Each year the importance of a high school education increases; however, there are still populations for which getting a diploma is difficult. One of these populations is the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered community. For many of these students a high school diploma is still out of reach. Quantitative research to this point shows that these students suffer from bullying/harassment, increased depression, substance abuse issues, and what they refer to as an overall lack of school belonging. The purpose of this study was to add a qualitative voice to the quantitative data. This study was designed to explore and understand LGBT high school graduates’ experiences throughout grades 9-12 and factors that led to persistence to graduation. This information was put together to create a plan for schools to create environments that were welcoming and supportive of LGBT students. To accomplish these goals, 12 participants from different types of communities across the United States were interviewed about their experiences in high school. They were asked to share their experiences with bullying, depression, substance abuse, and their experiences in high school as well as what they believed help them overcome and make it to graduation and what they wish their schools would have done for them. Of the participants who were interviewed, 75% reported facing bullying or harassment in school, 33% discussed using drugs or alcohol, and 17% talked about depression and attempting suicide. In the end there were three main protective factors found among the participants. Participants had either a person who pushed them towards graduation, something at school that made them feel they belonged, or a sheer desire to leave and get someplace better.
|Commitee:||Farrington, Gene, Fenster, Mark|
|School:||Notre Dame of Maryland University|
|Department:||Department of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Maryland|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||GLBT Studies, Educational psychology|
|Keywords:||Drop-out, Graduation, LGBT atudents, Protective factors|
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