Headshot of Aleksa Owen in front of a brick wall

Lex Owen, PhD, LMSW

Assistant Professor

Summary

Lex Owen has experience working with individuals with disabilities and their families, older adults and previously incarcerated individuals. She has also worked at the intersection of public health and social work focusing on improving disability inclusion in locality emergency preparedness planning. She is passionate about developing social work students into curious problem-solvers, and seeks to transmit social work values and ethics through her teaching and research. Lex currently co-directs the Family Navigation Network (FNN). Housed within the Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities, this program supports families of children and youth with special health care needs to improve healthcare outcomes and increase family-professional partnerships (funded by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services through Grant Number B04MC33852 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and State General Fund and by Award Number 7 H84MC42482‐01‐00 from MCHB).

Areas of interest

  • Families of children and youth with special health care needs
  • Disability and bioethics
  • Social work education
  • Action research and qualitative methodologies
  • Human service organizational research

Courses taught at the University of Nevada, Reno

  • SW 640: Elements of Evidence-Informed Practice
  • SW 721: Therapeutic Interventions with Groups

Courses taught elsewhere

  • Disability, Health and Society
  • Disability as Diversity

Education

  • Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, 2019-2020
  • PhD, Disability Studies, Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2018
  • MSW, Community Health and Urban Development Concentration, Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2012
  • BA, Sociology and Psychology, Gordon College (MA), 2006

Publications

  • *Halpern, J., *O'Hara, S. E., *Owen, A. L., & Paolo, D. (2021). How Scientists Perceive CRISPR's Translational Promise and the Implications for Individuals with Genetic Conditions. Ethics & human research, 43(6), 28-41. *these authors contributed equally to this work.
  • Halpern, J. & Owen, A. (2021). Scaffolding autonomy: Respecting persons in shared decision making. Book chapter in Shared Decision Making in Critical Illness (Ed. John Lantos). Oxford University Press.
  • Owen, A., Singh, S. & Kirschner, K. (2020). Disability Rights and NIPT: A Response to Breimer. The Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, 5(4).
  • Owen, A., Stober, K., Crabb, C., Mahar, E., & Heller, T. (2020). Training professionals to facilitate future planning: Exploratory results from a multi-state intervention. The Journal of Policy and Practice of Intellectual Disabilities, 18(2), 131-140.
  • Halpern, J., O'Hara, S. E., Doxzen, K. W., Witkowsky, L. B., & Owen, A. L. (2019). Societal and Ethical Impacts of Germline Genome Editing: How Can We Secure Human Rights? The CRISPR journal, 2(5), 293-298.
  • Lee, C. E., Burke, M. M., Arnold, C. K., & Owen, A. (2019). Comparing differences in support needs as perceived by parents of adult offspring with down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder and cerebral palsy. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 32(1), 194-205.
  • Lee, C. E., Burke, M. M., Arnold, C. K., & Owen, A. (2019). Perceptions of non-caregiving roles among siblings of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Research and Practice in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 5(2), 118-127.
  • Burke, M., Arnold, C., & Owen, A. (2018). Identifying the correlates and barriers of future planning among parents of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 56(2), 90-100.
  • Burke, M. M., Lee, C. E., Arnold, C. K., & Owen, A. (2017). The Perceptions of professionals toward siblings of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 55(2), 72-83.
  • Friedman, C., & Owen, A. L. (2017). Sexual health in the community: Services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Disability and Health Journal, 10(3), 387-393.
  • Friedman, C., & Owen, A.L. (2017). Defining disability: The relationships between understandings of and attitudes towards disability. Disability Studies Quarterly, 37(1).
  • Burke, M. M., Lee, C. E., Chung, M. Y., Rios, K., Arnold, C. K., & Owen, A. (2017). Individual and family correlates of community living options among adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Inclusion, 5(4), 279-292.
  • Owen, A., Arnold, K., Friedman, C., & Sandman, L. (2016). Nominal Group Technique: An accessible and interactive method for conceptualizing the sexual self-advocacy of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Qualitative Social Work, 15(2), 175-189.
  • Friedman, C., & Owen, A. L. (2016). Siblings of disabled peoples' attitudes toward prenatal genetic testing and disability: A mixed methods approach. Disability Studies Quarterly, 36(3).
  • Burke, M. M., Lee, C. E., Arnold, C. K., & Owen, A. (2016). Correlates of sibling relationship quality and caregiving reception of adults with disabilities. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 28(5), 735-750.
  • Burke, M.M., Arnold, C.K., & Owen, A. (2015). Sibling advocacy: Perspectives about advocacy from siblings of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Inclusion, 3(3), 162-175.
  • Friedman, C., Arnold, K., Owen, A., & Sandman, L. (2014). “Remember our voices are our tools:” Sexual self-advocacy as defined by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Sexuality & Disability, 34(4), 515-532.

Encyclopedia articles