Study links bullying to school ties

Research from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network shows that students who endure anti-LGBT harassment and lack administrative support are less likely to be involved in their schools.

GLSEN recently published its findings, based on an analysis of the nonprofit’s 2007 school climate survey, in The Prevention Researcher.

In the survey, researchers questioned 6,200 LGBT middle and high school students about harassment in school and how educators respond to reports of such harassment.

A new look at the data found a direct link between anti-LGBT victimization and lower levels of “school connectedness” for LGBT youth.

The review also found that in schools where LGBT students found supportive staff who followed anti-bullying policies or provided Gay-Straight Alliances, the level of school connectedness increases.

“Past research shows that feeling like a valued and accepted member of a school community is an important contributor to healthy adolescent development,” said GLSEN researcher Joseph Kosciw.

“We also find that access to institutional supports can make a positive difference in the lives of LGBT youth and plays a critical role in interrupting the damaging relationship between hostile school climate and school connectedness,” Kosciw said.