LGBTQ+ students’ weekly academic engagement and disaffection predicted by experiences in gender-sexuality alliance meetings

V. Paul Poteat, Robert A. Marx, S. Henry Sherwood, Jerel P. Calzo, Hirokazu Yoshikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Schools are responsible for promoting LGBTQ+ students' academic success, yet many LGBTQ+ students contend with unsupportive learning environments. Gender-Sexuality Alliances (GSAs)—clubs that affirm students’ sexual orientation and gender diversity—could promote academic engagement and protect against disaffection. Aims: We aimed to identify GSA meeting-to-meeting experiences that predicted students’ ensuing academic engagement and disaffection over an eight-week weekly survey study. Sample: Participants were 92 LGBTQ+ GSA members (50% students of color, 51% trans/nonbinary, Mage = 15.83). Methods: Participants completed once-weekly surveys over an 8-week period on their experiences in their most recently attended GSA meeting and their current level of academic engagement and disaffection with learning. Results: Participants reported relatively lower disaffection on days after meetings where they had perceived greater advisor responsiveness, socialized with peers, and discussed academic issues. They reported relatively greater engagement on days after meetings where they took on more leadership. Participants who led more, on average, over the eight-week period reported less disaffection and greater engagement than others. Conclusions: GSAs may contribute partially to LGBTQ+ students’ educational experiences by guarding against academic disaffection and, to a lesser extent, promoting their academic engagement from week to week. More research needs to consider how GSAs and other school-based resources promote learning among LGBTQ+ students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101853
JournalLearning and Instruction
StatePublished - Apr 2024


  • Academic engagement
  • Disaffection with learning
  • Gender-sexuality alliances
  • LGBTQ+ students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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