Contextualizing Gay-Straight Alliances: Student, Advisor, and Structural Factors Related to Positive Youth Development Among Members

V. Paul Poteat, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Jerel P. Calzo, Mary L. Gray, Craig D. Digiovanni, Arthur Lipkin, Adrienne Mundy-Shephard, Jeff Perrotti, Jillian R. Scheer, Matthew P. Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Gay-straight alliances (GSAs) may promote resilience. Yet, what GSA components predict well-being? Among 146 youth and advisors in 13 GSAs (58% lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning; 64% White; 38% received free/reduced-cost lunch), student (demographics, victimization, attendance frequency, leadership, support, control), advisor (years served, training, control), and contextual factors (overall support or advocacy, outside support for the GSA) that predicted purpose, mastery, and self-esteem were tested. In multilevel models, GSA support predicted all outcomes. Racial/ethnic minority youth reported greater well-being, yet lower support. Youth in GSAs whose advisors served longer and perceived more control and were in more supportive school contexts reported healthier outcomes. GSA advocacy also predicted purpose. Ethnographic notes elucidated complex associations and variability as to how GSAs operated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-193
Number of pages18
JournalChild development
Volume86
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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    Poteat, V. P., Yoshikawa, H., Calzo, J. P., Gray, M. L., Digiovanni, C. D., Lipkin, A., Mundy-Shephard, A., Perrotti, J., Scheer, J. R., & Shaw, M. P. (2015). Contextualizing Gay-Straight Alliances: Student, Advisor, and Structural Factors Related to Positive Youth Development Among Members. Child development, 86(1), 176-193. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12289