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ERIC Number: EJ983633
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Nov
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-0013-189X
Bullying Explains Only Part of LGBTQ-Heterosexual Risk Disparities: Implications for Policy and Practice
Robinson, Joseph P.; Espelage, Dorothy L.
Educational Researcher, v41 n8 p309-319 Nov 2012
Students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) experience higher rates of victimization by bullying than do their heterosexual-identified peers. In this article, we investigate the extent to which this difference in rates of victimization can explain LGBTQ youths' greater rates of suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and unexcused absences from school. Our sample consisted of 11,337 students in Grades 7 through 12 from 30 schools in Dane County, Wisconsin. Using both multilevel covariate-adjusted models and propensity-score-matching models, we found that although victimization does explain a portion of the LGBTQ-heterosexual risk disparities, substantial differences persist "even when the differences in victimization are taken into account". For example, LGBTQ-identified students were 3.3 times as likely to think about suicide (p less than 0.0001), 3.0 times as likely to attempt suicide (p = 0.007), and 1.4 times as likely to skip school (p = 0.047) as propensity-score-matched heterosexual-identified students within the same school who reported equivalent levels of peer victimization. Moreover, in our propensity-score-matched samples, we found substantial differences in suicidal ideation and suicide attempts at both higher and lower levels of victimization. This consistent pattern of findings suggests that policies aimed simply at reducing bullying may not be effective in bringing LGBTQ youth to the level of their heterosexual peers in terms of psychological and educational outcomes. Additional policies may be needed to promote safe, supportive school environments. (Contains 14 notes, 2 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 10; Grade 11; Grade 12; Grade 7; Grade 8; Grade 9; High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin