International Journal of

Arts , Humanities & Social Science

ISSN 2693-2547 (Print) , ISSN 2693-2555 (Online)
A Place to Belong: An Analysis of Different Support Systems’ Effects on School Belonging for LGBTQ+ Students

Abstract


School belonging is important for students of all demographics. Of particular concern is LGBTQ+ high school students’ sense of school belonging. These students face several diverse effective for heterosexual youth are not always effective to the same degree for LGBTQ+ students (Poteat, 2011).

In order to better assist queer youth, there must first be a better understanding of which methods of support are most effective for this demographic of students. It is important to analyze these different approaches and shed light on what diverse methods schools and families can implement to better meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student body. Current research has uncovered that both queer and straight students at schools with Gay-Straight Alliances report higher levels of school belonging than schools without GSAs, parental support has been found to be negatively associated with school dropout rates and other risks for LGBTQ+ youth, and peer support rather than peer victimization has been correlated with feelings of safety at schools and higher scores on school-belonging from LGBTQ+ students. Although there are many factors in determining an LGBTQ+ student’s sense of belonging at school, among the most influential are systems of peer-based support through Gay Straight Alliances and institutional support through school policies. Parental support seems to be less influential.