Lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and questioning (LGBQ) adolescents experience large disparities in an array of health problems and bullying experiences. Supportive LGBTQ community and school climates may protect LGBQ youth from general and bias-based bullying victimization.
We combined data from LGBQ respondents on the 2013 Minnesota Student Survey (N=2,404) with information on the presence of a GSA (N=79 schools; 2014 School Health Profiles), and new data collection on a range of LGBTQ-supportive community indicators within a 15-minute drive time around the school. Hierarchical logistic regressions assessed the role of community supportiveness, GSA presence, and prevalence of LGBQ peers on general and bias-based bullying victimization, adjusted for sociodemographic covariates.
Results indicated that for birth-assigned females, attending a school with a GSA was related to lower odds of sexual orientation-based bullying and attending school in an area with more LGBTQ-supportive community resources predicted lower odds of sexual orientation- and weight/appearance-based bullying. Having more LGBQ peers was related to lower levels of race- and weight/appearance-based bullying for all LGBQ youth.
These findings provide support for the assumption that more LGBTQ-supportive communities and schools protect against bias-based bullying, particularly for girls, but they are not related to general bullying. Expanding and strengthening supportive resources for LGBTQ youth in schools and communities and identifying protective factors for GBQ boys are recommended.
Gower, A.L., Watson, R.J., Erickson, D.J., Saewyc, E.M., Eisenberg, M.E. LGBQ Youth’s Experiences of General and Bias-Based Bullying Victimization: the Buffering Role of Supportive School and Community Environments. Int Journal of Bullying Prevention (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42380-020-00065-4