Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youths' perception of their high school environments and comfort in school

Case Studies & Research
16 p.
Periodical title
Children and Schools, 25 (4)

This study investigated gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents' perceptions of their school environment, their experiences with victimization and professional support in school, and individual, peer, and family factors associated with their perceptions of and comfort in their school environments. Data were gathered from 136 self-identified gay, lesbian, and bisexual high school students in northern New England. Multivariate analyses indicated that youths’ ratings of their school’s positive characteristics, their perceptions of stigmatization, and their social integration with heterosexual peers as openly gay, lesbian or bisexual people contributed to their feelings of comfort in school. The results suggest that school social workers can play key roles in providing direct services to gay, lesbian, and bisexual students and advocating for school environments that support and affirm these young people. Tbe author suggests that interventions should aim at reducing stigmatization and creating supportive peer environments in schools for gay, lesbian and bisexual students.

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