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.