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Lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning adolescents : their social experiences and the role of supportive.. Darwich, Lina Lotfi 2008

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LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND QUESTIONING ADOLESCENTS:THEIR SOCIAL EXPERIENCES AND THE ROLE OF SUPPORTIVEADULTS IN HIGH SCHOOLbyLINA LOTFI DARWICHB.A., The American University of Beirut, 2001A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMaster of ArtsinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Human Development, Learning and Culture)THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA(Vancouver)April 2008©Lina Lotfi Darwich, 2008i iAbstractThe extant research on the experiences of lesbian/gay, bisexual, and questioning —unsure- (LGBQ) youth shows that they have a lower sense of belonging and safety atschool, are more likely to be victims of various types of bullying and to skip school, anduse drugs and alcohol than their straight peers. Lately, however, a shift in directiontowards examining the protective factors, which promote the well being of LGBQ youth,is happening. Extending the emerging research on this shift, the present studyinvestigated the role of supportive adults at school in predicting LGBQ youth sense ofsafety and belonging. Also, this study examined whether adult support moderated therelationship between sexual orientation victimization and skipping school for LGBQyouth separately. The participants in this study (N = 19,551) were students (grades 8through 12) enrolled in high schools that took part in a district-wide survey in a large,ethnically and economically diverse urban school district in British Columbia. Resultsshowed that perceptions of adult support played a significant role in predicting the safetyand belonging of LGBQ youth. Adult support significantly moderated the relationshipbetween sexual orientation victimization and skipping school for bisexual andquestioning youth but not for lesbian/gay youth. The implications, limitations, anddirections for future research are discussed in the last section of this thesis.Table of ContentsAbstract^ iiTable of Contents ^ iiiList of TablesChapter 1 ^ 1Introduction  1Chapter 2 ^ 4Review of Literature ^ 4The Universal Need to Belong ^ 4Student-Student Relationships 7Students' Relationships with Adults at School ^  10What is Sexual Orientation? ^  16High Schools and LGBQQ Youth 19LGBQQ Youth's Peer Relationships, Victimization, and Risk Behavior ^ 21LGBQQ Youths' Relationships with Adults at School: An Opportunity for Change^ 25Statement of the Problem ^ 29Research Questions 30Chapter 3 ^ 35Methodology 35Participants^  35ivProcedures ^ 37Measures 38Chapter 4 ^ 45Results 45Data Screening ^ 45Data Analyses 48Chapter 5 ^ 79Discussion 79Overview^ 79Summary of Findings^ 79Implications of Findings 92Limitations and Strengths ^ 94Future Directions ^ 98Conclusion  101References ^ 102Appendix A 112Appendix B ^ 119VList of TablesTable 1 Numbers and Percentages of Reported Sexual Orientation ^ 37Table 2 Means and Standard Deviations of the Study's Entire Sample (N = 19,551) andMatched Sample (N =680) for All Variables i ^ 47Table 3 Variations in Social Experiences across Matched Sexual Orientation Groups(N=170 per group) ^ 53Table 4 Zero-Order Correlations between Perceptions of Adult Support and SocialExperiences ^ 55Table 5 Variations in Social Experiences across Different Levels of Perceived AdultSupport for LGBQ Youth (n = 170 per group) ^ 67Table 6 Summary of Hierarchical Regression Examining the Relation of Lesbian/GayYouth Views of Adult Care at School to their Perceptions of Safety at School ^ 70Table 7 Summary of Hierarchical Regression Examining the Relation of BisexualYouth Views of Adult Care at School to their Perceptions of Safety at School ^ 71Table 8 Summary of Hierarchical Regression Examining the Relations of UnsureYouth Views of Adult Care at School to their Perceptions of Safety at School ^ 72Table 9 Summary of Hierarchical Regression Examining the Relation of Lesbian/GayYouth Views of Adult Care at School to their Sense of Belonging at School ^ 74Table 10 Summary of Hierarchical Regression Examining the Relation of BisexualYouth Views of Adult Care at School to their Sense of Belonging at School ^ 75Table 11 Summary of Hierarchical Regression Examining the Relation of UnsureYouth Views of Adult Care at School to their Sense of Belonging at School ^ 76Table 12 Moderator Effect ^ 78viAcknowledgementsI am happy that I have the opportunity to thank several people here.First, I want to thank my supervisor, Dr. Shelley Hymel, without whom my entireexperience at UBC would not have been possible. I will always be grateful for thesupport Shelley offered me throughout the process. Shelley inspired me to think hard andwork hard because the possibilities of improving children's lives are endless.Also, I want to thank the members of my research committee: Dr. Mary Bryson foralways checking up on me and my progress; Dr. Bruno Zumbo for providing me withconstant guidance in my statistical analyses and helped me overcome my fear ofstatistics; and Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl for her interest in my topic and alwaysemphasizing the importance of relationships.I want to thank my parents for providing Ali, Lara, and me with a warm, lovinghome and Ali and Lara for always being on my side. Ali and Lara, you are my bestfriends. I also want to thank my friends who provided me with all kinds of support,particularly, Hassan, Yvonne, Rina, and Hadas.Finally, I want to thank Rayan, who puts a smile on my face everyday.1Chapter 1IntroductionAdolescence is a developmental phase during which questions around sexualidentity come forward (Williams, Connolly, Pepler, & Craig, 2005). Regardless whetheryouth identify themselves as attracted to others of the same gender, the other gender, bothgenders, or are unsure; youth of all sexual orientations need the love and support ofparents, tend to be preoccupied with their peer status, wonder about their future, shifttheir focus from family to peers, and think through their on-going relationships as theymake the transition to adulthood (Savin-Williams, 2001; Telljohann & Price, 1993). Allyouth face these tasks. Also, youth of all sexual orientations have the right to be safe atschool and share a strong psychological need to belong and form connections with othersin their environment (Galliher, Rostosky, & Hughes, 2004).When the need to belong is met, individuals experience positive outcomes(Baumeister & Leary, 1995). However the need for connectedness and belonging issometimes muted through stigmatization, victimization, discrimination, and exclusion,leaving youth emotionally distressed and alone. One of the most influentialenvironments in an adolescent's life is school, which does not only set the stage for theacademic growth of the individual but also is one of the first and most powerful socialcontexts after and away from the family. School is also a key context in whichadolescents can experience harassment and victimization and a sense of rejection. Youthwho are lesbian/gay, bisexual, questioning-unsure, or queer (LGBQQ) or are perceived asLGBQQ are particularly likely to be targets of victimization and harassment at school(D'Augelli, Pilkington, & Hershberger, 2002; Murdock & Bolch, 2001).2Ample research shows that students who identify as LGBQQ sexual orientation areat risk for victimization and exclusion, which contribute to poorer school adjustment asindicated by lower school achievement and school belonging in comparison to theirheterosexual peers (Rostosky, Owens, Zimmerman, & Riggle, 2003). However, today,unlike in the past, sexual minority youth's emotional problems are not viewed as aconsequence of their sexual orientation but rather a result of the risk factors andunavailability of protective factors in the youth's environment (Williams et al., 2005).Moreover, a few recent studies have shown that not all LGBQQ youth experiencevictimization, harassment, and a sense of rejection and/or isolation at school (seeMurdock & Bolch, 2005). Extending this research, the purpose of this study was toexamine the role of supportive adults at school on reported victimization and feelings ofsafety among sexual minority students. While there is ample literature on the challengesthat sexual minority youth face at school, there is a dearth of research on the protectivefactors that could promote their resiliency. In addition, current research increasingly callsfor a change in the ways schools could contribute to the positive experiences of sexualminority youth (Diorio, 2006; Russell, 2005).This study investigated adult support and its relationship to various experiences thatLGBQQ youth witness at school. The examination of multiple experiences, rather thanone or two, allowed for determining whether there is a consistent relationship betweenpositive perceptions of adults and LGBQQ youth resiliency, making it possible toconclude that adult support at school serves as a protective factor for the participants inthis study. The present thesis contributes to a growing body of research on the protectivefactors that promote the positive development of LGBQQ youth (Goodenow, Szalacha, &3Westheimer, 2006; Murdock & Bolch, 2005). The present study also considers thevariability among LGBQQ youth, consistent with arguments that LGBQQ youth shouldnot be classified as one homogeneous group (Elze, 2005).This thesis is organized into several parts. First, a review of existing literature ispresented, addressing recent research on: 1) peer relationships, 2) students' relationshipswith adults at school, 3) sexual orientation, 4) lesbian, gay, bisexual, and youthadolescents and their relationship to the high school, as an institution, 5) LGBQQ youthrelationships with peers and 6) LGBQQ adolescents' relationships with their teachers andthe narrow literature on the role of adults in promoting the well being of LGBQQ youth.Following this, the design and hypothesis of the study are presented. Then, a descriptionof methods and measures is provided followed by a description of analyses and results.Last a discussion section addresses the present findings in relation to the literature extant,and the implications of these findings for LGBQQ youth in schools.In this study, the terms adolescence and adolescents refer to students enrolled insecondary school which in British Columbia (BC) includes the eighth through twelfthgrades. Biologically, however, the most accepted indicator is entry into puberty (Elliott &Feldman, 1990). Moreover, it is important to highlight that, when referring to theparticipants in the study, the term LGBQ youth is used because the study included youthwho self-identified as lesbian/gay (LG), bisexual (B), or unsure/questioning (Q).However, when referring to youth in the extant literature, the acronym LGBQQ is used,the second Q referring to youth who prefer to identify themselves as queer (Diamond,2005; Elze, 2005; Savin-Williams, 2005), a category not considered in this study.4Chapter 2Review of LiteratureThe Universal Need to BelongThe need to belong is a basic human motivation and its deprivation has beenlinked to various aversive and pathological consequences ranging from stress tocontemplation of suicide (Baumeister & Leary, 1995). In developing and assessing thehypothesis that the need to belong is a fundamental human motivation, Baumeister andLeary assert that belongingness requires the fulfillment of two criteria. The first criterionnecessitates having repeated, emotionally favorable interactions with a few other people.The interactions need to happen repeatedly with the same people as opposed to aconstantly changing series of individuals. The second criterion requires that theinteractions occur in a stable and durable context, which includes people concerned foreach other's good. In contemporary North American culture, the family is the first"community" to which an adolescent is expected to develop a sense of belonging sinceinfancy. Another key community that could potentially provide adolescents with a senseof belonging is high school.A sense of school belonging is founded on social experiences that develop frominterpersonal relationships among members of the school community (Goodenow, 1993;Osterman, 2000). Recent research in psychology reveals that the experience of belongingis a significant factor in understanding the behavior and performance of students(Osterman, 2000). A sense of belonging to a community, like high school, or a sense ofcommunity, is not limited to merely fitting in. It essentially involves an emotionalattachment and a feeling of safety, a sense of being acknowledged, and encouraged. The5sense of community was defined by McMillan and Chavis (1986) as " a feeling thatmembers have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and to thegroup, and a shared faith that members' needs will be met through their commitment tobe together" (p. 9). Emotional connectedness and security stem from feeling that onemakes a difference in the community and that the community makes a difference in one'slife. In other words, the sense of being of value is reciprocated between the individualand the community (Hamm & Faircloth, 2005). "Being a member of a communityincludes feeling part of a group. In the school, this community consists primarily ofstudents and teachers" (Osterman, 2000, p. 324). Two representations of a sense ofschool belonging are positive adult-student and student-student relationships (Zins,Weissberg, Wang, & Walberg, 2004).The focus on developing a sense of school belonging, particularly in high school, isgaining the attention of educators and policy makers only recently. Schools have beeninfamous for paying scant attention to the affective needs of students (Osterman, 2000).Kunc (1992) has attributed the lack of interest in the development of student sense ofbelonging to the school community to three practices. The first practice is the schools'giving priority to mastery and competition over belonging. The second practice involvesmaking belonging a reward for achievement and conformity. The third practice stemsfrom a general belief that the social and emotional needs of students are met at homeand/or through social relationships outside the classroom. High schools have alwaysfocused on teaching students the subject matter. However, in our time, information andknowledge are at the fingertips of adolescents through highly accessible technology andthe Internet; a sense of school belonging is not. Undoubtedly, schools are first and6foremost systems established to formally educate the youth yet they, simultaneously, arekey contexts for social interactions, starting peer groups, and honing interpersonal skills(Henry & Slater, 2007). As Dewey and Vygotsky believed, education is not anindividualistic process but a social process (Osterman, 2000).A lack of school belonging can also yield to a wide spectrum of negativeconsequences, which range from lower academic achievement to the extreme level ofdropping out of school and/or engaging in school violence. Ma (2003) suggests that theconsequences of a deprivation of school belonging are not restricted to recent tragedies ofschool violence. Sometimes youth turn to gangs, which are youth groups oftencharacterized as source of trouble for schools and adults in a community, as a result oflack of school belonging (Reep, 1996). Through case studies, Fine (1991) revealed thatlack of school belonging was a direct cause for leaving high school.The overall presence of research on high school belonging is much narrower incomparison to research on middle school belonging, which is predominantly linked toacademic achievement (Booker, 2006). Research on high school belonging in general islimited in scope, often linked only with academic achievement. One cannot assume thatthe results of studies targeting sense of middle school belonging could simply begeneralized to high school students' sense of belonging. Moreover, the lack of schoolbelonging could lead to consequences beyond, and more alarming than, lower academicachievement.As mentioned earlier, a sense of school belonging is embodied through studentrelationships with their peers and non-parental adults at school. The next section reviewsthe literature on the role of peer acceptance and support in creating a sense of school7belonging. It also refers to research on the consequences of lack of peer support and peervictimization.Student-Student RelationshipsThe significance of peer relations reaches a peak during adolescence, a timewhere peers shape a youth's value system (see Booker, 2004; Brown 1990; Harter, 1990;Savin-Williams & Berndt, 1990). This phenomenon is particularly relevant incontemporary industrial North American culture (Hargreaves, Earl, & Ryan, 1996),where the influence of peers on the social development of adolescents is irrefutable.Consequently, during adolescence peers and peer relationships in the school setting arekey factors in the development of a sense of belonging to school (Hymel, Comfort,Schonert-Reichl, & McDougall, 1996; Osterman, 2000). Peer acceptance at school,which implies getting along well with peers, is linked to pursuit of prosocial goals andcommitment to coming to school (Certo, Cauley, & Chafin, 2003; Wentzel, 1998). Giventhat learning at school takes place in a social context, lack of peer acceptance could havea negative impact on academic progress (Parker & Asher, 1987). The adverse effects oflack of peer acceptance go beyond academic performance. Perceptions of low peeracceptance or peer rejection have been associated with various adversities, includingvictimization (see McDougall, Hymel, Vaillancourt, & Mercer, 2001; Perry, Kusel, &Perry, 1988; Asher & Parker 1989).Pursuing social goals is largely dependent on students feeling that they are anintegral part of the social group (Wentzel, 1994). Wentzel (1998) found that perceivedpeer support was the only predictor, among perceived parent support and teacher support,of student pursuit of prosocial goals, which involve sharing and helping peers with8academic problems. After interviewing 33 high school students, Certo and colleagues(2003) concluded that the level of student commitment to school, their sense ofbelonging, increases when their social goals are met. In their study, social goals impliedsocializing and interacting with friends during non-instructional time, such as betweenclasses and during lunchtime. As one student in the study stated, "You know, I enjoymost of my classes and it's kind of fun, you know, it's usually just the student body thatreally keeps me coming" (Certo et al., 2003, p. 76). At school adolescents seize theopportunity to share with their peers their "adolescent-specific" concerns, away fromadults and from schoolwork. The peer group is an influential source of principles,advice, feedback, and social comparisons (Hailer, 1990) and, through the peer group, anadolescent could find others who are just "like me" (Savin-Williams, 2005). Thusunsurprisingly, peer groups can be sources of safety, caring, and reassurance foradolescents.Unfortunately, adolescence could also be a disheartening time for studentsbecause sometimes high school peer relationships are highly exclusive and clearlydelineated. Hamm and Faircloth (2005) interviewed 24 male and female tenth andeleventh graders from a public high school in a US southeastern city. The respondentsdiscussed to what extent they felt they belonged to school and reflected on what makesthem feel connected to their school and their friendships. The researchers found thatmany students felt isolation stemming from perceiving a lack of acceptance by thestudent body in general. Over 80% of the students they interviewed mentioned that"cliquishness" makes students feel alienated. On the other hand, most of the students thatCerto et al. (2003) interviewed indicated the existence of cliques in their school yet9acknowledged it as a fact of human nature. What seemed to matter was the presence of ageneral atmosphere of acceptance among students. This finding concurs with Brown's(1990) assertion that during adolescence, peer relationships transcend dyadic and cliquerelations.Low peer acceptance and peer rejection have been linked to multiple adversities,one of which is peer victimization (McDougall et al., 2001; Perren & Hornung, 2005;Perry, Kusel, & Perry, 1988). For the past two decades, victims of school bullying haveincreasingly captured the attention and invoked the concern of child and adolescentdevelopment researchers in various countries partly due to bullying being a chronic actthat has, in some cases, lead to tragic outcomes. The majority of bullying research hasbeen conducted with younger children (Newman, Holden, & Delville, 2005).Nevertheless, the nature of the relationship between victimization, bullying, and peeracceptance has been consistent between childhood and adolescence. For example, inSwitzerland, Perren and Hornung (2005) found that, for 1107 Swiss adolescents, beingbullied had a significant, negative relationship with peer acceptance. Similarly, almosttwo decades ago, Perry et al. (1988) found that the victimization of 165 students, ingrades 3 through 6, had a significant negative correlation with peer acceptance.Students who are victimized at school show diminished interest in and belongingto school (Hanish & Guerra, 2000). Several studies have emphasized the positive role ofperceived social support on minimizing the adverse effects of victimization (Newman etal., 2005; Rigby, 2000), which could be a chronic stressor (Newman et al., 2005).Victimization mutes a student's need to belong at school and renders one's safety andsurvival "unharmed" at school into a constant, conscious concern.1 0What makes certain students targets of bullying? Although the answer to thisquestion varies, one explanation is that peers' interpretation of a student's characteristicsdrives peer victimization (Hanish & Guerra, 2000). The interpretations that youth makeare deeply rooted in how they are socialized. Students who are perceived as individuals,who have strayed away from the recognized, established norms of their surroundings areusually victims of bullying. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and unsure youth, particularly gayand lesbian youth, or youth perceived as lesbian, gay, or bisexual have been targets ofbullying and victimization as a result of being members of societies which predominantlyoverlook homophobia (Little, 2001) and believe that heterosexuality is the legitimate wayof living. Because these LGBQQ youth are perceived as "different" and because theydefy the existing social norms, these youth could be the victims of repetitive peerharassment (Baker, 2002; Franklin, 2000).In today's Western culture, the role of peers in an adolescent's life is undeniable;therefore, being a victim of peer bullying has the potential of depriving a student fromexperiencing a sense of school belonging. However, peers are not the only major playersin the development of school belonging. Adults at school are also major contributors toan adolescent's sense of school belonging as explored in the next section of this proposal.Students' Relationships with Adults at SchoolIn North America, public elementary schools are usually small and students, for anentire academic year, have an extensive and close contact with one teacher. Fromelementary school, students make the transition to middle or high school, where studentshave shorter and more impersonalized encounters with not one or two but many teachers(Goodenow, 1993). Hence, puberty is not the only major change happening in an1 1adolescent's life. A shift from elementary school to middle or junior high school is also amilestone in the lives of many teenagers. A student's feeling of school belonging isrelated to the nature of the adult-student relationships experienced (Osterman, 2000).Roeser, Midgley, and Urdan (1996) suggest that schools are environments that potentiallycan present early adolescents with opportunities to develop their intellectual capacities,identify a sense of competence, experience belonging, and interact with supportive non-parental adults. Positive relationships with teachers at school may be quite central to theadjustment of early adolescents. The youth at this time find themselves looking for non-parental role models and mentors (Goodenow, 1993; Roeser et al., 1996). Also, duringtough times teachers and other adults can play an effective role in preventing theoccurrence of negative developmental outcomes (Croninger & Lee, 2001).Teachers form the core of significant adults at school. They play a key role inmaking students feel that they are accepted and valued at school (Goodenow, 1993;Osterman, 2000). Several researchers have examined the relationship between students'perception of teacher support and its relationship to various outcomes, includingacademic performance and motivation, school interest, positive prosocial goal pursuit,lower levels of absenteeism, safety and school dropout. Also, some research studies haveunderscored the non-academic role that teachers play in adolescents' lives and thequalities that teens value in a teacher and/or would like to observe in a teacher.Student perceptions of teacher support have been shown to be a strong predictor ofstudent academic performance, motivation, and value of subject matter (see Goodenow,1993; Wentzel, 1997, 1998; Midgley, Feldlaufer, & Eccles, 1989). Based on the reportsof 353 sixth through eighth graders, Goodenow (1993) found that teacher support12predicted early adolescents' assessment of the interest, importance and value of academicwork in particular classes. Specifically, teacher support was a major predictor of students'expectancies for success in academic work. Additionally, Wentzel (1998) found thatperceived teacher support was a stronger predictor of school interest than perceivedsupport from parents and peers for 167 sixth-grade students in a US middle school.Using a longitudinal sample of 248 eighth-grade students, Wentzel (1997) examined therole of adolescent perceptions of caring teachers in predicting academic effort. Theresults demonstrated that student perceptions of caring teachers were significantly andpositively linked to student academic effort. The results held true even after controllingfor previous motivation and effort and current control beliefs and distress.A relatively recent Canadian study examined student self-report of schoolbelonging. Ma (2003) analyzed secondary data from a large- scale education survey,collected in 1996 from the New Brunswick School Climate Study (NBSCS). Participantsincluded 6,883 Grade 6 students and 6, 868 Grade 8 students. One of the author's goalswas to find which school characteristics contributed to differences in a sense of belongingamong students. The results illustrated that school size and mean school socio-economicstatus (SES) were not significant predictors in explaining students' sense of schoolbelonging. In contrast, teachers and administrators had an important role in shapingstudents' belonging. A sense of attachment and security was observed in the sixthgraders who felt "at home in school" (p. 348) as a result of perceiving peers and teachersas concerned for one's academic wellness. For eighth graders the school's disciplinaryenvironment, or the school's disciplinary rules, determined their sense of belonging.When students perceived the school's disciplinary rules as unjust, they developed anegative sense of belonging and a perception of school being unsafe.Perceptions of belongingness encourage the adoption and internalization of thegoals and values of caregivers (Baumeister & Leary, 1995). In the classroom forstudents, this translates into the valuing of a teacher's principles, including prosocialgoals and social responsibility goals, if they sense that the teacher cares about them(Wentzel, 1997). For example, in Wentzel's (1997) study following 248 students fromsixth through eighth grade, eighth graders who perceived their teachers as caring weremore likely to pursue prosocial goals, and social responsibility goals. According toWentzel (1997, 1998) the pursuit of prosocial goals involves sharing and helping peersand the seeking of social responsibility goals includes abiding by classroom norms andrules. On the other hand, in another study that inspected the relationship betweenprosocial and social responsibility goals pursuit and supportive relationships with peers,parents and teachers, Wentzel (1998) found that among sixth graders in middle schoolperceived teacher support predicted social responsibility goals whereas perceived peersupport predicted student pursuit of prosocial behavior. What is noteworthy was thatperceived family support did not predict the pursuit of either prosocial or socialresponsibility goals. Both studies affirm that when students regard their teachers assupportive, they are more likely to comply with the classroom norms, perhaps becausethe students felt safe with their teacher.At present, the implications of dropping out of high school are increasinglybecoming grim (Croninger & Lee, 2001). A lack in one's sense of belonging hasrepeatedly been linked to dropping out in various studies. Ethnographic and survey-1314based studies articulate that students who drop out often express the lack of social andacademic support as one motive. In a study that investigated the reasons for students'early withdrawal from Ontario's secondary schools, Karp (1988) asked dropouts toprovide ways in which the school system could change so that it would be a better placefor individuals similar to them. The suggestions of respondents primarily revolved aroundteachers, with 47% of respondents indicating thought change was needed in the teachersthemselves. More caring teachers, better relationships with students and more extra helpfor students with difficulties were priorities among students' recommendations forchange. Similar beliefs were voiced in Schlosser's (1992) study with 14 marginalizedstudents and their teachers. When asked to identify the qualities that distinguished theadults with whom they discussed their problems, the students stated that they were adultswho noticed them and inquired if they were in trouble, discussed topics that concernedstudents (peer group problems, drugs, values), offered to be available after class, andlistened to them with patience. One of the teachers interviewed by Schlosser mentionedthat the single most important piece that plays a role in the success of marginal students isconnectedness to the school built on a completely non-academic level. Students developa sense of belonging to their environments when they know that they are worthyregardless of the grades that they obtain.Teachers can offer emotional support as well as encouragement and guidance aboutsocial and academic aspects of their lives and academic assistance (Croninger & Lee,2001). Students are cognizant of the qualities of a caring, supportive teacher and theyusually attribute their school engagement to their teachers' caring. Certo, Cauley, andChafin (2003) conducted an interview study in order to obtain a snapshot of 33 high15school students' experiences. Students stated that they knew who the caring teacherswere and they described them as "encouraging" and "helpful". Listening was the mostcommon quality that set apart a caring teacher. Students also reported that the caringteachers had an idea about the students' lives outside of school. Certo and colleaguesalso found that generally teachers played the most critical role in student dedication toschool. The students felt safe with teachers who did not give them commands and ordersbut rather gave them an opportunity to express themselves. Similarly, Wentzel (1997)found that students identified open, reciprocated communication, represented throughtalking and listening, asking questions, and paying attention, as some of the outstandingqualities of teachers who cared.Teachers' academic as well as non-academic roles in the lives of students cannotbe overlooked, especially at the onset of adolescence when young people are searchingfor adults outside their family for support. Teacher support could be particularly essentialfor students who are part of socially stigmatized groups, like LGBQQ youth (Telljohann& Price, 1993). Students who do not conform to the deeply rooted norms ofheterosexuality may find themselves unable to turn to family and peers during harshtimes. Telljohann and Price suggest that these adolescents need a "sympathetic other".Teachers and other adults at school can be a central source of support and awareness forsuch adolescents.The prevalent and rather explicit support of society for heterosexual norms placesLGBQQ youth at social risk. LGBQQ youth are at social risk because their surroundingsdeny them access to facts about their sexuality and appropriate role models (Telljohann &Price, 1993). Croninger and Lee (2001) argue that when students who are at social risk16trust their teachers and obtain informal guidance from them, they are more likely to stayin school. Thus, the role of supportive adults at school could be of heightenedimportance for adolescents who have diminished sources of support in their lives.The forthcoming sections take a deeper look at students who have a LGBQQ sexualorientation, who have been dominantly portrayed in the literature as having diminishedsocial support. The school experiences of this group of youth are explored, along withtheir relationships with peers and adults. The existing literature on how adults at schoolcould improve the experiences of LGBQQ students is also discussed.What is Sexual Orientation?Sexual orientation, as defined by Savin-Williams in The New Gay Teenager, is "thepreponderance of erotic feelings, thoughts, and fantasies one has for members of aparticular sex, both sexes, or neither sex...[and]... is considered to be immutable, stableover time, and resistant to conscious control" (2005, p. 28). Adolescence is a time ofemerging questions about one's sexual identity and where one falls along the sexualspectrum (Williams et al., 2005). It is a time where adolescents find themselves attractedto others, either same sex, opposite sex, or both sexes. It is also a time of being unsureabout to which gender one is attracted.Sexual orientation is discerned through verbal and nonverbal components: sexualand romantic attractions, erotic fantasies, sexual behavior, romantic relationships, andidentity labels (Savin-Williams & Ream, 2006). While some studies define sexualpopulations through a single measure of sexual orientation, other studies rely on one ormore of sexual orientation's components. One of the components frequently used invarious studies is sexual romantic attraction (e.g., Busseri, Willoughby, Chalmers, &17Bogaert, 2006; Russell, Seif, & Truong, 2001). Thus, different studies have useddifferent methods and questions in reporting the sexual orientations of their respondents.This calls for caution in generalizing the findings of studies across different populations.Although it is impossible to know exactly how many youth have a LGBQQ sexualorientation (CUISR, 2003; Savin-Williams, 2005), Savin-Williams and Reams (2006)indicate that the prevalence for LGBQQ stretches from 1% to 15%, which are figuresconcurrent with what several researchers have discovered. Using a representative sampleof Minnesota junior and senior high school students (grades 7 though 12), Remafedi,Resnick, Blum, and Harris (1992) found that 10.7% of the students were "unsure" orquestioning of their sexual orientation, 0.7% identified themselves as bisexual and 0.4%as homosexual (mostly or totally). In a nationally representative study in the U.S., usingdata from the Add Health Study, Russell et al. (2001) found that 0.7% of males and 1.5%of females reported exclusive same-sex attractions and 6.5% of males and 3.8% offemales reported attraction to both sexes.The Community-University Institute for Social Research (CUISR) referred to twoestimates of homosexuality base rates in the Canadian population (2003). The lowestimate was 5% and the high estimate was 10%. The 5% estimate was based on amedian of reviewed studies (n=48 results; maximum= 37% and minimum=0.2%). Arecently published study encompassing 25 high schools in a school district in a southernOntario region asked students to choose which sexual attraction best represented them.Only 3.4% reported bisexual attraction and 0.9% reported same-sex attraction (Busseri etal., 2006). The McCreary Centre Society published a report in 2007 on the health oflesbian/gay and bisexual youth in BC. The BC Adolescent Health Survey (AHS)18included 30, 000 youth across the province, representing more than 280,000 youthenrolled in public school. Based on the results of the AHS conducted in 2003, almost 1%reported being lesbian or gay, 2% reported being bisexual, and 6% reported being unsure(Saewyc, E., Poon, C., Wang, N., Homma, Y., Smith, A., & the McCreary CentreSociety, 2007). It is important to highlight that the age of respondents makes a differencein percentage of reporting because adolescents are less likely to report their sexualorientation than adults (Savin-Williams, 2005).Research on the experiences of LGBQQ youth in high school has flourished in thepast decade yet it has its limitations (Russell, Seif, & Truong, 2001). One salientlimitation is that previous research has focused more on lesbian and gay sexualorientation than bisexual orientation (Russell et al., 2001). Sample size limitations andresearchers' presumptions that bisexuality precedes a gay or lesbian identity have resultsin fewer studies on bisexual youth (Russell et al., 2001). As will be observed in latersections, research on youth who are unsure or who are questioning their sexualorientation has received even less attention despite the fact that not identifying as aheterosexual could still imply facing the contextual challenges encountered by lesbian,gay, and bisexual youth (Williams et al., 2005). One of this study's assets was its largesample size, which made it possible to investigate the perceptions of lesbian/gay,bisexual, and unsure youth separately.Given that the need to belong is a universal human motivation (Baumeister &Leary, 1995), LGBQQ youth, like everyone else, seek a sense of belonging in school.Also, like all teens, LGBQQ have the right to be safe at school. Like everyone else,when LGBQQ youth's need to belong is not met, they face various damaging19consequences. When they sense that their safety is at jeopardy, they risk loosing one oftheir most basic rights: the right to education. The next section expands on theexperiences of LGBQQ youth in high school and the role of social support in facingvictimization.High Schools and LGBQQ YouthMany educators, researchers, and the public, in general, overlook the fact thatLGBQQ adolescents have more rather than less in common with their heterosexual peers(D'Augelli, 1998; Savin-Williams, 2005). Adolescents, regardless of their sexualorientation, are negotiating their boundaries with their parents, pondering theirrelationships, and seeking intimacy through friendships and/or romantic relationships.Youth are thinking about their future. They are considering their educational interestsand/or their vocational options (Savin-Williams, 2001, 2005). Despite the fact thatsimilarities outweigh the differences, the fact that LGBQQ youth experience lower levelsof school belonging and adult support and higher levels of victimization as well as, "atrisk" behavior than LGBQQ youth is well documented (e.g., Busseri et al, 2006;D'Augelli, 1998; D'Augelli, Pilkington, & Hershberger, 2002; Elze, 2003; Russell et al.,2001; Telljohann & Price, 1993; Walters & Hayes, 1998). Evidently, as a result ofprevalent societal stigmatization, lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth not only have to facethe developmental tasks of adolescence but also have to tackle the complexity ofadjusting to the socially stigmatized role of being LGBQQ (Telljohann & Price, 1993).Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and unsure youth have faced a multitude of social andemotional problems because, until recently, their sexual orientation was viewed as anaberration from the "normal" heterosexual youth. Their adversities were viewed as a20result of their choice rather than a consequence of growing up in homophobiccommunities (Gonsiorek, 1991). The health risks and social problems that lesbians, gays,and bisexuals encounter are not inherent in their sexual orientation but a result ofsociety's negative reactions (CUISR, 2003). These problems are a result of homophobia,which is "killing" lesbian/gay and bisexual youth (CUISR, 2003). Homophobia is thesocial and (later through internalization) individual fear of, discrimination against andcontempt for homosexuality, in particular (CUISR, 2003; Little, 2001; Walters & Hayes,1998). Heterosexism, usually mentioned along with homophobia in the lesbian/gay,bisexual, questioning and transgendered literature, involves a rejection of the existence ofLGBQQ individuals. It is based on the belief that heterosexuality is normal and anythingLGBQQ is deviant and intrinsically immoral. Little (2001) explains that, whereashomophobia brings prejudice and potential cruelty, heterosexism keeps LGBQQindividuals muted and invisible. Heterosexism isolates LGBQQ people from each otherand from the larger "dominant" group (Herek, Kimmel, Amaro, & Melton, 1991).A culture of heterosexism does not provide its youth with positive images ofLGBQQ youth. Gens Hellquist expresses the dangers of homophobia, in his foreword inThe Cost of Homophobia: Human Impact, (CUISR, 2003):"Our health care and education systems are rife with homophobia. Governments arereluctant to take action for fear of hostile reactions from those segments of society whowish to keep homophobia alive. While the research clearly shows that the health andsocial problems endemic to GLBT population result from stressors of living in a climateof ignorance and hate, those enablers of homophobia twist that research to suggest thatmerely being gay is the problem's cause" (p. 4).Youth are not simply born homophobic and they do not inherently see the worldthrough a heterosexist lens. Homophobia and heterosexism are belief systems that youth21learn through their social surroundings. They internalize them after years of taking onthe messages that society's institutions disseminate. Growing up, adolescents are likelyto encounter adults judging that gay people (and other LGBQQ individuals) are inferiorand unworthy of respect (Baker, 2002). As Judy Shepard, the mother of MathewShepard, who was murdered by two men for being gay, expressed to a college audiencein the United States: "I blame society for giving them permission to kill Matt"(http://www.independentgavforum.com/news/printer/26739.htm1) . School is a key socialinstitution that contributes to the invisibility of LGBQQ youth. In various ways, highschool is a microcosm of society (Elia, 1993), institutions that reflect the problems andvalues existing in their larger dominant societal realm (Bass & Kaufman, 1996 cited inLittle, 2001).Schools not only mirror society's values and problems, they are also a mean toensure the re/production of citizens who preserve and enforce the deeply rooted values oftheir societies. As Fine (1986, p. 91) suggests, "Schools do little to disrupt and much toreproduce existing social arrangements". The resistance of high schools to put an end tohomophobia and heterosexism is observed through the experiences of the youth with themembers of the school community.LGBQQ Youth's Peer Relationships, Victimization, and Risk BehaviorLack of peer support and the risk of losing of friends contribute to LGBQQ youthfeeling deprived of school belonging. If LGBQQ students feel unsafe about disclosingtheir sexual orientation to their peers at school, they may feel the need to seek support indangerous settings (Goodenow, Szalacha, & Westheimer, 2006; Telljohann & Price,1993). Undoubtedly, the choice to disclose one's sexual orientation is the youth's22absolute choice. However, the fear for one's safety and rejection entailed in disclosing isdefinitely not the youth's choice. In one study, nearly one half of the respondentsreported that they lost their friends after they disclosed to them that they were lesbian,gay, or bisexual (Hershberger & D'Augelli, 1995). Moreover, in their study, Telljohannand Price (1993) further suggest that gay youth are watchful of their interactions withpeers for fear of having their closeness misinterpreted; thus exposing their sexualorientation. Their hidden sexual orientation leads to the development of a sense ofisolation (CUISR, 2003; Telljohann & Price, 1993). According to Little (2001), suchisolation could be fatal. Isolation exacerbates the youth's fear of rejection, therebyweakening the possibility of LGBQQ youth asking for support. The importance of socialsupport for youth is underscored by the fact that Williams et al. (2005) found thatdepression and externalizing experiences (e.g., fighting, carrying weapons) mount up forLGBQQ youth because of lack of social support rather than their sexual orientation perse.In addition to lack of peer acceptance and social support, various studies havedocumented the school-based victimization and harassment of LGBQQ youth (e.g.,Baker, 2002; D'Augelli, 1998; D'Augelli et al., 2002; Elze, 2003; Goodenow et al., 2006;Hershberger & D'Augelli, 1995; Little, 2001; Russel et al., 2001; Telljohann & Price,1993; Williams et al., 2005). One study of 89 male and 31 female self-identified gay andlesbian youth found that 71% of the females and 73% of the males reported facing rudecomments, physical abuse, violence from some peers and warnings from some parents,bashing threats, and discrimination (Telljohann & Price, 1993). However, many of theseprior studies relied on non-empirical findings, convenience samples, and targeted23organizations, like clinical settings (Elze, 2005; Russell et al., 2001; Williams et al.,2005). One of the goals of this study was to gain an idea about the actual experiences ofLGBQQ youth in school settings.Existing research suggests that verbal harassment is the most common form ofvictimization (D'Augelli et al.; Elze, 2003; e.g., Pilkington & D'Augelli, 1995; Remafedi1987). In one study (Pilkington & D'Augelli, 1995), 80% of the lesbian and gayparticipants received verbal insults and 33% had objects thrown at them. The participantswere predominantly fearful for their safety.More recent research seems to corroborate the findings of prior studies. Elze(2003) found that verbal harassment and abuse permeated the school days of LGBQQyouth at school. Williams et al. (2005) also found that LGBQQ youth reported higherlevels of bullying and harassment than their heterosexual peers. One study (D'Augelli etal., 2002), which looked specifically at verbal and physical victimization of youthbecause of their sexual orientation (sexual orientation-based victimization), showed that59% of 350 lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth faced verbal abuse, 24% were threatenedwith violence, and 11% had objects thrown at them."Memories of past victimization and fear for future victimization are plausibly atthe heart of considerably higher school avoidance seen among LGB youths compared toheterosexual youths" (D'Augelli et al., 2002, p. 163). D'Augelli and his colleagues arenot the only researchers to voice such concerns (see Garofalo Wolf, Kessel, DuRant, &Palfrey, 1998; DuRant, Krowchuk, & Sinal, 1998). Using data from a Youth RiskBehavior Survey conducted in 59 representative high schools across Massachusetts,Garofalo and his colleagues found that 25% of the LGB youth in the study skipped24school in the last month in comparison to 5% of heterosexual youth. However, thesestudies were conducted a decade ago and research on the experiences during this periodhas flourished. Moreover, as several experts in the field recently mentioned, researchmust maintain momentum (Elze, 2005) because the experiences of the earlier generationsof LGBQQ youth cannot be simply generalized to today's LGBQQ youth (Savin-Williams, 2005). For example, youth are identifying their sexual orientation at youngerages today (D'Augellie, 1998; Savin-Williams, 2005). Additionally, the proposed studylooked at questioning youths' school attendance, as there is no documentation in theliterature of its exploration in a high school population. Concern for school attendancestems from the fact that it can jeopardize a student's educational achievement, riskingher/him dropping out of high school.Although adolescence is a time of experimentation for all youth, Little articulatesthat, "there is an ever prevalent concern that Queer youth are using substances to escape,to numb, and to cope" (2001, p. 103). Garofalo and colleagues (1998) found that lesbian,gay, and bisexual youth were more likely to have missed school for fear of their safetyand to have used inject-able drugs more than their heterosexual peers. Similarly,Orenstein (2001) articulated that youth with consistent homosexual preferences hadhigher levels of substance use than youth with less consistent gay identities and youthwith heterosexual identities. Also, Orenstein concluded that the differences by sexualpreference are larger for the use of "hard" drugs, like Cocaine and LSD, than formarijuana and alcohol. Although lesbian, gay, bisexual, and unsure youth are consideredhigher risk populations (Rosotosky, Owen, Zimmerman, & Riggle, 2003), no study todate has specifically investigated whether the availability of a supportive adult at school25is related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and unsure youth skipping school and engaging insubstance abuse at school. One of the goals of this study was to find out whether lesbian,gay, bisexual, and unsure students' perceptions of adult support at school could influencetheir substance use/abuse.LGBQQ Youths' Relationships with Adults at School: An Opportunity for ChangeSeveral studies have shown that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and unsure youth report poorrelationships with teachers (see Rostosky et al., 2003; Russell et al., 2001). Using a 17-item open-ended questionnaire answered by 120 lesbian and gay youth, Telljohann andPrice (1993) concluded that the respondents seemed to lack support from schoolcounselors and teachers although the respondents claimed that the teachers' andcounselors' reactions were positive. When asked what schools could do to make theirlife at school better, most participants recommended that homosexuality be discussed,that teachers treat the topic of homosexuality with respect, and that counselors be moreavailable. Also, the respondents wanted more care and understanding of homosexuals, astop to "gay put-downs," and a creation of support groups. Although a positive reactionby school adults to a student's disclosure about her/his sexuality is necessary, it is notsufficient. As discussed earlier, to belong youth need to feel that they are valued. Therecommendations of the respondents in the Telljohann and Price study could have beentheir way of expressing their need to be valued.Academic difficulties, substance abuse, running away from home, emotionaldistress, risk behavior, school dropout, and suicidality are all negative outcomes thatresearch, concerned with the lives of LGBQQ youth, have examined in depth for overthree decades (Russell, 2005). Given these existing circumstances, Russell poses an26important question: "are there any examples of protective factors or even of resilienceamong sexual minority students" (p. 12)?Although homophobia is what creates the challenges for LGBQQ youth, the risksthey face have been constantly and predominantly approached as a characteristic of theLGBQQ youth rather than qualities that are characteristic of the youth's experiences andcontext (Russell, 2005). Various researchers have recently called for a change indirection and have pressed for an examination of school contexts and characteristics,which promote the well-being of LGBQQ youth (e.g., Elze, 2005; Goodenow, et al.,2006; Little, 2001; Russell, 2005; Savin-Williams, 2005). Murdock and Bolch (2005),for example, discovered that teacher support and a school climate that accepted LGByouth promoted LGB youth's sense of school belonging. However, Murdock and Bolchrecruited participants through a local organization that provides services for lesbian, gay,and bisexual youth, advertisements in places which LGB teen frequently visit, referralthrough present participants, and presence at lesbian, gay, bisexual events. The intendedstudy's participants are adolescents enrolled in public high schools in British Columbia.Consequently, one of the advantages of the present study is that it involves adolescentswho do not necessarily have networks of support outside high school and support atschool could be the only type of support available for these youth. Also, the proposedstudy seeks to examine the safety of the youth at school, and their experiences withdifferent types of victimization in addition to their perceived sense of belonging.Using the first nationally representative US adolescent sample with information onsame-sex romantic attraction, Russell et al. (2001) concluded that lesbian, gay, andbisexual youth with favorable feelings towards their teachers were least likely to27encounter the spectrum of school troubles and, therefore, teachers should be providedwith the help they need in being supportive of this group of youth. In addition, engagingin school troubles could be one way for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and unsure students tomanifest their need for support, skipping school could be another one. As stated earlier,the present study aims at finding out whether adult support does predict students'avoiding classes all day.Goodenow et al. (2006) found that youth who sensed that there was a school staffmember who can be approached about a problem were less likely to have multiple suicideattempts and to be threatened or injured with a weapon. Also, Goodenow et al. (2006)looked at the relationship between school characteristics and LGB youth sense of safetyat school. The school characteristics the researchers included in the study were schooldistrict (urban, suburban, or rural), average student population, average percent of low-income students in school, average percent of ethnic minority in the school, andavailability of support groups for LGB youth but it did not include the availability ofadult support at school in particular. A sense of safety at school comprises a studentfeeling relaxed and not concerned about something bad happening to her/him.Gooedenow and colleagues (2006) explained that LGB students felt safer in schools thatprovided some form of support groups, claiming that their study was the first to examineschool characteristics and the safety of LGB youth. Although support groups could bevery helpful, not all schools have them. Therefore, does having that supportive figurepredict their sense of safety at school? How does the availability of adult support atschool moderate their reports of sexual orientation victimization in particular? A sense ofschool belonging involves attachment and safety. One of the aims of the proposed study28was to investigate specifically the role of supportive adults in promoting LGBQ youthsense of safety at school because, as mentioned earlier, not all schools have supportgroups. Accordingly, the present study focuses on the role of supportive adults at schoolin predicting the LGBQ youth sense of safety. Consequently, this study expands on thelimited yet needed literature by looking at the various types of harassment separately, andsafety of LGBQ students and specifically the role of adults at school. Moreover, thisstudy included unsure students, who were not part of the Goodenow et al. study.Public education is free and available for every child in Canada(http://www.cic.gc.ca/ENGLISH/newcomer/fact  education.html) and school iscompulsory until the ages 16-18(http://www.educationcanada.cmec.ca/EN/EdSys/over.php) . Given that academiclearning is a social experience, which is grounded in relationships (Goodenow, 1993;Hymel, Schonert-Reichl, & Miller, 2006, Osterman, 2000), when LGBQQ studentsdropout of high school for fear of their safety and/or lack of school belonging, it is theirenvironment that has deprived them of realizing one of their most basic rights. Also, asstated earlier (D'Augelli et al., 2002; DuRant et al., 1998; Garofalo et al., 1998),victimization leads LGB youth to skip school, thus putting them at risk of eventuallydropping out of high school. However, no study to date has examined whether having asupportive adult at school could modify the relationship between the victimization ofLGBQ youth and school absenteeism. This issue was a primary focus of this study.29Statement of the ProblemAs observed, the victimization of LGBQQ youth is well supported in the literatureand so is the importance of one's sense of school belonging, which is represented throughrelationships with peers and teachers. To belong, all students need to feel that they arecared for and safe in their school. Silencing their need to belong and fearing for theirsafety at school, some LGB revert to skipping school (Goodenow at al., 2006),using/abusing substances (Garofalo et al., 1998; Jordan, 2000; Rostosky et al., 2004) andengaging in violence (Goodenow et al., 2006). In response to the recent call for changein research on the school experiences of LGBQQ youth, the proposed study aims toextend the literature on the role of positive school context characteristics, with aparticular focus on the role of adults at school. Although the extant literature on thenegative aspects of the lives of LGBQQ youth is abundant, there is a dearth ofinformation on what promotes their well being in school. This study investigated the roleof supportive adults at school in relation to multiple experiences that LGBQQ have atschool; thus making it possible to determine whether there are consistent positive ornegative experiences depending on perceptions of adult support.The research literature on the experiences of Canadian LGBQ youth in particular islimited (e.g. Canadian studies: Busseri et al. 2003; Williams et al., 2005). In this regard,the present study was particularly meaningful to British Columbia, the only province inCanada that has social responsibility as one the province's foundational skills, along withreading, writing and mathematics(http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/perf stands/social_resp.htm).30Research Questions1) Do youth with different sexual orientations differ in their school experiences,including perceptions of school safety, skipping school, belonging, adult support,bullying/victimization, sexual orientation-based discrimination, learning about people ofvarious sexual orientations, as well as risk behaviors such as reported substance abuseand violence?The extant literature on the experiences of LGBQQ youth at school shows that theyouth report a number of negative experiences (Goodenow et al., 2006; Little, 2001;Pilkington & D'Augelli, 1995; Rusell, 2005; Russell et al., 2001; Williams et al., 2005).Similarly, in the present study it was expected that the experiences of Canadian LGBQsample would be similar to the experiences reported previously by their age mates inother countries. Of additional interest were the reported experiences of youth who areunsure of their sexual orientation, an area for which there is a dearth of information(Williams et al. 2005). In addition, it is worthwhile to look at how youth of differentsexual orientations differ from one another or not because, as Busseri et al. (2006) noted,one cannot assume that lesbian, gay, bisexual and unsure youth are the same.2) Is the perception of adult support at school related to lesbian/gay, bisexual, unsure, andstraight students' perceptions of safety at school, skipping school, school belonging,bullying/victimization, sexual orientation-based discrimination, learning about differentsexual orientations, as well as risk behaviors such as reported substance abuse andviolence? How do adults perceptions differ among lesbian/gay, bisexual, unsure andstraight youth in their relationships to the above-mentioned variables?31Several recent studies have shown that LGBQQ youth who perceived adults assupportive at school expressed more favorable views towards their school experiences(Goodenow et al., 2006; Murdock & Bolch, 2005). The purpose of this question was tofind out whether there was a significant relationship between adult support and variousschool experiences, including belonging, victimization, skipping school, and safety atschool. Significant relationships were expected to varying degrees, between adultsupport and the other variables. The purpose of this question was to set the stage formore in-depth questions about the role of adult support.3) How are perceptions of safety at school skipping school, sense of belonging at school,the various forms of victimization, substance use, engagement in violence, and learningabout people of different sexual orientations related to different levels of perceived adultsupport for LGBQ youth?Goodenow et al. (2006) showed that teacher support predicted more safety at schooland lower levels of student victimization; however, the authors articulated it wasimpossible to know whether the participants were reporting sexual orientationvictimization in particular. The researchers asked students to report whether they hadteacher support or not. The present study extends the literature by looking at thedifferences among different levels of perceived adult support, with interest in determiningwhether significant differences were present among students who disagreed on theavailability of support, students who were undecided about the availability of adultsupport, and students who agreed on the availability of adult support. Several studiesfound that adult support is linked to LGBQ youths' adjustment at school32(see Murdock & Bolch, 2005; Rostosky et al., 2003). The present study examined howdifferent levels of perceived adult support were linked to LGBQ youths' sense of schoolbelonging.Garofalo et al. (1998) found that LGBQQ youth were more likely to miss schoolfor fear of their safety than heterosexual youth. However, no study to date has shownhow the availability of a supportive adult could contribute to LGBQQ youth schoolattendance. It was anticipated that students who agreed on the availability of adultsupport at school, would report higher levels of school attendance.In an article that calls for looking at resilience in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexualand questioning (among others, like transgendered youth) teens, Russell (2005) assertsthat a small and growing body of literature is emerging and taking the field towards moreunique risk and protective factors unique for LGBQQ youth. One of these factorsinvolves victimization based on sexual orientation specifically. Sexual orientationvictimization has been linked to various negative consequences, ranging from distress tosuicidality (see D'Augelli et al., 2002; Remafedi, 1987; Russell, 2005). This questionaims at finding out whether adult support at school could be protective factor for LGBQQyouth by linking it to sexual orientation victimization, a risk factor unique to LGBQQyouth or youth perceived as LGBQQ. Physical, verbal, and social victimization werealso examined in order to gain a more comprehensive look at the various forms ofvictimization and their relations to different levels of adult support at school.Despite the fact that adolescence is a time of experimentation and stress for youth,LGBQQ have the additional stress of being members of societies and institutions whichare prevalently homophobic and heterosexist (Jordan, 2000). Therefore, the reasons for33substance use could be these teens' way of finding relief for feelings of isolation (Jordan,2000). The purpose of this question was to find out whether having a supportive adult atschool plays a role in LGBQ youth frequency of substance use. Jordan (2000) affirmsthat the school setting is a unique environment for helping youth at risk yet no study todate has looked at whether adult support at school could play a protective role.Engagement in violence was also examined in order to find out whether different levelsof adult support were linked to LGBQ youths' engagement in violence.4a) Do perceptions of adult support at school predict LGBQ feelings of safety at schoolabove and beyond sense of support from the family and connectedness with peers?Although parents and peers, through connectedness and acceptance, are a majorsource of safety, LGBQQ youth who also feel they have support from teachers would beexpected to report a greater sense of safety at school. In some cases, teacher supportcould buffer a student who is not supported by her/his family or peers. If adults at schoolcan play this important role, then more attention can be paid into how they can changethings for LGBQQ youth in the school. Also, Telljohann and Price (1993) indicate thatLGB youth usually need a sympathetic other especially if they risk losing their parentsand peers due to their sexual orientation. It was expected that adult support at schoolwould contribute to LGBQ sense of safety at school above and beyond support fromparents and acceptance from peers.4b) Do perceptions of adult support at school predict LGBQ youth sense of belonging atschool above and beyond sense of support from the family and connectedness with peers?Because school belonging is represented through student-student relationships andstudent-teacher relationships (Zins et al., 2004), the purpose of this question was to34confirm that perceived adult support can play a role in explaining LGBQ youth sense ofschool belonging above and beyond perceptions of family support and peer care. It wasanticipated that adult support would have a significant role because research shows thatfor youth at social risk, having an adult can make a big difference (Croninger & Lee,2001). In an ethnographic study, Schlosser (1992) concluded that it was more likely forstudents at risk for dropping out to continue high school if they had teachers who stresseda sense of school belonging.5) For LGBQ youth, does the perception of adult support moderate the relationshipbetween SOB and skipping school?Unfortunately, for LGBQ adolescents peer victimization at school could leadthem to skip school. The link between their experiences with victimization has beenestablished in various studies (D'Augelli et al., 2002; DuRant et al., 1998; Garofalo et al.,1998). However, no study to date has looked at how perceptions of adult support couldmodify the relationship between LGBQQ sexual orientation victimization and schoolattendance. This study sought to explore whether supportive adults can actually play rolein the relationship between LGBQ sexual orientation victimization and them skippingschool.35Chapter 3MethodologyParticipantsData for this study were collected from all 18 secondary schools by the schooldistrict. Parents were informed of the survey through Parent Advisory Council meetings,school newsletters (translated into four languages), and electronic announcements.Parents were also informed that the school board was cooperating with researchers fromthe University of British Columbia and the University College of the Fraser Valley forthe analysis of the data. To maintain confidentiality and anonymity of respondents,participants were instructed not to print their names on any part of the survey. In order topermit future longitudinal analyses of the data from this survey with later administrations,while respecting privacy and confidentiality, the survey included a self-created "privacycode" which could be recreated by respondents in future administrations of the survey.The present author had no access to any identifying information collected from thestudents, including the "privacy code".A total of 19, 551 students (9622 females, 9545 males) students from 8 th gradethrough 12th grade completed the survey in a one-hour period during school hours. Allstudents present on the testing day participated. The number of students enrolled wasalmost equal across all grade levels, ranging from 19.1% to 20.8%. Respondentsreported a variety of ethnic backgrounds; reflecting the diversity of the district'spopulation: Asian (55.6%), Caucasian (19.3%), Mixed Ethnicity (9.1%), South Asian(7.1%), Latin American (2.5%), Middle Eastern (1.6%), Aboriginal (1.5%), and36African/Caribbean (1.1%), although 2.3% of the respondents did not know their ethnicbackground and 1.9% not answering the question.The present study was primarily concerned with students who identified theirsexual orientation as gay/lesbian, bisexual, straight, or unsure. Specifically, studentsresponded to a single question, "What do you consider your sexual orientation to be?",with four response alternatives, lesbian/gay (LG), bisexual (B), straight (S), and unsure(Q). A total of 18, 832 students (96.3%) reported their sexual orientation. Table 1presents the numbers and percentages of students who identified themselves within eachsexual identity category. Despite the proliferation of empirical research on lesbian, gay,bisexual, and questioning youth, most of the existing studies have approached LGBQQyouth who are members of targeted organizations and have relied on small conveniencesamples, case examples, and reflections of LGBQQ adults (Russell et al., 2001). One ofthe benefits of the present data set was its inclusion of all the students attending theschool district' s18 secondary schools, with an overall sample size of 19,551 studentsparticipating (81% of the total possible sample).37Table 1Numbers and Percentages of Reported Sexual OrientationSexual Orientation^Number^Percent %Gay/Lesbian 236 1%Bisexual^ 592^ 3%Straight 16578 88%Unsure^ 1426^ 8%Total 18832 100%For some analyses, self-identified bisexual, unsure and straight students werematched with each of the 236 lesbian and gay students, in terms of school, grade andgender, yielding a final matched sample of 170 students in each of the four sexualorientation categories. A matched sample was used in order to obtain equal cell sizes andconsequently making it optimizing a statistical comparison of the means amonglesbian/gay, bisexual, unsure, and straight students.ProceduresAs part the BC's Ministry of Education mandate for school accountability, theparticipating school district developed an extensive student survey on school safety andsocial responsibility that provided "baseline" information for administrators and staffabout the experiences that students face in their high schools. Specifically, the surveywas developed by a committee established by the school district, including members ofthe district's "Social Responsibility and Diversity" team plus principal, vice principal, orcounselor representatives from several secondary schools as well as outside consultants,38Dr. Terry Waterhouse (University College of the University Valley) and Dr. ShelleyHymel (University of British Columbia). After examining a broad range of measures, theschool district's representatives developed items that reflected what they wanted to learnabout their secondary students' social experiences, in an effort to evaluate the district'smandate to promote social responsibility and school safety. The survey covered a broadspectrum of issues; students provided extensive background information (sex, grade,race/ethnic background, sexual orientation, etc. and were asked to report about theirexperiences with racism, sexual orientation discrimination, bullying and victimization,sexual harassment, school climate and belonging with peers, the availability of caringadults, as well as experiences with substance use and violence.The district collected this data in January/February 2006 and plans to administerthe survey over the next ten years (every 2-3 years) in an effort to monitor changes insocial responsibility, youth behaviors, and school aggression. Permission to use thesedata secondarily has been provided by the school district and ethics approval wasobtained from the UBC Behavioral Research Ethics Board.A description of the items and measures obtained from the district survey and usedin the present study is provided below.MeasuresFor the purposes of the present study, a subset of items and measures included inthe survey were utilized. Specifically, self-report, paper-and-pencil measures tapping ninedifferent areas were considered: perceptions of safety at school, skipping school, adultrespect and recognition, school belonging, family support, victimization (and sexualorientation victimization), substance use, violence and exposure to diversity.39Perceptions of SafetyStudents' perceptions of felt safety were assessed using four items that askedstudents about feelings of safety (a) at school, (b) at school events and activities, (c) onthe way to and from school, and (d) in the neighborhood or community. Safety wasdefined for the students as "feeling comfortable, relaxed, and not worried that somethingbad could happen to you". For each context, students responded on a five-point scale: 1=never, 2=hardly ever, 3=some of the time, 4=most of the time, and 5=always. For thepresent study, only the first safety item, addressing felt safety within the school context,was used. The higher scores on this item reflected greater feeling of safety within theschool context.Skipping School All DayA single, self-report item was used to evaluate the frequency with which studentsskipped school. Specifically, responses to the question, "How often have you skipped allday?" were indicated on a five-point scale (1=never, 2=at least once this school year,3=almost once per month, 4=almost once per week, 5=more than once per week), withhigher scores reflecting greater frequency of skipping school.Adults Respect and RecognitionStudent perceptions of the degree to which they felt recognized and respected byadults within the school were assessed using a seven-item composite created by thedistrict for this survey and verified through factor analysis of student responses.Particularly, students were asked to indicate on a five-point scale the degree to whichthey agreed or disagreed (strongly disagree, disagree, undecided, agree, strongly agree),with each of the seven items:40• The adults at my school treat students fairly.• My ideas and opinions are important to at least one adult in my school.• I can get extra help from adults at my school if I need.• My feelings are recognized by at least one adult at my school.• Adults in my school respect me.• Adults in my school really care about students.• There is an adult in my school I can go to for support or advice or talk toabout my problems.Student responses to these seven items were averaged to create an overall index ofadult respect and recognition (a = 0.84), with high scores indicating stronger perceptionsof adult support.In two of the research questions, one item was only used from the scale: adults inmy school really care about my students, rather than the entire scale to avoid certainpotential statistical violations.Peer BelongingStudents' sense of belonging with peers at school was tapped through a six-itemcomposite created by the district for this survey and supported through a factor analysisof student responses. Students were asked to decide on a five-point scale the degree towhich they agreed or disagreed (strongly disagree, disagree, undecided, agree, stronglyagree), with each of the six items:• I feel awkward and out of place at my school. (reverse-scored)• I feel like I belong at my school.41• Other students at my school accept me as I am.• When I have a problem, there are students who will help me.• Students at my school really care about each other.• Students in my school are just looking for themselves. (reverse-scored)Before averaging students' responses to these six items (a= 0.76), two questions (asindicated above) were reverse scored. Consequently, for all items higher scores entailedstronger perceptions of sense of belonging among peers.In two separate research questions, only 2 items of the scale were used: I feel like Ibelong in school and Students at my school really care about each other, in order to avoidpotential statistical violations.Family SupportA single, self-report item was used to evaluate the degree to which students perceived theavailability of a supportive adult in the family, "There is an adult in my family that I cango to for support or advice or talk to about my problems and worries". Students indicatedtheir perceptions based on a five-point scale ranging from strongly disagree to stronglyagree (strongly disagree, disagree, undecided, agree, strongly agree), with higher scoresreflecting stronger perceptions of family member support.VictimizationStudents reported the frequency of their experiences with victimization throughthree different items: (a) physical bullying (shoving, pushing) to me, (b) verbal bullying(name calling, threats) to me, and (c) social bullying (gossip, exclusion) to me. Eachitem was evaluated separately in the study. Participants' responses indicated thefrequency of their experience on a four-point scale: 1=never, 2=once or a few times,423=about once a month, 4=every week or more. Higher scores reflected higher frequencyof victimization.Students were asked to assess how often they experienced sexual orientationvictimization through a seven-item scale (a=0.93). The items included questions thatasked to students to report how often they have had experience with being victims ofsomeone at school: (a) saying negative things or teasing one's sexual orientation, (b)making one feel bad about their sexual orientation, (c) telling jokes about one sexualorientation, (d) using swear words when mentioning lesbians and gays, (e) telling othersthat people of certain sexual orientations are dangerous, (f) treating someone's sexualorientation as inferior, and (g) excluding someone because of their sexual orientation.Participants' responses indicated the frequency of their experience on a four-point scale:1=never, 2=once or a few times, 3=about once a month, 4=every week or more. Higherscores reflected higher frequency of victimization.Substance Use/AbuseParticipants reported how often they consumed alcohol and drugs at school in the pastyear by answering twelve questions on substance use. The school board wanted to findout how frequent substance use was among youth. A composite was created byaveraging the twelve questions (a=0.95):• How often have you consumed alcohol?• How often have you consumed more than five alcoholic beverages?• How often have you been under the influence of alcohol?• How often have you used marijuana?• How often have you used ecstasy?• How often have you used hallucinogens?• How often have you used inhalants?• How often have you used prescription pills that were not prescribed by theDr.?• How often have you used marijuana?• Hoe often have you used crystal meth?• How often have you used cocaine?• How often have you used heroin?• How often have you been "high" because you used any of the drugs listedabove?Students had to decide how frequently they consumed substances by answering athree-point item scale: 1=never, 2=once or a few times, and 3=every week or more.Higher scores indicated higher frequencies of substance use at school.Engagement in ViolenceStudents reflected on the frequency of their engagement in different forms ofviolence at school through a three-item scale. Students had to report how often theyengaged in: (a) physical violence, (b) threatening someone with physical violence, (c)carried a weapon, (d) threatened someone with a weapon, and (e) engaged in physicalviolence with a weapon on a three-point scale: 1=never, 2=once or a few times, 3=everyweek or more. Student responses were averaged (a=0.83) with higher scores pointingtowards higher engagement in violence at school.43Exposure to DiversityA one-item self-report asked student to report the extent to which they learnedabout people of different sexual orientations the past school year, specifically: "at myschool this year, we learn about people of various sexual orientations. The five-pointscale was: 1—never, 2—hardly ever, 3—some of the time, 4—most of the time, 5—always,with higher scores reflecting higher frequency of learning about people of differentsexual orientations4445Chapter 4ResultsData ScreeningBefore analyses, missing data, outliers, and the statistical assumptions relevant tounivariate and multivariate analyses were examined. Missing data were handled throughthe complete case approach, which entails the inclusion of only the observations withcomplete data (Hair, Black, Babin, Anderson, & Tatham, 2006). Furthermore, Hair andhis colleagues propose that variables with as little as 15% missing data are candidates foromission. The average missing values of all variables included for the study was 3%.The variable with the highest missing values was "we learn about people form varioussexual orientations" (9%).Boxplots of all variables for the entire sample were checked in order to identifyoutliers. Despite the presence of outliers for most variables, they were included in theanalyses. Hair et al. (2006) assert that outliers cannot be simply categorized as eitheruseful or problematic rather they must be inspected within the context of the analyses andappraised depending on the kind of information they might offer. For this study, deletingoutliers based on the boxplots would have entailed discarding the views of one of thestudents who self-identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or unsure, whose experiences arecentral to the study. Thus, outliers were not deleted in this study.Although normality was violated for several variables, data was not transformed fortwo reasons. First, for most variables, transformation did not improve their skew orkurtosis. Second and more importantly, given that the initial sample in this study is large,variables with statistically significant skewness and kurtosis do not depart enough from46normality to cause a substantive difference in analysis (Tabachnick & Fide11, 2006).Also, power was not compromised due to the large sample size.Although no test can absolutely determine independence among observations, inthis study it was not a concern. Moreover, Hair et al., (2006) suggest that whendependence is a concern, the researcher uses a significance level of 0.01 or lower. Inmost of the analyses the alpha level was equal to 0.01.Bivariate scatter plots were used to assess linearity. Examination of the scatter plotsrevealed no curvilinear relationships. Even though heteroscedasticity was observed inANOVA, data was not transformed because the groups had approximately equal samplesizes (see Hair et al., 2006). Multicollinearity was assessed with bivariate correlationsand was not found to be problematic.The Statistical Package for Social Sciences, version 13 (SPSS 13) was the softwareused to analyze the data in this study.47Table 2Means and Standard Deviations of the Study's Entire Sample (N = 19,551) and MatchedSample (N =680) for All Variables iOverallSampleMatchedSampleVariables M (SD) M (SD)Safety at school 4.06 (0.95) 3.64 (1.32)Skipped school all day 1.42 (0.89) 1.86 (1.32)Adults respect and recognition (composite, a=0.84) 3.45 (0.74) 3.22 (0.95)Adults in my school care about students 3.35 (0.93) 3.15 (1.08)Peer belonging (composite, a=0.76) 3.54 (0.66) 3.24 (0.81)I feel like I belong at school 3.49 (1.02) 3.15 (1.22)Students at my school care about each other 3.26 (1.00) 3.06 (1.15)There is an adult in my family I can go to for support 3.89 (1.15) 3.48 (1.41)Physical bullying to me 1.28 (0.61) 1.55 (0.94)Verbal bullying to me 1.71 (0.86) 1.94 (1.07)Social bullying to me 1.59 (0.81) 1.87 (1.07)Sexual orientation victimization (composite, a=0.93) 1.12 (0.42) 1.51 (0.91)Substance Use (composite, a=0.95) 1.07 (0.26) 1.24 (0.54)Engagement in violence (composite, a=0.81) 1.15 (0.31) 1.32 (0.55)Learn about people of different sexual orientations in thepast year2.82 (1.23) 2.63 (1.28)Differences in means and standard deviations observed between the entire sample and matched sample isattributed to discarding most of the students' reports to create the matched sample.48Data AnalysesDifferences among Lesbian/Gay, Bisexual, Straight and Unsure YouthTo evaluate whether the experiences of this study's LGBQ youth are similar to thedocumented experiences of LGBQ youth in other studies, initial analyses focused ondocumenting the differences in social experiences among lesbian, gay, bisexual, unsure,and straight youth. To this end, self-identified bisexual, unsure and straight students werematched with each of the 236 lesbian and gay students, in terms of school, grade andgender, yielding a final matched sample of 170 students in each of the four sexualorientation categories and these groups were compared using analyses of variance(ANOVAs) I . Despite omitting the experiences of large numbers of the respondents, amatched sample of groups with equal sample sizes optimized statistical comparison ofreported means among lesbian/gay, bisexual, unsure, and straight youth.Specifically, a series of 4 (sexual orientation group) by 2 (gender) ANOVAs wereconducted, examining group and sex differences for each of the 12 dependent variables:student's reported safety at school, school skipping, adult support and recognition, senseof belonging (composite), family support, physical victimization, verbal victimization,social victimization, sexual orientation victimization (composite), substance use(composite), engagement in violence (composite), and learning about people of differentsexual orientations. Given the number of ANOVAs conducted, alpha levels wereadjusted from 0.05 to 0.0042, using the Bonferroni correction (0.05 alpha level— 12).Following Huberty and Morris (1989), analyses of variance were conducted rather thanmultivariate analyses of variance given interest in group differences for each of these dependentvariables.49The results of the 2 x4 ANOVA for perceived safety at school indicated significantdifferences among lesbian/gay, bisexual, unsure, and straight students, F(3, 666) = 23.71,p < 0.0042, (partial eta square, ri p) n p2 = 0.10. There were no gender differences and nosignificant interaction between sexual orientation and gender. Post-hoc analyses, usingScheffe's test, revealed that lesbian/gay youth reported significantly lower feelings ofsafety at school relative to bisexual, straight, or unsure youth. The latter three groups didnot differ significantly from one another in terms of perceived safety at school. Relevantmeans and standard deviations for this analysis are present in Table 3, with significantgroup differences, as indicated in post-hoc analyses, signified by different subscripts.With regard to self-reports of skipping school all day, results of a 2 x4 ANOVAshowed significant differences between lesbian/gay, bisexual, unsure and straightstudents, F(3, 662) = 23.58,p < 0.0042, n p2 = 0.10, with no significant main affects orinteractions with sex. Post-hoc analyses (Scheffe) showed that lesbian/gay youthreported significantly higher frequencies of skipping school in comparison to bisexual,straight, or unsure youth. However, there were no group differences between bisexual,straight, and unsure youth in terms of skipping school, as indicated in Table 3.Results of the two-way ANOVAs showed significant in student perceptions of adultrespect and recognition among LGBQ and straight students, F(3, 667) = 11.80,p <0.0042, n p2 = 0.05, with no significant gender differences or interactions. As presented inthird row of Table 3, post-hoc analyses (Scheffe) showed that lesbian/gay youth reportedmore negative perceptions of adult respect and recognition than did bisexual, unsure, orstraight youth, with no significant differences between the three latter groups.50Similarly, significant differences were observed in student feelings of belongingamong LGBQ youth and straight youth, F(3, 665) = 17.69,p < 0.0042, ri p2 = 0.07, withno main effects of sex nor sex by group interactions. Post-Hoc analyses, using Scheffe'stest, demonstrated that lesbian/gay youth reported significantly lower feelings ofbelonging at school, as compared with bisexual, unsure, and straight youth, who did notappear to be statistically different from one another (see row 4 in Table 3).Significant differences were also found in students' perceptions of having a familymember to who they can go to for support and advice among lesbian/gay, bisexual,unsure, and straight youth, F(3, 647) = 11.24,p < 0.0042, ri p2 = 0.05, with no main affectsof sex neither sex by group interactions. Post-hoc analyses (Scheffe), illustrated thatlesbian/gay youth reported significantly lower family support relative to unsure andstraight youth. There were no significant differences between lesbian/gay youth andbisexual youth. Also, there were no differences between bisexual youth and unsure andstraight youth (see row 5 in Table 3).To examine the differences among LGBQ and straight students' report of physical,verbal, social, and sexual orientation victimization, a series of four 2x4 ANOVA testswere conducted, one for each type of victimization. The results demonstrated significantdifferences among the four identified sexual orientation groups for each type ofvictimization: physical victimization, F(3, 642) = 22.82,p < 0.0042, ri p2 = 0.10, verbalvictimization, F(3, 635) = 16.94,p < 0.0042, ri p2 = 0.07, social victimization, F(3, 637) =-15.16, p < 0.0042 and ii p2 = 0.07, and victimization based on sexual orientation, F(3,643) = 51.53,p < 0.0042, Ti p2 = 0.19, with sexual orientation victimization showing the51largest effect size. For all tests, there were no significant sex main effects or sex bysexual orientation interactions. As illustrated in rows 6-9 on Table 3, results of the post-hoc analyses (Scheffe) indicated that lesbian/gay youth reported significantly more verbaland social victimization than did unsure and straight youth, but did not differ significantlyfrom bisexual youth in terms of verbal and social victimization. Bisexual youth, in turn,reported significantly more verbal victimization than straight youth, but did not differsignificantly from lesbian/gay or unsure youth in this regard. For physical victimizationand sexual orientation victimization, results of post-hoc analyses (Scheffe) revealed thatlesbian/gay youth reported significantly more victimization than did bisexual, unsure, orstraight youth, and that bisexual youth reported significantly more victimization thanstraight youth but did not differ from unsure youth in terms of physical or sexualorientation victimization.Results of the two-way ANOVA demonstrated significant group differences inreported substance use, F(3, 617) = 23.92,p < 0.0042, ri p2 = 0.10, although this effect wasqualified by a significant sex by sexual orientation interaction, F(3, 617) = 6.47, p <0.0042, i p2 = 0.03, the main effect for sex was not significant. As shown in row 10 ofTable 3, post-hoc analyses conducted to evaluate the main effect observed for sexualorientation group revealed that gay/lesbian youth reported significantly more substanceuse than did bisexual, unsure, or straight youth, with no significant differences betweenthe three latter groups. Follow-up post-hoc analyses (Scheffe) were also conductedseparately within each sex in order to evaluate the significant sex by group interaction.Results indicated no significant differences among gay, bisexual, unsure or straightmales. However, significant differences were observed between lesbian youth and52bisexual, unsure and straight youth. There were no significant differences betweenfemale bisexual, unsure, or straight youth.Results of the 2 x4 ANOVA conducted for engagement in violence also indicatedsignificant differences across sexual orientation groups, F(3, 631) = 17.80, p < 0.0042,p2 = 0.08. The sex main effect and the sex by sexual orientation interaction were notsignificant for this analysis. Post-hoc analyses (Scheffe) as illustrated in row 11 of Table3, indicated that lesbian/gay youth reported significantly more violence than did bisexual,unsure, or straight youth, with no differences among the latter three groups.Finally, results of the two-way ANOVA conducted for perceptions of learningabout different sexual orientations, revealed no significant differences as functions ofeither sex or sexual orientation group and no sex by group interaction. Thus, lesbian/gayyouth, bisexual, unsure, and straight boys and girls reported similar perceptions of theextent to which they learn about people of different sexual orientations.3.02 (1.62)2.51(1.63)2.88 (1.12)2.93 (0.89)2.99(1.53)3.65 (1.24)1.85 (1.23)3.33 (0.90)3.24 (0.79)3.51(1.38)3.70 (1.19)1.62 (1.15)3.25 (0.87)3.25 (0.77)3.60 (1.32)4.16 (0.90)1.45 (0.91)3.44 (0.77)3.55 (0.65)3.83(1.26)L/G <B,Q,S*L/G > B,Q,S*L/G <B,Q,S*L/G <B,Q,S*L/G<Q,S*2.00 (1.22)2.37 (1.24)2.28 (1.27)2.15 (1.15)1.58 (0.92)2.04 (1.07)1.97 (1.03)1.51 (0.84)1.45 (0.83)1.80 (1.00)1.70 (0.96)1.29 (0.75)1.20 (0.50)1.59 (0.77)1.56 (0.85)1.11 (0.36)L/G>B, Q, S*B>S*L/G>Q, S*B>S*L/G>Q, S*B>S*L/G>B, Q, S*B>S*^1.52 (0.75)^1.26 (0.53)^1.15 (0.39)^1.07 (0.26)^L/G > B,Q,S*1.56 (0.74)^1.34 (0.52)^1.23 (0.47)^1.16 (0.32)^L/G > B,Q,S*53Table 3Variations in Social Experiences across Matched Sexual Orientation Groups (N=170 pergroup)Lesbian/Gay^Bisexual^Unsure-^Straight^Post HocsQuestioningVariables^ M (SD)^M (SD)^M (SD)^M (SD)1. Safety at school*2. Skipped school all day *3. Adults respect andrecognition (a=0.84) *4. Peer belonging(a=0.76)*5. There is an adult in myfamily I can go to for*support6. Physical bullying to me *7. Verbal bullying to me *8. Social bullying to me *9. Sexual orientationvictimization (composite,a=0.93)*10. Substance Use(composite, a=0.95) *11. Engagement inviolence (composite,a=0.83)*12. Learn about people ofdifferent sexualorientations*2.31 (1.38)^2.70 (1.29)^2.73 (1.20)^2.78 (1.19)*p< 0.0042A second research question addressed in the present was whether, for everycategory of reported sexual orientation, youth perceptions of adult support at school were54related their reported social experiences at school. To this end, a first set of analysesexamined whether lesbian/gay, bisexual, unsure, and straight youth differed in theirreported social experiences as a function of the adult support available to them at school,including their experiences of felt safety at school, reports of skipping school, one's senseof belonging, reported physical, verbal, social, and sexual orientation victimization,substance use, engagement in violence, and learning about people of different sexualorientations. Specifically, Pearson product moment correlations were conducted withineach of the four sexual orientation groups to examine the relationship between perceivedadult support at school and reported social experiences at school, with Fisher's z, used toexamine whether these correlations varied significantly across groups. For theseanalyses, perceived adult support was assessed using the 7-item composite index ofperceived adult respect and recognition. Moreover, these analyses were conducted usingthe overall sample (19,551) because it was possible to obtain statistically meaningfulresults using the entire population.55Table 4Zero-Order Correlations between Perceptions of Adult Support and Social ExperiencesAdult^Lesbian/GayRespect/Recognition (N=201-233)(composite) with:1. Safety at school^0.52**2. Skipped school all^-0.42**day3. Peer belonging^0.65**(composite)4. Physical^-0.36**Victimization5. Verbal -0.25**Victimization6. Social^-0.25**^-0.30**Victimization7. Sexual OrientationVictimization(composite)8. Substance Use(composite)9. Engagement inviolence (composite)10. Learn aboutpeople of differentsexual orientations ** p <0.01-0.29**^-0.33**-0.49**^-0.37**-0.44**^-0.40**0.40**^0.30**-0.37**^-0.19**-0.38**^-0.23**0.26**^0.27**-0.34**^-0.15**-0.26**^-0.14**Straight(N=15223-16512)0.35**-0.16**0.49**-0.15**-0.23**L/G, B, Q > SL/G, Q > B, SL/G, B, Q > SL/G = SLG= B = QB, Q > SL/G = SLG= B = QB, Q > SL/G, B, Q > SL/G > QL/G, B, Q > SL/G, B, Q > SSignificantDifferences(Based onFisher's z) L/G, B, Q > SL/G = BL/G > Q, SB = Q= SBisexual^Unsure-(N = 537-^Questioning590)^(N=1244-1397)0.45**^0.49**-0.33**^-0.36**0.48**^0.57**-0.30**^-0.34**-0.26**^-0.13**Note: Variations in N for each group reflect variations in the sample size considered ineach correlation, owing primarily to missing data.As shown in Table 4 (for detailed information on the table, see Appendix A: Al-A6),across all sexual orientation groups, perceptions of adult support at school werepositively related to students' reported sense of safety at school and their sense ofbelonging, and negatively related to reports of victimization, through physical, verbal,56and social bullying, as well as victimization based on sexual orientation. In other words,the more students felt that the adults at school recognized and respected them, the morethey felt safe at school and felt that they belonged within the school context, and the lessthey reported being victimized physically, verbally, socially, or on the basis of theirsexual orientation. Moreover, the more adult support reported, the less likely studentswere to skip school, or report engaging in alcohol and drug use or violence. Although thesame pattern of significant correlations was observed for lesbian/gay, bisexual, unsure,and straight youth (see Table 4 and Appendix A); the magnitude of the correlationsdiffered.Fisher's z tests were used to determine whether the differences observed in thecorrelations between perceived adult support and social experiences differed significantlyacross the four sexual orientation groups. Significant differences between correlationsfor a particular measure are described in the final column of Table 4 and the results ofFisher's z transformations are found in Appendix A in more details. Results of theseanalyses revealed that the correlations obtained for lesbian/gay, bisexual youth were withone exception, not significantly different. The exception here is that, the relationshipbetween perceived adult support and reported feelings of belonging was significantlystronger for lesbian/gay youth than for bisexual youth, z = 3.24, p < 0.05, with an effectsize of 0.26.Fisher's z-tests revealed that almost all correlation coefficients betweenlesbian/gay and straight youth and between bisexual and straight students weresignificantly different. When comparing lesbian/gay and straight youth, only two of thecorrelations were not significantly different, which were those between perceived adult57support and both verbal and social victimization (see Table 4). Thus, with the exceptionof social and verbal victimization, the links between adult support and outcome variableswas significantly stronger lesbian/gay youth than for straight youth.Similarly, when comparing bisexual and straight students, only two of thecorrelations were not significantly different- those between perceived adult support andsense of belonging, and those between adult support and learning about people ofdifferent sexual orientations, z = -0.31, p = 0.76 and z = 0.74, p = 0.46. As was the casewith lesbian/gay youth, these data suggest that the links between adult support and socialexperiences was generally stronger for bisexual than for straight youth (see Table 4 andAppendix A).The same general pattern was evident when comparing correlations observed forunsure versus straight youth. Specifically, in all cases but one case, the relationshipbetween perceived adult support and social experiences was significantly stronger forunsure youth as compared to straight youth. The one exception was with regard tolearning about people of different sexual orientations for which the correlations observeddid not differ significantly.Fisher's z tests indicated that the correlations observed for lesbian/gay, bisexualand unsure youth, for the most part, were similar in magnitude. Exceptions here includedstronger relations observed for feelings of school belonging and perceived adult supportfor lesbian/gay and unsure youth than for bisexual youth. Similarly, when comparingcorrelations observed for lesbian/gay and bisexual youth, only one pair of correlationsdiffered significantly, that observed for perceived school belonging and adult support.Finally, correlations observed for lesbian/gay youth and for unsure youth did not differ58significantly with the exception between adult support and learning about people ofdifferent sexual orientations, which was higher for lesbian/gay youth.Overall, results of these correlational analyses suggest that perceptions of adultsupport are systematically linked with social experiences for all youth, but theserelationships are significantly stronger for lesbian/gay, bisexual, and unsure youth thanfor straight youth, although the patterns vary slightly across outcome measuresconsidered.To further explore the role of supportive adults at school, particularly for LGBQyouth, subsequent analyses examined whether the presence or absence of a supportiveadult had a direct impact on LGBQ adolescents' experiences with felt safety at school,skipping school, belonging, physical, verbal, social, and sexual orientation victimization,substance use, engagement in violence and learning about people of different sexualorientations. Straight youth were not included in the analyses because the purpose of thisquestion was to focus on any potential differences among LGBQ youth that were notdetected in the correlations. For this question the matched sample (n = 170, 170 x3-forlesbian/gay, bisexual, and unsure- 510). For these analyses, self-identified LGBQ youthwere divided into three groups in terms of adult support in terms of the adult support(adult respect and recognition composite) they experience at school. Specifically, studentresponses on the composite index of perceived adult respect and recognition were used todistinguish students who generally disagreed on items regarding the availability of adultsupport (DA=1.00; overall composite score between 1.00 and 2.50, n=120), those whowere undecided on adult support about the availability of adult support (U=2.00; overallcomposite score between 2.51 and 3.50, n=184), and those who generally agreed that59adult support was available (A=3.00; overall composite score between 3.51-5.00, n=201).Of interest in the present analyses was whether these three groups of students differedsignificantly in terms of their social experiences at school. Differences were assessed bya 2 (sex)x3 (sexual orientations)x3 (3-levels of perceptions of adult support) ANOVA.Because ten separate ANOVA tests were conducted, the significance level was adjustedfrom 0.05 to 0.005 (Bonferroni inequality).The 2 x3 x3 ANOVA for perceived safety at school (see row 1 in Table 12)indicated significant differences in felt safety at school among lesbian/gay, bisexual, andunsure students, F(2, 483) = 6.68,p < 0.005, ri p2 = 0.03. Moreover, significantdifferences were also observed among the different levels of adult support (DA, U, andA), F(2, 483) = 74.20,p < 0.005, ri p2 = 0.24. There were no significant mains effects forsex and there were no significant interactions between sex and sexual orientation, sex andadult support, sexual orientation and adult support, or sex, sexual orientation, and adultsupport. Post-hoc analyses (Scheffe) revealed (as expected based on the first researchquestion) that lesbian/gay youth reported significantly lower sense of safety at schoolrelative to bisexual and unsure youth. There were no significant differences betweenbisexual and unsure youth. Also, post-hoc analyses demonstrated that LGBQ adolescentswho did not agree on the availability of adult support reported significantly lower feltsafety at school than those students who were undecided or generally agreed on theavailability of adult support. Significant differences were also observed between studentswho were undecided and students who agreed on adult support with students who hadfavorable views of adults support reporting significantly higher safety at school than60those who were undecided on the availability of adult support. Thus, the three groups ofadult support were significantly different from one another.For skipping school all day, the three-way ANOVA (see row 2 in Table 12)showed that significant differences in skipping school among lesbian/gay, bisexual, andunsure students, F(2, 480) = 11.16,p < 0.005,112 = 0.04. Moreover, significantdifferences were also observed among the different levels of adult support (DA, U, andA), F(2, 480) = 37.40,p < 0.005, i p2 = 0.20. There were no significant mains effects forsex and there were no significant interactions between sex and sexual orientation, sex andadult support, sexual orientation and adult support, or sex, sexual orientation, and adultsupport. Post-hoc analyses (Scheffe) revealed (as expected based on the first researchquestion) that lesbian/gay youth reported significantly higher levels of skipping schoolthan bisexual and unsure youth. There were no significant differences between bisexualand unsure youth. Also, post-hoc analyses demonstrated that adolescents who did notagree on the availability of adult support reported significantly more skipping school thanthose students who were undecided or generally agreed on the availability of adultsupport. Significant differences were also observed between students who wereundecided and students who agree on the availability of adult support with students whohad a positive view of adult support availability reporting significantly lower levels ofskipping school than those who were undecided on the availability of adult support.Thus, the three groups of adult support were significantly different from one another intheir report of skipping school with students who had favorable views of adult supportreporting significantly less skipping school than the undecided group and disagreed (on61availability of adult support) group. The undecided group, in turn, reported significantlyless skipping school than the disagreed (on availability of adult support) group.There were no significant differences in sense of school belonging amonglesbian/gay, bisexual, and unsure students. Significant differences were found among thedifferent levels of adult support (DA, U, and A), F(2, 485) = 85.96,p < 0.005, ri p2 = 0.26.There were no significant mains effects for sex or sexual orientation and there were nosignificant interactions between sex and sexual orientation, sex and adult support, sexualorientation and adult support, or sex, sexual orientation, and adult support. Post-hocanalyses revealed that adolescents who did not agree on the availability of adult supportreported significantly a lower sense of belonging than those students who were undecidedor generally agreed on the availability of adult support. Interestingly, there were nosignificant differences between students who were undecided on adult support at schooland those who agree on the presence of adult support at school. As a result, students whohad negative views on the availability of adult support reported the lowest sense of schoolbelonging.The 2 x3 x3 ANOVA (row 4 in Table 12) demonstrated that there weresignificant differences in physical victimization among lesbian/gay, bisexual, and unsurestudents, F(2, 462) = 8.80,p < 0.005, ri p2 = 0.04. Significant differences were foundamong the different levels of adult support (DA, U, and A), F(2, 462) = 24.29,p < 0.005,lip2 = 0.11. There were no significant mains effects for sex and there were no significantinteractions between sex and sexual orientation, sex and adult support, sexual orientationand adult support, or sex, sexual orientation, and adult support. Through post-hocanalyses (Scheffe), results revealed that lesbian/gay youth reported more physical62victimization than bisexual and unsure youth, and there were no differences betweenbisexual and unsure youth. Furthermore, post-hoc analyses (Scheffe) showed thatadolescents who did not agree on the availability of adult support indicated higher levelsof physical victimization than those students who were undecided or agreed on theavailability of adult support. There were no significant differences between students whowere undecided on adult support at school and those who agreed on the presence of adultsupport at school. Thus students who disagreed on the availability of adult support atschool were the group reporting significantly the most physical victimization.As indicated in Table 12 (row 5), there were significant differences among LGBQyouths' report of verbal victimization, F(2, 455) = 6.15,p < 0.005, ri p2 = 0.03.Significant differences were also found among the different levels of adult support (DA,U, and A), F(2, 455) = 13.43,p < 0.005, fl p2 = 0.06. There were no significant mainseffects for sex and there were no significant interactions between sex and sexualorientation, sex and adult support, sexual orientation and adult support, or sex, sexualorientation, and adult support. Post-hoc analyses demonstrated that lesbian/gay youthreported more verbal victimization than unsure youth. There were no significantdifferences between lesbian/gay youth and bisexual youth and, also, there were nosignificant differences between bisexual and unsure youth. Post-hoc analyses (Scheffe)also indicated that adolescents who did not agree on the availability of adult supportreported significantly more verbal victimization than those students who were undecidedor agreed on the availability of adult support. There were no significant differencesbetween students who were undecided on adult support at school and those who agreed63on the presence of adult support at school. Thus, students who disagreed on theavailability of adult support at school reported significantly the most verbal victimization.The three-way ANOVA results for social victimization (see Table 12) weresimilar in pattern to the results of verbal victimization. Significant differences wereobserved among LGBQ youth reporting social victimization, F(2, 457) = 8.61,p < 0.005,rip2 = 0.04. Significant differences were also found among the different levels of adultsupport (DA, U, and A), F(2, 457) = 17.92,p < 0.005, i p2 = 0.07. There were nosignificant mains effects for sex and there were no significant interactions between sexand sexual orientation, sex and adult support, sexual orientation and adult support, or sex,sexual orientation, and adult support. Scheffe' post-hoc analyses showed that lesbian/gayyouth reported more social victimization than unsure youth. There were no significantdifferences between lesbian/gay youth and bisexual youth and, also, there were nosignificant differences between bisexual and unsure youth. Post-hoc analyses (Scheffe)also indicated that adolescents who did not agree on the availability of adult supportreported significantly more social victimization than those students who were undecidedor agreed on the availability of adult support. There were no significant differencesbetween students who were undecided on adult support at school and those who agreedon the presence of adult support at school. As a result, students who disagreed on theavailability of adult support at school reported significantly the most social victimization.For sexual orientation victimization, results revealed (see Table 12) significantdifferences among LGBQ youth, F(2, 458) = 12.17, p < 0.005, ri p2 = 0.05. Significantdifferences were also found among the different levels of adult support (DA, U, and A),F(2, 458) = 35.53, p < 0.005, ri p2 = 0.13. There were no significant mains effects for sex64and there were no significant interactions between sex and sexual orientation, sex andadult support, sexual orientation and adult support, or sex, sexual orientation, and adultsupport. Scheffe' post-hoc analyses revealed that lesbian/gay youth reported significantlymore sexual orientation victimization than bisexual and unsure youth. There were nosignificant differences between bisexual youth and unsure youth. Post-hoc analyses(Scheffe) also indicated that adolescents who did not agree on the availability of adultsupport reported significantly more sexual orientation victimization than those studentswho were undecided or agreed on the availability of adult support. There were nosignificant differences between students who were undecided on adult support at schooland those who agreed on the presence of adult support at school. Based in these results,youth who viewed adult support at school negatively reported significantly the mostsexual orientation victimization.The 2 x3 x3 ANOVA (Table 12) resulted in significant differences among LGBQyouth in substance use, F(2, 442) = 14.65, p < 0.005, rh,2 = 0.07. Significant differenceswere also found among the different levels of adult support (DA, U, and A), F(2, 442) =38.17, p < 0.005, ri p2 = 0.15. Also, there was a significant interaction between sex andsexual orientation, F(2, 442) = 6.03, p < 0.005, Ti p2 = 0.03. There were no significantmains effects for sex and there were no significant interactions between sex and adultsupport, sexual orientation and adult support, or sex, sexual orientation, and adultsupport. As shown by post-hoc analyses (Scheffe), lesbian/gay youth reportedsignificantly more substance use than bisexual and unsure youth. There were nosignificant differences between bisexual youth and unsure youth. Post-hoc analyses(Scheffe) also demonstrated that adolescents who did not agree on the availability of65adult support reported significantly more substance use than those students who wereundecided or agreed on the availability of adult support. There were no significantdifferences between students who were undecided on adult support at school and thosewho agreed on the presence of adult support at school. Post-hoc analyses (Scheffe) of theinteraction between sex and sexual orientation showed that lesbian youth reportedsignificantly the most substance use relative to female bisexual and unsure youth. Therewere no significant different between the males of the three sexual orientation subgroups.Findings on engagement in violence (see Table 12) illustrated significantdifferences among LGBQ youth, F(2, 454) = 10.12, p < 0.005, ri p2 = 0.04. Significantdifferences were also found among the different levels of adult support (DA, U, and A),F(2, 454) = 33.99, p < 0.005, t1 p2 = 0.13. There were no significant mains effects for sexand there were no significant interactions between sex and sexual orientation, sex andadult support, sexual orientation and adult support, or sex, sexual orientation, and adultsupport. Scheffe' post-hoc analyses revealed that lesbian/gay youth reportedsignificantly more engagement in violence than bisexual and unsure youth. There wereno significant differences between bisexual youth and unsure youth. Post-hoc analyses(Scheffe) also underscored that adolescents who did not agree on the availability of adultsupport reported significantly more engagement in violence than those students who wereundecided or agreed on the availability of adult support. There were no significantdifferences between students who were undecided on adult support at school and thosewho agreed on the presence of adult support at school.The last three-way ANOVA (see row 10, Table 12) indicated that significantdifferences in students' reports on learning about people of different sexual orientations66were found among the different levels of adult support (DA, U, and A), F(2, 433) =20.66, p < 0.005, ri p2 = 0.09. Significant main effects were not observed in sex or sexualorientation and there were no significant interaction between any of the independentvariables. Post-hoc analyses revealed that students who disagreed on the availability ofadult support were significantly the least to report learning about people of differentsexual orientations. There were no significant differences between youth who wereundecided about the availability of adult support and those who agreed on it.The magnitude of the effects for the main effects of adult availability wasrelatively small, ranging from very small (see Cohen, 1990) to 11 1,2 = 0.06 (verbalvictimization) to Tip2 = 0.26 (belonging).In summary, the results of the three-way ANOVA corroborated that LGBQ youthwho had a favorable view on the availability of adult support at school reportedsignificantly more felt safety at school and less skipping school than both LGBQ youthwho were undecided on the availability of adult support and those who disagreed on theavailability of adult support. Furthermore, students who were undecided on adult supportwere reporting significantly more felt safety at school and less skipping school than youthwho have held negative views regarding the availability of adult support. Students whoreported lack of adult support availability reported significantly the least safety at schooland the most skipping school. However, there were no significant differences betweenstudents who generally agreed on the availability of adult support at school and thosewho were undecided relative to their sense of belonging at school, the various forms ofvictimization, substance use, engagement in violence, and learning about people ofdifferent sexual orientations. Students who did not have favorable views of adult support67availability were significantly the least to express sense of school belonging,experiencing different forms of victimization, using substance, engaging in violence, andlearning about people of different sexual orientations.Table 5Variations in Social Experiences across Different Levels of Perceived Adult Support forLGBQ Youth (n = 170 per group)DAVariables^M (SD)1. Safety at school^2.26 (1.43) *2. Skipped school all day^2.94(1.74)*3. Peer belonging (a=0.76)^2.37 (0.83) *4. Physical bullying to me^2.31 (1.27) *5. Verbal bullying to me^2.59 (1.27 *)6. Social bullying to me^2.49 (1.31) *7. Sexual^orientation^2.15 (1.28) *victimization^(composite,a=0.76)8. Substance Use (composite,^1.75 (0.81) *a=0.95)9. Engagement in violence^1.82 (0.82) *(composite, a=0.95)10. Learn about people of^1.82 (1.17)^2.62 (1.14)^2.58 (1.30)different sexual orientations*p< 0.005Note: DA, disagree on the availability of adult support at school; U, undecided on theavailability of adult support at school; A, agree on the availability of adult support atschool.U A Post HocsM (SD) M (SD)3.45 (1.29) * 4.16 (0.92) * DA<Q,A*Q<A*1.92 (1.25) * 1.49 (0.97*) DA>Q,A*Q<A*3.17 (0.64) * 3.58 (0.64) * DA<Q,A*1.63 (0.98 *) 1.34 (0.68) * DA>Q,A*2.00 (1.08 *) 1.82 (0.99*) DA>Q,A*2.01 (1.08) * 1.67 (0.90*) DA>Q,A*1.36 (0.71) * 1.23 (0.57) * DA>Q,A*1.25 (0.49) * 1.11 (0.36) * DA>Q,A*1.33 (0.50) * 1.17 (0.60) * DA>Q,A*68Hierarchical Multiple Regressions Explaining LGBQ Youth Sense of Safety andBelonging at SchoolThe forth research question examines whether lesbian/gay, bisexual and unsureyouths' perceptions of adult support at school predicted their reporting of a sense ofsafety and belonging at school above and beyond their perceptions of family support andcare by peers at school. To examine this question, a series of hierarchical multipleregressions were conducted, explaining (a) perceptions of safety at school and thenfeelings of belonging at school, first from perceived family and peer support, which areknown protective factors (Resnick et al., 1997; Tharninger & Welss, 2000) in the firstblock, followed by perceptions of adult support (one item: adults in my school care aboutstudents) in the second block. Separate regressions were run for each of the three LGBQyouth groups using subjects from the large (non-matched) sample to maximize samplesize. Before running these multiple regression analyses, multivariate normality, linearityand homoscedasticity were assessed by examining scatter plots of the predicted scoresagainst the residual scores. To avoid multicollinearity among independent variables,single items were used to answer this question. Family support was tapped through theitem: There is an adult in my family I can go for support or advice or talk to about myproblems and worries. The item for peer support was: Students at my school really careabout each other and for adult support at school: Adults in my school really care aboutstudents.Results of this analysis, as presented in Table 5 below, indicated that for lesbian/gayyouth, perceptions of adult care in school accounted for a significant portion of thevariance in their perceptions of safety at school above and beyond their perceptions of the69availability of family and peer support, AR 2 = 0.04, F change (1, 216) = 11.29, p = 0.01.The overall hierarchical regression model was significant; adjusted R2 = 0.30%, F(3, 216)= 31.31,p < 0.01. Thus, perceived support from family and peers accounted for about26% of the variance in lesbian/gay youths' perceptions of safety at school, perceivedadult care accounted for an additional 4% of the variance in perceived safety at school.The Pratt index (Pratt, 1987; Thomas, Hughes, & Zumbo, 1998) was calculated in orderto assess the contribution of every explanatory variable to the overall R2, thus making itpossible to order the explanatory variables in terms of the fraction of the R2 that isattributed to the explanatory variables in the model. The Pratt Index demonstrated thatlesbian/gay youths' perceptions of students caring about each other at school was thestrongest explanatory variable (Pratt = 0.47), followed by lesbian/gay youths' perceptionsof adults at school as caring about students (Pratt =0.39), and finally lesbian/gay youthreporting the presence of a family member (Pratt = 0.14).70Table 6Summary of Hierarchical Regression Examining the Relation of Lesbian/Gay YouthViews of Adult Care at School to their Perceptions of Safety at SchoolVariables^B^SEB^Adjusted R2^Al?2Step 1^ 0.26**^0.26Family Support^0.22^0.07^0.20**Peer Care^0.54^0.08^0.42**Step 2 0.30^0.04**Family Support^0.14^0.07^0.13**Peer Care^0.39^0.09^0.30**Adult Care at^0.31^0.09^0.25**School**p < 0.01As demonstrated in Table 7 below, for bisexual youth, perceptions of adult care inschool explained a significant portion of the variance in their perceptions of safety atschool above and beyond their perceptions of the availability of family and peer support,A,R2 = 0.05, F change (1, 563) = 33.25,p < 0.01. The overall hierarchical regression modelwas significant, adjusted R 2 = 0.19%, F(3, 563) = 42.19,p < 0.01. As a result, perceivedsupport from family and peers accounted for about 14 % of the variance in bisexualyouths' perceptions of safety at school and perceived adult care accounted for anadditional 5% of the variance in perceived safety at school. The relative Pratt Index wascalculated to determine the contribution of each explanatory to the variance (R2) of theirfeelings of safety at school. The Pratt Index revealed that perceptions of adults at school71as caring about students at schools was the strongest explanatory variable in explainingthe variance in safety (Pratt = 0.44), followed by bisexual youth perceptions of peers atschool as caring about other students (Pratt = 0.38) and finally their views on thepresence of a supportive family member (Pratt = 018).Table 7Summary of Hierarchical Regression Examining the Relation of Bisexual Youth Viewsof Adult Care at School to their Perceptions of Safety at SchoolVariables B SEB /3 Adjusted R2 AR2Step 1 0.14** 0.14Family Support 0.17 0.04 0.19**Peer Care 0.31 0.04 0.28**Step 2 0.19 0.05**Family Support 0.13 0.04 0.14**Peer Care 0.24 0.04 0.22**Adult Care at 0.28 0.05 0.24**School**p <0.01Similarly for unsure youth, as shown in Table 8, perceptions of adult care in schoolexplained a significant portion of the variance in their perceptions of safety at schoolabove and beyond their perceptions of the availability of family and peer support, AR 2 =0.03, F change (1, 1334) = 47.95,p < 0.01. The overall hierarchical regression model wassignificant, adjusted R2 = 0.20%, F(3, 1334) = 112.30,p < 0.01. Perceived support fromfamily and peers accounted for about 17 % of the variance in lesbian/gay unsure youths'perceptions of safety at school and perceived adult care accounted for an additional 3% of72the variance in perceived safety at school. The relative Pratt Index was calculated todetermine the contribution of each explanatory to the variance (R 2) of their feelings ofsafety at school. The Pratt Index revealed that perceptions of peers care students was thestrongest explanatory variable in explaining the variance in safety (Pratt = 0.56), followedby unsure youth perceptions of adult care about other students (Pratt = 0.35), and finallytheir views on the presence of a supportive family member (Pratt = 0.09).Table 8Summary of Hierarchical Regression Examining the Relations of Unsure Youth Views ofAdult Care at School to their Perceptions of Safety at SchoolVariables B SEB Adjusted R2 Al?2Step 1 0.17** 0.17Family Support 0.11 0.02 0.12**Peer Care 0.39 0.03 0.37**Step 2 0.20 0.03**Family Support 0.08 0.02 0.09**Peer Care 0.30 0.03 0.28**Adult Care at 0.23 0.03 0.20**School**p < 0.01A second series of three regression analyses were conducted, one for each of thethree LGBQ groups, to examine the relative and unique contributions of perceivedsupport from family, peers, and adults at school to feelings of school belonging.Specifically, hierarchical regression were conducted, explaining reported schoolbelonging from student perceptions of family support and peers as caring (entered73together in Block 1) and perceptions of adult as care about other students (enteredseparately in Block 2). To answer this question, single items were used; otherwise,multicollinearity would have threatened the results. Students' sense of belonging wastapped through the question: I feel like I belong at my school. The explanatory variablesused earlier to explain safety at school were the same variables used in this regression.For lesbian/gay youth (see Table 9), the results showed that perceptions of adultscare about students accounted for a small but significant increase in the varianceobserved, 4R2 = 0.02, F change (1, 216) = 7.33,p < 0.01. The overall hierarchical modelwas significant, adjusted R 2 = 0.35, F (3, 216) = 43.90,p < 0.01. Perceived support fromfamily and peers accounted for around 35% of the variance in lesbian/gay youths' viewsof belonging at school and perceived adult care explained an additional 2% of thevariance in belonging at school. The Pratt Index verified that lesbian/gay youths'perception of peer care at school was the strongest explanatory variable (Pratt = 0.64).Adult care at school followed (Pratt = 0.24). The variable of least strength in explainingbelonging at school was family support (Pratt = 0.12).74Table 9Summary of Hierarchical Regression Examining the Relation of Lesbian/Gay YouthViews of Adult Care at School to their Sense of Belonging at SchoolVariables SEB Adjusted R2 AR2Step 1 0.35** 0.35Family Support 0.17 0.05 0.19**Peer Care 0.55 0.06 0.52**Step 2 0.37 0.02**Family Support 0.12 0.05 0.13**Peer Care 0.45 0.07 0.42**Adult Care at 0.20 0.07 0.19**School**p < 0.01As illustrated in Table 10, bisexual students' perceptions of adult care at schoolexplained a significant portion of the variance above and beyond family and peer support,AR2 = 0.06, F change (1, 564) = 45.21,p < 0.01. The overall hierarchical model wassignificant, adjusted R 2 = 0.30, F (3, 564) = 81.66,p < 0.01. Perceived support fromfamily and peers accounted for around 24% of the variance in bisexual youths' views ofbelonging at school and perceived adult care explained an additional 6% of the variancein belonging at school. The Pratt Index verified that bisexual youths' perception of peercare at school was the strongest explanatory variable (Pratt = 0.49). Adult care at schoolfollowed (Pratt = 0.34). The variable of least strength in explaining belonging at schoolwas family support (Pratt = 0.17).75Table 10Summary of Hierarchical Regression Examining the Relation of Bisexual Youth Viewsof Adult Care at School to their Sense of Belonging at SchoolVariables B SEB Q Adjusted R2 4R2Step 1 0.24** 0.24Family Support 0.20 0.03 0.22**Peer Care 0.43 0.04 0.40**Step 2 0.30 0.06**Family Support 0.15 0.03 0.17**Peer Care 0.36 0.04 0.34**Adult Care at 0.30 0.05 0.25**School** p <0.01For unsure youth (Table 11), unsure youths' perceptions of adult care at schoolexplained a significant portion of the variance above and beyond family and peer support,AR2 = 0.03, F change (1, 1333) = 60.06,p < 0.01. The overall hierarchical model wassignificant, adjusted R 2 = 0.29, F (3, 1333) = 183.90,p < 0.01. Perceived support fromfamily and peers accounted for around 29% of the variance in unsure youths' views ofbelonging at school and perceived adult care explained an additional 3% of the variancein belonging at school. The Pratt Index verified that unsure youths' perception of peercare at school was the strongest explanatory variable (Pratt = 0.59). Adult care at schoolfollowed (Pratt = 0.30). The variable of least strength in explaining belonging at schoolwas family support (Pratt = 0.11).76Table 11Summary of Hierarchical Regression Examining the Relation of Unsure Youth Views ofAdult Care at School to their Sense of Belonging at SchoolVariables B SEB /3 Adjusted R2 Al?2Step 1Family Support 0.14 0.02 0.16**0.26** 0.26Peer Care 0.46 0.03 0.45**Step 2 0.29 0.03**Family Support 0.11 0.02 0.12**Peer Care 0.36 0.03 0.36**Adult Care at 0.23 0.03 0.21**School** p < 0.01Adult Support as a Moderator of the Relationship between Victimization andSkipping SchoolThe final research question addressed in the present study considered whether adultsupport at school moderated the relationship between sexual orientation victimization andskipping school all day. A moderation effect made it possible to examine whetherdifferent levels of adult support at school (adult respect and recognition at school,composite) strengthens or weakens sexual orientation victimization's role in explainingskipping school all day for LGBQ youth (see Baron & Kenny, 1986, Wu & Zumbo, inpress). Through regression analyses, a moderation effect was identified by a significantinteraction between the explanatory (sexual orientation victimization) variable and themoderator (adult support at school) variable, yielding to either a significant increase or77decrease in the outcome variable (skipping school all day). Before conducting theseanalyses, the means for sexual orientation victimization and perceived adult support atschool were centered. The means for sexual orientation-based discrimination and adultsupport at school were centered before conducting the analyses. The regression model,predicting reported skipping school, involved two steps. In the first step, the centeredmeans for sexual orientation-based victimization and adult support were entered. In thesecond step, the interaction of the centered values for sexual orientation-basedvictimization and adult support at school was entered. Separate regression analyses wererun for each sexual orientation subgroup (lesbian/gay, bisexual, and unsure), using all theavailable subjects (i.e., not the reduced matched sample).Results of these regression analyses varied across lesbian/gay, bisexual, and unsurestudents. For lesbian/gay students, as shown in Table 11, adult support at school wasnot a significant moderator [adult support x sexual orientation victimization interaction, Fchange (1, 213) = 0.202,p = 0.653]. For bisexual youth (see Table 11) adult support atschool was a significant moderator variable, [adult support x sexual orientationvictimization interaction, F change (1, 557) = 10.70, p < 0.01], between sexual orientationvictimization and skipping school all day; however, it has a small effect size (AR 2 =0.02). Similar to bisexual youth, for unsure youth (see Table 12) adult support at schoolwas a significant moderator variable, adult support x sexual orientation victimizationinteraction, F change (1, 1315) = 18.42,p < 0.01]. The effect size, however, was 0.01.Consequently, these results show that that adult support at school doe not have aconsistent significant role as a moderator between sexual orientation victimization(explanatory variable) and skipping school (outcome variable). For lesbian/gay youth,78adult support was not a significant moderator and, although adult support was asignificant moderator for bisexual and unsure youth, the magnitude of the effect wasextremely small.Table 12Moderator EffectModerator^Outcome^Explanatory^F changeVariable Variable (dfi, df2)Adult Support^Skipping^Sexual Orientationat School^School VictimizationLesbian/Gay^ 0.65(1, 213)Bisexual^ 10.70**(1,557)Unsure^ 18.42**(1,1315)**p < 0.0179Chapter 5DiscussionOverviewAs an attempt to underscore that protective contextual factors promote the resilienceand well-being of LGBQ youth, this study examined whether adult support at schoolserves as a protective factor for the various social experiences of LGBQ adolescents. Thesocial experiences included adolescents' report of felt safety at school, belonging,skipping school, various forms of peer victimization, substance use, and violence atschool. The results of this study contribute to the scarce yet emerging research literatureon the resiliency of LGBQQ youth by extending prior research concerning the role ofadults at school (Goodenow et al., 2006; Russell et al., 2001): LGBQ youth who perceiveadults at school as supportive are more likely to have positive experiences at school.Simultaneously, the findings of this study shed light on the differences among LGBQQyouth. In this section, the findings are summarized and the implications, limitations, andfuture directions are identified.Summary of FindingsThe Social Experiences of LGBQ at SchoolAn initial focus of the first research question was to replicate and extend findingsfrom previous empirical studies regarding differences in social experiences oflesbian/gay, bisexual, unsure, and straight youth in high school. This was an essentialfirst step before investigating the role of supportive adults at school because most studiesin the literature have considered US samples, with no research to date on the experiencesof Canadian youth. As well many of the studies of LGBQQ youth have considered small,80convenience samples or targeted organizations, or have relied on non-empirical findings(Elze, 2005; Russell et al., 2001; Williams et al., 2005). The present research,considering self-report data from a large urban school district, encompassing all the highschools in one of the province's largest and most ethnically diverse districts, provides animportant extension of prior research on LGBQQ youth. Also, BC is the only province inCanada that has established reading, writing and mathematics but also socialresponsibility as foundational skills for education. Accordingly, the present studyprovides a unique opportunity to evaluate the social experiences of LGBQQ youth withregard to victimization, substance use, skipping school, belonging, and safety in aprovince and district that seeks to support the positive social development of all youth.In the present study, when a matched sample of self-identified, gay/lesbian,bisexual, unsure and straight youth (n= 170 per group, matched on grade, sex andschool), were compared in terms of self-reports of their social experiences at school,significant differences were primarily evident between lesbian/gay youth and the threeother groups. Specifically, lesbian/gay youth reported more negative perceptions of feltsafety at school, belonging, and adult respect/recognition relative to their bisexual, unsureor straight peers. They also reported greater substance use and violence than students inthe other three sexual orientation groups. For these outcome variables, bisexual, unsureand straight youth did not differ significantly from one another, although the meansobserved for straight youth were generally more positive and/or less negative than forbisexual and unsure youth.With regard to reported victimization, lesbian/gay youth in the present samplereported significantly greater physical, verbal and social victimization as well as81victimization based specifically on sexual orientation than did straight students andstudents who were as yet unsure of their sexual orientation. Lesbian/Gay youth alsoreported more physical and sexual-orientation-based victimization than did bisexualyouth, who in turn reported more physical and sexual-orientation based victimizationthan straight youth. Bisexual youth did not differ from lesbian/gay youth in terms ofverbal and social victimization by peers. The four sexual-orientation groups did not differsignificantly in reports of learning about people with sexual orientation within the schoolcontext.The findings obtained in the first set of analyses not only support those in theexisting literature on the experiences of LGBQQ youth, it also sheds light on thedifferences among LGBQ youth. To date, most studies have classified lesbian/gay,bisexual and unsure youth (if included) as one homogeneous group, examiningdifferences in social experiences through a dichotomous lens: lesbian/gay youth versusstraight youth or lesbian/gay and bisexual youth versus straight youth, owing in part to alack of sufficient sample sizes. Youth who are unsure or are still questioning their sexualorientation have been included in very few studies to date. More recently, researchershave begun to examine the variability that exists among lesbian/gay, bisexual,questioning, and transgendered youth (Elze, 2005). The results of the present studyclearly support the need to look at the social experiences of lesbian/gay, bisexual, andunsure youth separately.For example, the findings in this study reveal that lesbian/gay students reported thelowest felt safety at school, a result consistent with previous research (D'Augelli, 1998;Hershberger). Lesbian/gay students in the present study reported a significantly lower82sense of safety (M= 3.02) in comparison to their bisexual (M = 3.69), unsure (M = 4.16),and straight (M= 3.70). However, unlike previous studies, bisexual youth here did notreport significantly lower sense of safety relative to their straight peers. Additionally, theresults on lesbian/gay students' report of skipping school concur with the related,documented literature (see D'Augelli et al., 2002; DuRant et al., 1998; Garofalo et al.,1998). Lesbian/gay students had a significantly higher mean for school avoidance (M=2.51) in comparison to their straight peers (M= 1.45). Interestingly, such differences inschool avoidance were also found between lesbian/gay youth and bisexual youth andlesbian/gay youth and unsure youth. The scarce empirical literature on differencesamong lesbian/gay, bisexual, and unsure youth makes it difficult to determine whetherthese differences are unique to this study.A similar pattern of results was also observed for lesbian/gay youths' reported senseof belonging. The observed differences between lesbian/gay youth and straight youthreplicate findings from previous studies that have documented that lesbian/gay youthexperienced lower levels of school belonging than straight youth (Galliher et al., 2004;Murdock & Bolch, 2005; Rostosky et al., 2003; Russell et al., 2001). Unlike thesestudies, however, there were no significant differences observed in reported belongingbetween bisexual and unsure students and their straight peer, all reporting significantlystronger belonging than lesbian/gay youth.Lesbian/gay youths' perceptions of adult support at school (as measured by adultrespect and recognition) were also the least favorable in comparison to bisexual, unsureyouth, and straight youth, with the latter three groups not differing significantly from oneanother. Replication with larger samples of LGBQQ youth may be necessary to fully83document variations in reported social experiences across groups. The differencesobserved in the present study regarding perceptions of adult support between lesbian/gayyouth and straight youth echo the experiences several lesbian/gay youth divulged ininterviews (e.g., Bochenek et al., 2001; Little, 2001; Telljohann & Price, 1993). What isnoteworthy is that yet again there were observed discrepancies between the bisexualstudents' input in this study and in prior studies. For example, Russell and his colleagues(2001) found that female bisexual youth had the least positive feelings towards teachersin comparison to lesbian/gay and straight youth. A similar result was not observed herefor either gender.Lesbian/gay youths' report of physical, verbal, social, and sexual orientationvictimization in the present study is consistent with the extant literature (see D'Augelli,1998; D'augelli et al., 2002; Elze, 2001; Pilkington & D'Augelli, 1995; Williams et al.,2005). Lesbian/gay youth reported more physical, verbal, social, and sexual orientationvictimization than straight youth, as well as unsure youth. Significant differences inphysical and sexual orientation victimization were also found between lesbian/gay andbisexual youth but the two groups did not differ in their report of verbal and socialvictimization. Differences between bisexual youth and straight youth were found in allforms of victimization. Notably, there were no significant differences between bisexualyouth and unsure youth in all forms of victimization. Unlike present literature, therewere no significant differences between unsure students and straight students in theirreport of the various forms of victimization (Williams et al., 2005).Particularly interesting, however, were the social experiences reported by bisexualyouth in the present study. For example, some suggest that substance use is, perhaps,84lesbian/gay and bisexual teens' way "to escape, to numb, to cope" (Little, 2001, p. 103)and Garofalo et al. (1998) and Rostosky et al. (2003) found that bisexual and lesbian/gayyouth reported higher substance use than straight youth. In this study, the onlysignificant differences observed indicated that lesbian/gay youth reported greatersubstance use than bisexual, unsure, or straight youth. Thus, in contrast to the findings ofGarofalo and other researches, bisexual youth in the present study did not report greatersubstance use. Indeed, on the vast majority of outcome measures in the present study,bisexual youth reported outcomes that were not significantly different from those ofunsure or straight youth. What was noteworthy in this question was the interactionbetween sex and sexual orientation because post-hoc analyses of the interaction revealedthat lesbian youth reported significantly more substance use than their femalecounterparts in the other three groups. However, there were no differences among therest of the females and there were significant differences among the males. In a recentmeta-analysis, Marshal, Friedman, Stall, King, Miles, Gold, Bukstein, and Morse (2008)mention studies that support our finding regarding lesbian youth higher substance use, yetthey also mentioned other studies that found higher substance use among males and otherstudies that found no gender differences. Thus, it seems that a consistent findingregarding gender differences among LGBQQ youth in substance use is far fromconclusive.In the present study, reported engagement in violence was significantly higher forlesbian/gay youth in comparison to bisexual, straight, and unsure youth. The higher levelof engagement in violence among lesbian/gay youth was also noted in the 2001Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey (MYRBS), although in MYRBS, bisexual85youth (or who had same-sex sexual contact), were included with lesbian/gay youth as onehomogeneous group that was compared to the rest of the student population in thesample. On the other hand, McCreary's AHS revealed that 23% of gay males wereinvolved in physical fights, while 38% of bisexual male youth and 37% of straight youthengaged in fights. For females it was a different situation. 48% of lesbian youth, 37% ofbisexual females and 17% of heterosexual females engaged in physical fights. Withoutstatistical analysis, it is impossible to determine where significant differences occur inthis pattern of results, but it would appear that variations are apparent as function ofgender, with gay youth reporting the least amount of violence and lesbian youth reportingthe highest levels of violence (relative to bisexual and heterosexual youth). In the presentstudy, in contrast, results observed for reported use of violence did not vary as a functionof sex and there was no significant sex by group interaction.The first question was in support of existing literature on the contextual challengeslesbian/gay youth face although the same conclusion cannot be made for bisexual youth;however a few issues need to be taken into consideration. For example, the magnitude ofthe differences among lesbian/gay, bisexual, unsure, and straight youth were small.Effect sizes ranged from: 0.03 to 0.19. Undoubtedly, there were other factors that couldhave been considered, for example: race and grade. Also, a matched sample was used,making it impossible to learn about the experiences of ore than half the overall sample.Despite the drawbacks, this was an essential step before moving to the primaryfocus of this study: the role of supportive adults at school.86The Role of Supportive Adults at SchoolRecent empirical research shows that LGBQQ (in particular LGB) youth who hadfavorable views of their teachers were significantly less likely than their peers to faceschool troubles (Russel et al., 2001). In the present study, in keeping with the need toconsider the unique social experiences of lesbian/gay, bisexual, and unsure youth,analyses, undertaken to examine the degree of relationship between adult support atschool and a variety of negative outcome measures as well as positive measures, wereconducted separately for lesbian/gay, bisexual, unsure, and straight youth.Regardless of sexual orientation, bivariate correlations between students' report ofadult support at school and the rest of the variables corroborated prior research on theimportance role of adult support at school (Goodenow, 1993; Osterman, 2000; Wentzel,1997). Specifically, the present results indicated significant relationships between adultsupport and all the outcome variables across sexual orientation groups. In other words,regardless of whether students were lesbian/gay, bisexual, unsure, or straight, the morethey perceived that they were respected and recognized by adults at school, the morepositive and less negative social experiences they reported. Although correlational innature and not amenable to causal interpretation, these data are consistent with the notionthat adults at school can influence the lives of the children they work with. Particularlyinteresting, however, was the fact that the magnitude of these relationships variedsignificantly as a function of the sexual orientation of the students involved. Forinstance, the positive relationships observed between views of adult support at school andfelt safety and belonging were significantly stronger for lesbian/gay youth than forstraight youth. Also, the negative correlation between views of adult support at school87and physical victimization, sexual orientation-based victimization, substance use, schoolattendance, and engagement in violence were significantly stronger for lesbian/gay youth.As Table 5 demonstrated, for straight youth, the relationships between adult support andtheir social experiences, in general, were the weakest in magnitude. Although, there werea few differences among LGBQ youth, in most instances, the magnitude of thecorrelational differences in most comparisons was not significant.The findings of this question, though only correlational, were concurrent withCroninger and Lee (2001), who articulated that socially at risk adolescents benefit themost from teacher support. Undoubtedly, adult support would be beneficial for allstudents; however, this support might be more important to for youth whose contexts aremore challenging. Due to homophobia and heterosexism and regardless the differencesamong LGBQQ youth, they are aware of the predominant nature of their contexts(heterosexist); thus, adult support at school could be particularly important to them andthe third question delved deeper into the role of supportive adults at school.Adult support at school was further investigated in order to obtain a deeperunderstanding of the differences among LGBQ youth experiences with: felt safety atschool, skipping school, sense of school belonging, physical, verbal, sexual, social, andsexual orientation victimization, substance use, engagement in violence, and learningabout people of different sexual orientations. For these analyses, three groups of studentswere compared directly: those who have acknowledged the availability of adult support atschool, those who were indecisive regarding the availability of adult support, and thosewho did not feel that they were supported by adults at school. While correlationalanalyses were done within group, this question, as a follow up analysis, allowed for direct88comparisons across groups. Straight students were excluded from this analysis becausethe premise of this study was identifying whether supportive adults can play a unique rolein the social experiences of LGBQ youth at school in particular.The purpose of the third question was to find out whether the three different levelsof adult support were significantly different among LGBQ youths' reports of their socialexperiences. Youth who reported that they agreed on the availability of supportive adultsat schools reported significantly the most felt safety at school. Undecided youth alsoreported significantly more felt safety than youth who disagreed on adult support. Thus,all three levels were significantly different from one another. A similar result was foundin skipping school. All three levels of perceptions of adult support were significantlydifferent from one another, with youth who agree on the availability of adult support,reporting skipping school the least. The fact that students' safety and attendance arelinked to the availability of adult support implies that adult support at school is a mustbecause safety and attendance are related to students' rights. Thus, by feeling unsafe andperhaps preferring to skip school, their school context is contributing to their deprivationof their rights. Moreover, skipping school is positively linked to school drop out (Fine,1991) and as Croninger and Lee (2001) assert that at our time the implications ofdropping out of school are grim. Youth gravely limit their chances for a stable future ifthey do not complete secondary school education.For the rest of the social experiences, a significant difference was found betweenstudents who did not believe they have adult support at school and their peers who wereundecided or believed that adult support was available. There were no significantdifferences, however, between youth who were undecided and their counterparts who89agreed that they have adult support. If one takes a closer look at the social experiencesinvolved (school belonging, victimization, substance use, engagement in violence), onecan find that these are activities that mainly involve interactions with peers, as opposed tosafety and skipping, which could be viewed, perhaps, as more private. As mentionedearlier during adolescence peers' influence takes the driver's seat, which was a notionreflected in one students' answer to Certo et al., (2003) about the importance of peers: thestudy body that kept him on coming back to school. Thus, perhaps for these experiences,students who are undecided about adult support do not differ from students who agree onadult support because peer influence takes precedence.This question showed that students with negative views regarding the availability ofadult support are reporting the least positive experiences. However, the effect sizes wererelatively small and only part of the overall sample was used. Undoubtedly, there areother factors that come to play. The next question's purpose was to examine theuniqueness of adult support at school in comparison to other crucial players in theadolescents' lives.A primary question addressed in the present study was the extent to which the roleof supportive adults at school was unique in explaining the social experiences of LGBQyouth, relative to other types of interpersonal support, primarily family support (asreflected in the item: There is an adult in my family I can go to for support or advice ortalk to about my problems or worries) and peer support (as reflected in the item: peers inmy school really care about each other). Extant literature demonstrates the protectiverole of family support. Adolescents' experiences tend to be positive when their familyrelationships are warm (Steinberg, 1990). Family relationships and positive peer90relationships are fundamental protective factors in the lives of adolescents (Hymel et al.,1996; Osterman, 2000; Resnick et al., 1997; Tharninger & Welss, 2000; Wentzel, 1994).Research on LGBQ youth-family relationships, on the other hand, is scarce Russell et al.,2001). Moreover, as indicated by Telljohann and Price (1993), seeking support fromfamily and peers might be especially difficult for LGBQ youth and consequently, theyneed a "sympathetic other" during difficult times. Goodenow et al. (2006) only recentlyaddressed sense of safety at school and the role of staff Through logistic regression sheand her colleagues found that sexual minority youth who believed that there was a staffmember at school they could go to were one third as likely as those without support toreport being unsafe.The present study's finding gives empirical support to Telljohann's and Price'sassertion and extends Goodenow et al.'s (2006) study by showing that adult support atschool is a unique factor in predicting LGBQ sense of safety at school. Acrosslesbian/gay, bisexual, and unsure youth, perceptions of family and peer supportcontributed significantly to feelings of school safety, accounting for 17%-26% of thevariance. Adult support at school contributed an additional 3%-5% of the variance overand above that explained by family and peer support.A similar set of regression analyses were conducted to explore the relative influenceof perceived adult support at school on feelings of school belonging above and beyondfamily and peer support. Results confirmed that adult support contributed uniquely,above and beyond family and peer support, to students' perceptions of belonging atschool. This finding confirms that LGBQ youth like heterosexual youth seek belonging91in their school context through relationships with the members of their schoolcommunity.A final question addressed in the present study was whether adult support at schoolmoderated the relationship between sexual orientation victimization and skipping schoolamong LGBQ youth. Results of these analyses failed to provide evidence for moderationamong lesbian/gay youth, but adult support was found to be a significant moderator forbisexual and unsure youth. Thus for bisexual and unsure youth, the link between peervictimization (based on sexual orientation victimization) and skipping school varied,depending on whether or not students felt supported by adults at school. For those whofelt supported, respected, and recognized by adults at school, peer victimization did notlead to more school avoidance, while for students who did not feel supported by adults atschool; greater peer victimization was associated with greater school avoidance (i.e.,more skipping school). However, the effect sizes for bisexual and unsure youth weresmall (1.6% for bisexual and 1.1% for unsure), which is familiar in moderation (see Wu& Zumbo, 2007).Taken together, results of several analyses conducted in the present study point tothe remarkable protective role of supportive adults for LGBQ youth. In fact, bisexual andunsure youth adult support was found to moderate the impact of social experiences(victimization) on behavior (skipping school), extending previous research on theimportance of adult support (Murdock & Bolch, 2005; Russell et al., 2001). Forlesbian/gay youth, the availability of adult support failed to moderate the link betweenpeer victimization based on sexual orientation and school avoidance. The lack of abuffering relationship between lesbian/gay (as well as bisexual) youth adjustment and92social support was also found in Murdock and Bolch (2005). It may be that lesbian/gayyouth are longing for support that uniquely addresses their concerns as a minority livingin an explicitly dominant heterosexist world. In one qualitative study, the vast majorityof lesbian/gay youth stated that their teachers were positive about their sexual orientation,were supportive and that they treated them normally. However, when these studentswere asked about what the school could do for them to make their life better, the samestudents overwhelmingly mentioned that teachers should treat the issue with respect andnot allow "gay put-downs", and more counselors were needed be more caring andunderstanding of lesbian/gay individuals (Telljohann & Price, 1993). Thus, forlesbian/gay youth, the kind of adult support needed is not direct, as would be reflected intheir acceptance by adults, but indirect, as would be reflected in their efforts to addressbiases that exist within the larger school and peer community.Finally, this result perhaps indicates that while having supportive adults at school isnecessary, it is not enough. Adults at school also need explicit training in how to bestsupport LGBQ youth (Elze, 2005; Mahan, Varjas, Dew, Meyers, Singh, Marshall, &Graybill, 2006; Russell, 2005). A conscious active effort is vital in eliminating the long-standing heterosexist beliefs from society's institutions.Implications of FindingsThe results of the present study replicate and extend previous researchdemonstrating that the social experiences of LGBQQ youth are far more negative andless positive than those of heterosexual youth. The primary goal of the present study,however, was to investigate whether supportive adults at school could serve as aprotective factor for lesbian/gay, bisexual, and unsure youth. Although adult support93significantly moderated the relationship between bisexual and unsure youths' experienceswith sexual orientation-based victimization and skipping school, it did not moderate thisrelationship for lesbian/gay youth. However, adult support did uniquely contribute tolesbian/gay, bisexual, and unsure youths' sense of belonging and safety at school. Giventhese results, this study has several educational and research implications, as discussedbelow.After finding that LGB youth who had positive feelings towards their teachersexperienced less school troubles, Russell et al. (2001) concluded that schools need toprovide their teachers with the training they need to support their LGB students. Theresults of this study concur with the Russell et al. conclusion. All school members, andin particular teachers, should be provided with the skills and training that would assistthem in providing support to LGBQQ youth. Today, in North American culture, we areaware of the unconscious but pervasive nature of heterosexism and homophobia. Explicitand planned awareness and training must be provided to teachers and school staff in orderto ensure that homophobic and heterosexist practices cease to be the norm. LGB youthhave long expressed their disappointment in witnessing teachers not preventing otherstudents from using homophobic slurs (Baker, 1990; Telljohann & Price, 1993). Becausepeers play such an integral role in an adolescent's life, caring adults at school should beraising awareness among all students that homophobic remarks are not to be tolerated.Of course, such practices need to start early on in schools.Raising awareness among adults working with children and youth should start inteacher education programs in post-secondary institutions. Universities and colleges carrythe responsibility of examining the values they implicitly and explicitly teach. If one of94the goals of education is to develop contributing citizens, then the social and emotionalaspects of learning need to have a place in the teacher-education program, just likeacademic training.The results of the present study support the need for examining the protectivefactors that are available to LGBQQ youth in addition to the risk factors. The existingliterature on the experiences of LGBQQ youth should not only include the negativeaspects of their school experiences. As presented in this study, there are contextualfactors in the lives of LGBQQ youth that are promoting their well being and these factorsshould also have a place in the empirical literature on their school experiences (Russell,2005).The variability found among lesbian/gay, bisexual and unsure youth imply the needto examine the experiences of every group separately because, as illustrated here, they arenot homogenous. To advance the literature in the field and to provide youth with whatthey need in schools, educators and researchers need to reconsider classifying LGBQyouths under the same group (Busseri et al., 2006; Elze 2005; Russell et al., 2001). Thatbeing, results of the present study also demonstrate that LGBQQ adolescents havesomething in common: adolescents' sense of belonging at school is related to havingcaring adults. Thus, this study confirms that during adolescence, adults also matter.Limitations and StrengthsAs anticipated, overall, this study demonstrated that supportive adults at school playa positive role for LGBQ youth but it was not without limitations. This section identifiesand discusses both the strengths and shortcomings of the present study.95One limitation of the present study and perhaps the field in general, is the challengeof identifying LGBQ youth. The present study included one question on sexualorientation that prompted the informants to self-identify as lesbian/gay, bisexual, unsureor straight. Although self-identification is the most prevalent method of assessment(Russell et al., 2001), several researchers have recommended that the assessment ofsexual orientation be carried out along its multiple components, which include sexualbehavior, fantasy, identity, and attraction (Russell et al., 2001; Savin-Williams & Reams,2006). Other researchers have proposed examining the components of sexual orientationover time (Savin-Williams & Reams, 2006) because during adolescence the only constantis change (Tharinger & Wells, 2000). Despite these suggestions, at present there is notone standard that is predominantly endorsed and used to identify LGBQQ youth (Russellet al., 2001), making comparison of results across studies difficult.In this study it is impossible to determine whether youth who identified their sexualorientation as LGBQ were referring to their behavior, attraction, fantasy, or anotherdimension of sexual orientation. Also, it is impossible to ascertain whether youth whoidentified as unsure were actually still grappling with their sexual orientation or perhapsdid not fully understand the question as posed. Also notable is the fact that nearly 4% ofrespondents did not answer the sexual orientation question, causing one to wonderwhether some students simply did not identify with any of these labels. The avoidance orrejection of labels altogether is a topic that has recently been circulating among experts inthe field (Elze, 2005; Savin-Williams, 2005).In this study, youth were not asked to reveal whether they are open about theirsexual orientation in their school or to certain members of the school community.96Therefore, one cannot determine how this factor would have affected the students' viewsof their experiences and perceptions of adult support at school. However, it is importantto reiterate here that the decision to disclose sexual orientation to others is definitely theadolescents' choice but the fear entailed in disclosing, as a result of society'shomophobia, is not the teen's choice.This study falls short in identifying who the supportive adults are or whether thesupport they provide is unique to LGBQ youth. Do these adults have training that guidestheir support of LGBQ youth? Did any of the supportive adults disclose their sexualorientation to LGBQ youth? Such questions are important if one wants to identifyprotective factors that are unique to LGBQQ youth, which is an area that needs furtherresearch (Russell, 2005). Moreover, this study does not rely on multiple informants ormethods, or longitudinal data. The results are based only on the self-report of youth at aparticular point in time, treated almost like a discrete entity.Although this study had a large sample extending over an entire school district, itsresults cannot be readily generalized to other contexts, throughout Canada or BC, or tofuture times. In his book The New Gay Teenager, Savin-Williams (2005), alerts hisaudience that one cannot learn about the experiences of today's adolescents from theearlier experiences of older lesbian and gay individuals. Research with LGBQQ youthneeds to keep up with changes (Elze, 2005). For instance, youth are becoming aware oftheir sexual orientation and disclosing at younger ages (D'Augelli, 1998; Elze, 2005;Savin-Williams, 2005). Consequently, these results should be viewed in relation to itstime and place.97The results of this study are correlational and therefore cannot be used to determinecausality. However, the present results are consistent with the notion that the availabilityof supportive adults at school may serve as a protective factor in the social experiences ofLGBQQ youth. In order to determine whether the availability of adult support causesLGBQQ youth to enjoy more positive social experiences at school, future research willneed to consider experimental studies that afford appropriate controls and lendthemselves to causal interpretations. It is hoped that the present study serves as abackdrop and perhaps even an impetus for such research in the future.Some of the analyses conducted in the present study utilized single item measures, akey concern in this study. In some cases single items were used to avoidmulticollinearity, which leads to mistaken relationships between dependent andindependent variables.Within the present study, the observed effect sizes (see Cohen, 1992) of some of thefindings were quite small, leading one to question the meaningfulness and importance ofsome of the findings obtained. As well, within this literature, there are few studiesexploring similar variables; therefore, more similar studies are needed in order toconfidently evaluate the magnitude of the differences reported herein.Despite its existing limitations, this study had several strengths, as well as, severalelements that researchers view as indicators of the advancement of the field (see Elze,2005; Russell, 2005; Williams et al., 2005). Specifically, this study included a largeinitial sample taken from 18 different secondary schools in a large urban school district,with a high participation rate (approximately 80%), which lends some confidence to therepresentativeness of the results.98Second, this study examined the differences between lesbian/gay, bisexual, andunsure youth, treating each group separately, rather than classifying them in onehomogeneous group of "sexual minority" youth. As a result, this study allowed for anexamination of variations in social experiences across different sexual orientations.Third, this study investigated a potential moderator, adult support, which couldpromote the resilience of LGBQQ youth. Elze (2005) proposed that one of the positivetrends in research on LGBQQ youth is the examination of the adaptive strengths alongwith the mediators and moderators affecting their functioning.Fourth, this study specifically investigated sexual orientation-based victimization,which is a risk factor unique to LGBQ youth; thus joining the small but emerging body ofresearch that is moving towards recognizing conceptually and theoretically exclusive riskand protective factors for sexual minority youth (see Russell, 2005).Future DirectionsClearly, the results of this study verify that more research is needed in order to gaina deeper understanding of the unique protective factors for LGBQ youth at school. Thissection considers a few possibilities for future research examining the experiences ofLGBQQ youth at school.First, examining the experiences of LGBQQ youth from different ethnicbackgrounds would provide a better understanding of the common and uniqueexperiences that LGBQQ youth face, as well as, the expectations that youth have foradults at school. Perhaps, LGBQQ youth from some backgrounds might not expectadults at school to play a significant protective role. As large scale, ethnically diversesamples become available within this research literature, research in this area can begin to99explore variations in the social experiences of LGBQQ youth as a function of race andcultural differences.Further research is also needed to gain a greater understanding of how genderinfluences the experiences of LGBQQ youth. Although in this study, gender differenceswere not observed in most cases, other studies' results had demonstrated otherwise (e.g.,Russell et al., 2001; Williams et al., 2005).As mentioned earlier, the sexual orientation of supportive adults at school is notidentified. It would be interesting to find out whether LGBQQ youth would feel a greatersense of safety and belonging at school if they had support from LGBQQ adults. In someinterviews LGBQQ youth were hoping for representation, finding real-life examples ofpeople like them (Little, 2001; Telljohann & Price, 1993). For example, one study foundthat receiving support from LGBQQ youth was linked to positive self-esteem. It wouldinformative to find out whether support from LQGBQQ adults could be positively linkedto protective factor for LGBQQ youth. Moreover, whether LGBQQ adult support wouldhave a more positive impact on the experiences of LGBQQ youth at school incomparison to heterosexual adults would be an intriguing question to investigate.Goodenow et al. (2006) found that LGB youth in schools with support groups specificallyfor LGBQQ youth reported lower victimization. A question worth pursuing would beexamining whether support groups uniquely explain LGBQQ youth sense of safety aboveand beyond perceptions of teacher support at school.Also, the voices of LGBQ youth need to be heard. Interviews with youth in BCwhere they can share their perceptions of what adult support looks like, in their ownwords, would be helpful in guiding future research. Understanding the diversity of their100experiences is critical because LGBQQ individuals are not one homogeneous group andit is vital to advance the literature on the prevalent risk and protective factors that areunique to every group. Looking at the gender experiences within every group would alsobe informative. The variability among LGBQQ youth underscores the need to conductmore studies identifying the common and unique protective factors and risk factors forevery group.To advance the field, multiple questions on sexual orientation would make theresults more meaningful. How does sexual behavior versus sexual attraction play a rolein students' sense of safety and belonging at school? Longitudinal studies would beneeded to make more sound decisions regarding how the perceptions of adult support atschool change over time for LGBQ youth and to find out the stability of sexualorientation over time for youth and how it relates to their sense of safety and belonging atschool.Asking teachers and school staff about the explicit steps they take to promote asense of belonging among LGBQ youth and asking all students about the explicit actionsschool personnel take to promote the sense of safety and belonging among LGBQ youthwould inform whether there is agreement on what is working for LGBQ youth.Finally, it would be worthwhile to examine what variables could possibly moderatethe relationship between sexual orientation victimization and school attendance forLGBQQ youth (e.g., Gay-Straight Alliances).101ConclusionAs demonstrated by the results of this study, the role of supportive adults inpredicting the safety, belonging and school attendance of LGBQQ youth, though tovarying degrees for every group, is significant. Adult practices that foster LGBQQ youthsafety and belonging at school need to be identified and incorporated into adult trainingand awareness that explicitly helps them in supporting LGBQQ youth at school (Russellet al., 2001).Undoubtedly, the majority of LGBQQ youth grow up to be contributing membersof their societies (Russell, 2005; Savin-Williams, 2005). However, before an LGBQQyouth grows up to a contributing citizen, she/he has the right to a safe learningenvironment. We, as educators and educational researchers, cannot dismiss thediminished sense of safety and school belonging reported by LGBQQ youth. Therefore,the role of supportive adults in secondary school is not a bonus; it is a must. 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Buildingacademic success on social and emotional learning: What does the research say.NY: Teacher College Press.Appendix ATable AlResults of the Fisher's r to z Transformation for the Four Sexual Orientation Groups' Perceptions of Adult Support and their SocialExperiences in High School: Lesbian/Gay (L/G) &Bisexual (B) YouthCorrelation ofAdult Supportwith1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10L/G&BruG 0.52 0.65 -0.42 -0.36 -0.25 -0.25 -0.29 0.40 -0.49 -0.44rB 0.45 0.48 -0.33 -0.30 -0.26 -0.30 -0.33 0.30 -0.37 -0.40ilL/G 231 233 230 220 218 220 220 201 215 213nB 588 590 582 565 561 561 569 537 553 561q. 0.10 0.26 0.11 0.07 0.00 0.05 0.04 0.11 0.15 0.05z 1.17 3.24 -1.34 -0.84 0.13 0.68 0.55 1.37 -1.83 -0.6p 0.24 0.00 0.18 0.40 0.90 0.50 0.58 0.17 0.07 0.551: safe at school; 2: belonging at school; 3: skipping school; 4: physical victimization; 5: verbal victimization; 6: social victimization; 7:sexual orientation victimization; 8: substance use; 9: engagement in violence; 10: learn about different sexual orientations112Table A2Results of the Fisher's r to z Transformation for the Four Sexual Orientation Groups' Perceptions of Adult Support and their SocialExperiences in High School: Lesbian/Gay (L/G) &Unsure (Questioning) (Q) YouthCorrelation of 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10Adult SupportwithL/G&QruG 0.52 0.65 -0.42 -0.36 -0.25 -0.25 -0.29 0.40 -0.49 -0.44rQ 0.49 0.57 -0.36 -0.34 -0.23 -0.26 -0.34 0.26 -0.37 -0.38nuG 231 233 230 220 218 220 220 201 215 213nQ 1393 1397 1379 1337 1332 1323 1337 1244 1263 1320ci 0.04 0.13 0.07 0.03 0.03 0.01 0.05 0.15 0.15 0.07z 0.56 1.8 -0.99 -0.31 -0.29 0.15 0.76 2.06 -1.99 -0.97p 0.58 0.07 0.32 0.76 0.77 0.88 0.45 0.03 0.05 0.331: safe at school; 2: belonging at school; 3: skipping school; 4: physical victimization; 5: verbal victimization; 6: social victimization; 7:sexual orientation victimization; 8: substance use; 9: engagement in violence; 10: learn about different sexual orientations113Table A3Results of the Fisher's r to z Transformation for the Four Sexual Orientation Groups' Perceptions of Adult Support and their SocialExperiences in High School: Lesbian/Gay (L/G) & Straight (S) YouthCorrelation of 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10Adult SupportwithL/G&SruG 0.52 0.65 -0.42 -0.36 -0.25 -0.25 -0.29 0.40 -0.49 -0.44rs 0.35 0.49 -0.16 -0.15 -0.13 -0.14 -0.15 0.27 -0.19 -0.23RUG 231 233 230 220 218 220 220 201 215 213ns 16491 16512 16366 16127 16089 16067 16141 15223 15588 16019q 0.21 0.24 0.29 0.23 0.13 0.12 0.15 0.14 0.35 0.24z 3.16 3.4 -4.28 -3.30 -1.82 -1.68 -2.16 2.05 -4.97 -3.43p 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.07 0.09 0.04 0.04 0.00 0.001: safe at school; 2: belonging at school; 3: skipping school; 4: physical victimization; 5: verbal victimization; 6: social victimization; 7:sexual orientation victimization; 8: substance use; 9: engagement in violence; 10: learn about different sexual orientations114Table A4Results of the Fisher's r to z Transformation for the Four Sexual Orientation Groups' Perceptions of Adult Support and their SocialExperiences in High School: Bisexual (B) & Unsure (Questioning) (Q) YouthCorrelation of 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10Adult SupportwithB & QrB 0.45 0.48 -0.33 -0.30 -0.26 -0.30 -0.33 0.30 -0.37 -0.40rQ 0.49 0.57 -0.36 -0.34 -0.23 -0.26 -0.34 0.26 -0.37 -0.381113 588 590 582 565 561 561 569 537 553 561nQ 1393 1397 1379 1337 1332 1323 1337 1244 1263 1320g 0.06 0.13 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.01 0.04 0.00 0.02z -1.04 -2.53 0.69 0.89 -0.63 -0.86 0.22 0.84 0.00 0.32p 0.30 0.01 0.49 0.37 0.53 0.40 0.83 0.41 1.00 0.641: safe at school; 2: belonging at school; 3: skipping school; 4: physical victimization; 5: verbal victimization; 6: social victimization; 7:sexual orientation victimization; 8: substance use; 9: engagement in violence; 10: learn about different sexual orientations115Table A5Results of the Fisher's r to z Transformation for the Four Sexual Orientation Groups' Perceptions of Adult Support and their SocialExperiences in High School: B & U Youth 1 Experiences in High School: Bisexual (B) & Straight (S) YouthCorrelation of 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10Adult SupportwithB & SER 0.45 0.48 -0.33 -0.30 -0.26 -0.30 -0.33 0.30 -0.37 -0.40rs 0.35 0.49 -0.16 -0.15 -0.13 -0.14 -0.15 0.27 -0.19 -0.23ns 588 590 582 565 561 561 569 537 553 561ns 16491 16512 16366 16127 16089 16067 16141 15223 15588 16019q 0.11 0.02 0.18 0.16 0.14 0.17 0.19 0.03 0.20 0.19z 2.83 -0.31 -4.29 -3.69 -3.14 -3.92 -4.48 0.74 -4.52 -4.40p 0.00 0.76 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.46 0.00 0.001: safe at school; 2: belonging at school; 3: skipping school; 4: physical victimization; 5: verbal victimization; 6: social victimization; 7:sexual orientation victimization; 8: substance use; 9: engagement in violence; 10: learn about different sexual orientations116Table A6Results of the Fisher's r to z Transformation for the Four Sexual Orientation Groups' Perceptions of Adult Support and their SocialExperiences in High School: Straight (S) & Unsure (Questioning) (Q) YouthCorrelation of 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10Adult SupportwithS & Qrs 0.35 0.49 -0.16 -0.15 -0.13 -0.14 -0.15 0.27 -0.19 -0.23rQ 0.49 0.57 -0.36 -0.34 -0.23 -0.26 -0.34 0.26 -0.37 -0.38ns 16491 16512 16366 16127 16089 16067 16141 15223 15588 16019nQ 1393 1397 1379 1337 -0.23 1323 1337 1244 1263 1320q 0.17 0.11 0.24 0.20 0.10 0.13 0.20 0.01 0.20 0.17z -6.11 -4.00 7.68 7.12 3.62 4.37 7.12 0.36 6.69 5.79p 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.72 0.00 0.001: safe at school; 2: belonging at school; 3: skipping school; 4: physical victimization; 5: verbal victimization; 6: social victimization; 7:sexual orientation victimization; 8: substance use; 9: engagement in violence; 10: learn about different sexual orientations117Appendix BPage 1 of IUBC^The University of British ColumbiaOffice of Research ServicesBehavioural Research Ethics BoardSuite 102, 6190 Agronomy Road, Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z3CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL - FULL BOARDPRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR:Shelley HymelINSTITUTION / DEPARTMENT:UBC/Education/Educational &Counselling Psychology, and SpecialEducationUBC BREB NUMBER:H06-03562INSTITUTION(SIWHERE RESEARCH WILL BE CARRIED OUT:Institution^ •^r SiteUBC^ Point Grey SiteOther locations where the research will be conducted:N/ACO-INVESTIGATOR(S):Lina DarwichSPONSORING AGENCIES:N/APROJECT TITLE:Does Adult Support at School Make a Difference in the Social Experiences of Sexual Minority Youth?REB MEETING DATE:December 14, 2006CERTIFICATE EXPIRY DATE:December 14, 2007DOCUMENTS INCLUDED IN THIS APPROVAL: DATE APPROVED:June 25, 2007Document Name^ I^version^I DateQuestionnaire, Questionnaire Cover_ Letter, Tests:VSB Safe Schools and Social Responsibility Survey 2006^ N/A^November 30, 2006Other Documents:Response to BREB Provisos and Letter of support from VSB 1^May 28, 2007VSB Support Letter Nov 2006^ N/A^November 30, 2006The application for ethical review and the document(s) listed above have been reviewed and the procedures werefound to be acceptable on ethical grounds for research involving human subjects.Approval is issued on behalf of the Behavioural Research Ethics Boardand signed electronically by one of the following:Dr. Peter Suedfeld, ChairDr. Jim Rupert, Associate ChairDr. Arminee Kazanjian, Associate ChairDr. M. Judith Lynam, Associate ChairDr. Laurie Ford. Associate Chairhttps://ri se.ubc .ea/rise/Doe/0/EPKJ71CCK I MKF4M 73 921FI5J28/fromString.html ^4/28/2008118

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