Cindy Veldhuis, PhD

Profile Headshot


Dr. Cindy Veldhuis (pronounced Veld-hice), a postdoctoral research scientist at Columbia University’s School of Nursing, received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2016, and completed her masters (Cognitive Psychology) and bachelors (double major: Theater and Psychology) at the University of Oregon. Dr. Veldhuis works with Dr. Tonda Hughes on the 20-year Chicago Health and Life Experiences of Women (CHLEW) longitudinal study of sexual minority women’s health.

She is additionally part of a cross-university collaboration (San Jose State University, University of Kentucky, and Columbia) that launched a national on-line survey aimed at understanding the impact of marriage equality and the 2016 election on gender and sexual minority people’s health and well-being. She also works with Drs. Maureen George, Jean-Marie Bruzzese, and Tonda Hughes on a CUSON-funded study of asthma among sexual minority adolescents and adults.

Dr. Veldhuis' own research, funded by an NIH Ruth Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F32), focuses the role of intimate relationships in sexual minority women’s alcohol use, and the intersections between sexual identity and race/ethnicity. In 2018, Dr. Veldhuis received pilot funding from the Columbia University School of Nursing to fund her SOQIR (pronounced So Queer; Study on Queer Intimate Relationships) study—a mixed-methods study on the health and well-being of women’s same-sex/gender relationships in the New York City area.

She has won multiple awards for her research, most recently she won early career researcher awards from the Research Society on Alcoholism and from APA’s Division 35, Section IV (Section on Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns; travel award). Dr. Veldhuis has a strong commitment to supporting LGBT health research, and as such has been an abstract reviewer for APA’s Division 44, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and for the APHA Caucus on LGBT concerns.

Academic Appointments

  • Associate Research Scientist


  • Female

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BA, 1997 Psychology & Theatre Arts, University of Oregon
  • MS, 2003 Psychology (Cognitive, University of Oregon
  • PhD, 2016 Psychology (Clinical), University of Illinois at Chicago

Honors & Awards

Junior Investigator Award (with stipend), Research Society on Alcoholism,2017, 2018, 2019

Early Career Psychologist Research Award, Division 35, Section IV, American Psychological Association, 2018

Early Career Psychologist Travel Award, Division 35, Section IV, American Psychological Association,2017

Professional Development Institute at the 2017 National LGBTQ Health Conference, Northwestern University, Chicago IL,2017

Postdoctoral Associate, UIC’s NIH-funded K12 “Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health” (BIRCWH),2016-2017

Research & Presentation Award, Lavender Research Forum, 2016

Alice J. Dan Dissertation Research Award (for Women’s Health Research), 2015

UIC Graduate Student Council Travel Award, 2015

UIC Graduate College Travel Award, 2015

UIC Department of Psychology Travel Award, 2015

Invited member of Golden Key International Honour Society (top 15% of all graduate students), 2014-2015

Second place award for research at the Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society Graduate Student Research Competition, 2003

Second place research award for the American Psychological Association's Division 12's Section on the Clinical Psychology of Women, 2002

First place award for research in Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society Graduate Student Research Competition, 2001

Member, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society, 2001-present

Dean’s List at University of Oregon, 1996-1999




Individual- and couple-level risks for hazardous drinking among same-sex female couples. Columbia University School of Nursing Intramural Pilot Grant, $10,000. Role: Principal Investigator. 2018-2019

Testing associations among sexual identity, race/ethnicity, relationship characteristics, and hazardous drinking. NIH/NIAAA Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32), 1F32AA025816. Impact score: 11. Role: Principal Investigator. 2017-2020

Impact of supportive policies on minority stress, drinking and health among women: Competitive renewal of 3R01AA013328-10 (PI: T. Hughes) National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Role: Postdoctoral Fellow (unpaid; 0% effort). 2016-2021

Effects of Marriage Recognition on Substance Abuse and Health for women. National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, R03MD011481 (PI L. Drabble and K. Trocki). Role: Consultant (unpaid; 0% effort). 2017-2019


Asthma status and risks in lesbian, gay, and bisexual adolescents and adults (PI: M. George). Columbia University School of Nursing Intramural Pilot Grant, $10,000. Role: Key research personnel (grant provides supplementary salary support; 13% effort). 2017-2019

Psychological & neighborhood factors associated with preventive care use by women in Chicago (Dissertation). Supported by dissertation funds from the Alice Dan Research Award. Role: Principal Investigator, 2015-2016

The role of alcohol use in sexual minority women’s relationships: Alcohol use discrepancies, relationship status, minority stress, and relationship stress. University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing Internal Research Support Program (PI: Tonda Hughes), $20,000. Role: Co-Principal Investigator, 2016-2017


A mixed-methods approach to understanding stress and hazardous drinking among same-sex female couples. NIH/NIAAA Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00), K99AA028049. Submitted February 12, 2019. Role: Principal Investigator

Selected Publications

PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS *Indicates shared first authorship

Caceres, B.A., Veldhuis, C.B., & Hughes, T.L. (2019). Racial/ethnic differences in cardiometabolic risk in a community sample of sexual minority women. Health Equity, 3: 350-359. DOI:10.1089/heq.2019.0024

Veldhuis, C.B., Bruzzese, J-M, Hughes, T.L., George, M. (2019). Asthma status and risks among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adolescents and adults: A scoping review. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology,122(5):535-536.e1. PMID: 30721759; DOI:

Caceres, B.A., Veldhuis, C.B., Hickey, K.T., & Hughes, T.L. (2019). Lifetime trauma and cardiometabolic risk in sexual minority women. Journal of Women's Health, 1-18. PMID: 31099702

Steele, S., Alvy, L., Veldhuis, C.B., Martin, K., Nisi, R., & Hughes, T.L. (2019). Masculinity, femininity, and body image among lesbian & bisexual women. Women & Health. 1-16. PMID: 30786850; DOI:

Parker, J.J., Veldhuis, C.B., Haider, S. Hughes, T.L. (2019). Barriers to contraceptive use among adolescents in two semi-rural Nicaraguan communities. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health. PMID: 30939115; DOI:

Drabble, L., Veldhuis, C. B., Wootton, A., Riggle, E. D. B., & Hughes, T. L. (2018). Mapping the landscape of support and safety among sexual minority women and gender minorities: Perceptions after the 2016 election. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 1-13. DOI:

Bostwick, W.B., Hughes, T.L., Steffen, A., Veldhuis, C.B., Wilsnack, S.C. (2018). Depression and victimization in a community sample of bisexual and lesbian women: An intersectional approach. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 48(1), 131-141. PMID: 29968037 DOI:

Veldhuis, C.B., Drabble, L., Riggle, E.D.B., Wootton, A.R., Hughes, T.L. (2018) "I fear for my safety, but would like to show bravery for others": Anticipation of increased violence and discrimination among transgender, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming individuals after the 2016 Presidential election. Violence & Gender, 5(1), 1-11. DOI:

Kidd, J., Jackman, K.B., Wolff, M., Veldhuis, C.B., Hughes, T.L. (2018). Risk and protective factors for substance use among sexual and gender minority youth: A scoping review. Current Addictions Reports. PMID: 30393591; DOI:

Drabble, L. Trocki, K.F., Korcha, R., Klinger, J.L., Veldhuis, C.B., Hughes, T.L. (2018). Comparing substance use and mental health outcomes among sexual minority and heterosexual women in probability and non-probability samples. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 185, 285-292. PMID: 29482053. PMCID: PMC5889720. DOI:

Riggle, E.D.B., Rostosky, S.S., Drabble, L., Veldhuis, C.B., Hughes, T.L. (2018). Sexual minority women and gender diverse individuals' hope and empowerment responses to the 2016 Presidential election. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 18(1), 1-22. DOI:

Wootton, A., Drabble, L.A., Bitcon, C., Riggle, E.D.B., Veldhuis, C.B., Hughes, T.L. (2018). Impacts of marriage legalization on the experiences of sexual minority women in work and community contexts. Journal of GLBT Family Studies. PMID: 31080374; DOI:

Riggle, E. D. B., Drabble, L., Veldhuis, C. B., Wootton, A., & Hughes, T. L. (2018). The impact of marriage equality on sexual minority women's relationships with their families of origin. Journal of Homosexuality, 65(9), 1190-1206. PMCID: PMC5731546; PMID: 29099308 DOI:

Veldhuis, C.B., Talley, A.E., Hancock, D.W., Wilsnack, S.C., Hughes, T.L. (2017). Alcohol use, age, and perceived mental and physical health in a community sample of lesbian and bisexual women. LGBT Health, 4(6), 1-8. PMID: 29099308; PMCID: PMC5731546. DOI:

Veldhuis, C.B., Drabble, L., Riggle, E.D.B., Wootton, A.R., Hughes, T.L. (2017). "We won't go back into the closet now without one hell of a fight": Effects of the 2016 election on sexual and gender minorities. Sexuality Research and Social Policy. 15(1), 12-24. DOI:

Drabble, L., Veldhuis, C.B., Riley, B. B., Rostosky, S., & Hughes, T. L. (2017). Relationship of religiosity and spirituality to hazardous drinking, drug use, and depression among sexual minority women. Journal of Homosexuality, 0(0), 1-37. PMID: 28929909; PMCID: PMC5860995. DOI:

Veldhuis, C.B., Hughes, T.L., Drabble, L., Wilsnack, S.C., Riggle, E.D.B., Rostosky, S.S. (2017). Relationship status and drinking-related outcomes among sexual minority women. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 0(0), 1-25. PMID: 30581248; PMCID: PMC6298438; DOI:

Barrantes, R. J., Eaton, A. A., Veldhuis, C. B., & Hughes, T. L. (2017). The role of minority stressors in lesbian relationship commitment and persistence over time. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 4(2), 205-217. PMID: 28695154. PMCID: PMC5501283. DOI:

Jeong, Y. M.*, Veldhuis, C. B.,* Aranda, F., & Hughes, T. L. (2016). Racial/ethnic differences in unmet needs for mental health and substance use treatment in a community-based sample of sexual minority women. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 1-36. PMID: 27461857. PMCID: PMC5819990. DOI:

Truong, M., Bochenska, K., Veldhuis, C.B., Swiatkowski, V. (2015). Duration of Endometrial Preparation and Essure Hysteroscopic Sterilization Placement Success. Obstetrics and Gynecology International Journal, 2(2), 1-3.

Astrachan-Fletcher, E., Veldhuis, C.B., Lively, N., & Fowler, C. (2008). The reciprocal effects of eating disorders and the post-partum period. Journal of Women's Health, 17(2), 227-239. DOI:

Turner, L.R., Veldhuis, C.B., & Mermelstein, R. (2005). Adolescent smoking: Are infrequent and occasional smokers ready to quit? Substance Use and Misuse, 40, 1127-1137. PMID: 16040373. DOI:

Turner, L. R., Mermelstein, R., Berbaum, M. L., Veldhuis, C.B., (2004). School-based smoking cessation programs for adolescents: What predicts attendance? Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 6, 559-568. PMID: 15203789. DOI:

Veldhuis, C.B. (2001). The trouble with power. Women and Therapy, 23, 37-56. DOI:


Drabble, L., Veldhuis, C.B., Perry, E, Wootton, A.R., Riggle, E.D.B., Trocki, K.F., Hughes, T.L. It's complicated: The impact of marriage legalization among sexual minority women and gender diverse individuals in the U.S.

Veldhuis C.B., Juster, R.P., Corbeil, T. Wall, M., Hughes, T.L. Teasing apart trauma and discrimination as risk factors for PTSD in a diverse community sample of sexual minority women.

Veldhuis, C.B., Hughes, T.L., Matthews, A., Drabble, L., Wilsnack, S.C. Do relationships provide the same levels of protection against heavy drinking across SMW of color? An intersectional approach.

Everett, B.G., Turner, B., Hughes, T.L., Veldhuis, C.B., Paschen-Wolff, M., Phillips G. Sexual orientation disparities in teen pregnancy risk behaviors and teen pregnancy: Updates from the Youth Risk Behavioral Survey.

Veldhuis, C.B., Maki, P.M. Molina, K. Psychological and neighborhood factors associated with preventive care use by women in Chicago.

Boyd, C., Veliz, P., Veldhuis, C.B.,Hughes, T.L., McCabe, S.E. Stressful events, psychiatric disorders, and substance use disorders among heterosexual and sexual minority cohorts in the United States.

Veldhuis, C.B., Bruzzese, J-M, Everett, B., Hughes, T.L., George, M. Substance use and asthma status among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adolescents in the YRBS.

Trocki, K., Drabble, L.A., Klinger, J., Veldhuis, C.B., Hughes, T.L. Relationship status as a protective factor against substance use and abuse.

Veldhuis, C.B. Groomed for violence: The use and effects of batterers' coercive tactics.


Riggle, E.D.B., Rostosky, S.S., Drabble, L., Veldhuis, C.B.,Hughes, T.L. (2018). Sexual minority women and gender diverse individuals' hope and empowerment responses to the 2016 Presidential election. In P.J. Lannutti, M.P. Galupo (Eds.) The 2016 US Presidential Election and the LGBTQ Community (Chapter 8). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis. 154-175.

Veldhuis, C.B., & Freyd, J. J. (1999). Groomed for silence, groomed for betrayal. Invited chapter for M. Rivera (Ed.), Invited chapter for Fragment by fragment: Feminist perspectives on child sexual abuse and memory. Gynergy Books. 252-283

Veldhuis, C.B. (2001). The trouble with power. Invited chapter for E. Kaschak (Ed.) Invited chapter for The Next Generation: Third Wave Feminist Psychotherapy. New York, NY: Haworth Press. 37-56.


Veldhuis, C.B. (2007). When trauma has no words: A review of Annie Rogers' The unsayable: The hidden language of trauma. Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, 8, 115-119.


Veldhuis, C.B. (Fall, 2002). Dear psychologist, meet your public! The Advocate: Section on Child Maltreatment Newsletter.

Veldhuis, C.B. & Freyd, J.J. (2007). Primary prevention of violence by adults: Let's not overlook the impact of having been a victim of abuse. [Commentary]. Trauma Psychology Newsletter, Division 56, American Psychological Association, 2, 3-4.