The Influence of Social Connections and Social Support on Academic Achievement Among LGBT and Straight Students
AuthorClarke, Thomas James
AdvisorRussell, Stephen T.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe school environment is one of the most critical developmental contexts for adolescents, as it informs both academic and occupational trajectories during the first 20 years of life (Russell & McGuire 2008). Given that LGBT youth may experience more negative academic outcomes than the general population (Kosciw 2010), there is a need to better understand the support needs of sexual minority young people. This research project aims to enhance our understanding of school climate for LGBT students and their heterosexual allies by examining how victimization may mediate the relationship between school connections and academic outcomes as well as how social support may moderate the relationship between victimization and academic outcomes. The study uses data from the Preventing School Harassment (PSH) survey, which included 2,559 middle and high school students in the state of California. The data was collected in 2003, 2004, and 2005 from school GSAs. Results illustrate that verbal victimization-direct and indirect- were significant mediators for LGBT students, whereas physical victimization and LGBT specific victimization was a significant mediator for both LGBT and straight populations. For both populations, the link between victimization and both outcomes was stronger aspirations than GPA. It was only for straight students for whom direct verbal and physical victimization was associated with GPA. For the moderation analyzes, the results show that esteem support and emotional support are the strongest buffers between victimization and academics for LGBT students. For straight students, the findings are more varied. Esteem, emotional, and informational support are a useful buffer for each kind of victimization--LGBT victimization, verbal, and physical. However, none of the social support dimensions buffered the negative effect for direct verbal victimization.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Family & Consumer Sciences