Christopher is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research identifies the communication mechanisms that contribute to adverse relational outcomes for those with social anxiety. The central goal of this research is to understand how interpersonal communication can improve social connection for individuals with social anxiety, offset the consequences of withdrawal behaviors, and decrease feelings of loneliness. His research also focuses on how early experiences of social ostracism impact the present-day well-being and anxiety levels of sexual and gender minority individuals. By constructing and testing theories of social connection, he aims to develop targeted interventions for LGBTQ+ youth to help foster an environment of social safety across online/mediated, educational, and familial contexts. He primarily uses multilevel longitudinal modeling and dyadic interaction analysis to explore these topics.
He received his BA in Communication and Political Science at California Lutheran University and his MA in Communication at San Diego State University. Christopher has taught Introduction to Interpersonal Communication and the Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication at UC Santa Barbara and previously taught Public Speaking at San Diego State University.