The intersection of Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) with academic outcomes for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) high school students is the focal point of this study. A survey of the literature found depressed academic outcomes for LGBTQ students relative to their heterosexual peers, and a positive correlation between the presence of a GSA on campus and academic performance of LGBTQ students. Using an anonymous survey and focus group interviews with 12 youth who identified as LGBTQ or allied, and who were currently or recently enrolled in high school, this study inquired about GSA activities, campus interactions, supportive adults, personal empowerment, school safety, school belongingness, and academics. Participants related each of these topics to the presence of a GSA on their campus, to the extent they felt it was relevant. A two-stage coding process concluded that varying campus and societal climates, active/effective versus inactive/ineffective GSAs, and personal and corporate empowerment were major themes of participant responses. Participant responses indicated that GSAs might directly support the academic success of members through social acceptance and exposure to wider LGBTQ advocacy. Academic success of non-members is hypothesized as an indirect benefit, with GSAs understood as a background variable whose presence or absence is indicative of the likely status of other variables that directly impact student academic outcomes.
|Commitee:||Gamble, Brandon, Leonard-Giesen, Susan|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|Department:||Education and Counseling|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 55/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||LGBTQ studies, Secondary education|
|Keywords:||Campus climate, Empowerment, Gay-straight alliance, Gsa, High school, Lgbtq|
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