Dr. Compton has two primary branches of research that may initially seem to be in very different areas—social psychology and demography. However, her work uses both approaches to examine issues of inequalities and methodologies. Her social psychological research is concerned with how small groups interact and make decisions based on what information is available to group members. She is currently conducting studies in her social psychology lab (UNO’s MILN 196). Dr. Compton also conducts research exploring issues of sexual orientation, focusing primarily on same-sex unmarried partners and families. This work applies various demographic methodologies to the 2000 U.S. Census same-sex unmarried partner category, enabling her to conduct quantitative analyses about the gay and lesbian households—including how accurately the data capture gays and lesbians living in the U.S and how useful it is for demographic analyses. These kinds of analyses previously have not been possible because of the absence of statistically representative data on same-sex partnered individuals. This research, coupled with research examining other demographic aspects of sexual orientation, is the subject of a book coauthored with Amanda K. Baumle and Dudley L. Poston, Same-Sex Partners: The Demography of Sexual Orientation, published by SUNY Press in 2009. She is currently continuing this line of research with a qualitative follow-up that specifically focuses on GLBT families and factors that affect parenthood decisions. She is also eagerly awaiting the arrival of the 2010 Census data for future analyses. Dr. Compton received her Ph.D. in 2007 from Texas A&M University and has taught at Texas A&M University and Davidson College before coming to UNO. She currently teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses in Social Psychology, Sexualities, Research Methods, and Quantitative Methods and Social Statistics.
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