., Ballard, A. J., Rollman, B. L., & Pagoto, S. (2021). A systematic review of the engagement with social media-delivered interventions for improving health outcomes among sexual and gender minorities. Internet Interventions, 25(100428).

Englander, R., Cameron, T., Ballard, A. J., Dodge, J., Bull, J., & Aschenbrener, C. A. (2013). Toward a common taxonomy of competency domains for the health professions and competencies for physicians. Academic Medicine, 88, 1088-94.



Ballard, A. J. (2022). Engaging student reflexivity to challenge bias and increase competence for practice with sexually-diverse clients [Oral presentation]. Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Annual Program Meeting, Anaheim, CA, United States.

Ballard, A. J., Gartner, R. E., & Newhill, C. E. (2022). Exploring young adults’ impressions of sexual socialization to foster innovation in sexual violence primary prevention [Paper presentation]. Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) Annual Conference, Washington, DC, United States.

Gartner, R. E., Ballard, A. J. [presenting author], Risser, L. R., Chugani, C. D., & Miller, E. (2022). Practices and policies to address violence against sexual and gender minority students in schools: A scoping review [Paper presentation]. Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) Annual Conference, Washington, DC, United States.

Ballard, A. J., Gartner, R. E., & Newhill, C. E. (2021). Exploring young adults’ impressions of sexual socialization to contemporize the construct and enhance sexual violence solutions [Poster presentation]. Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) Annual Conference, San Juan, PR, United States.

Gartner, R. E., Ballard, A. J., & Risser, L. R. (2021). Centering trans students’ experiences to transform campus sexual violence prevention [Conference breakout session]. TransPride Pittsburgh Health and Wellness Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, United States.



  • Instructor/Teaching Fellow: Human Sexuality (MSW Program-Direct Practice Specialty), Pitt School of Social Work, Fall 2022 (In person)
  • Instructor/Teaching Fellow: Models of Intervention (MSW Program-Direct Practice Specialty), Pitt School of Social Work, Spring 2022 (Hybrid synchronous)
  • Teaching Assistant: Generalist Research Methods (MSW Program) and Introduction to Research Methods (BASW Program), Pitt School of Social Work, Fall 2021 (In person)
  • Teaching Assistant: Clinical Practice with African American Families (MSW Program-Direct Practice Specialty), Spring 2021 (Online synchronous)