Washington: A new research has claimed that youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) are at a greater risk of suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, victimization by peers, and elevated levels of unexcused absences from school.
According to the research conducted by Joseph P. Robinson and Dorothy L Espelage, scholars at University of Illinois, gaps in school belongingness and unexcused absences were also found to “be significantly greater in middle school, which suggests heightened early risk for LGBTQ-identified students”.
Robinson and Espelage surveyed a large, population-based anonymous sample of more than 13,000 students spanning middle to high school in 30 schools in Dane County, Wisconsin.
They said that their sample was unique and more likely reflects “the full spectrum of LQBTQ students,” because it included middle school students, not just high school students, and students who identified themselves as transgender.
“The sample recruitment methods did not specifically target sexual minority students,” they said.
The researchers suggested that schools have opportunities from an equity and opportunity-to-learn perspective to help LGBTQ students who have lower levels of belongingness and higher levels of truancy, particularly in middle school.
“Incorporating discussions about sexual orientation and sexual identity in bullying prevention programs may contribute to safer environments and more positive outcomes for LGBTQ youth,” they added.