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Child Dev. 2015 Jan-Feb;86(1):176-93. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12289. Epub 2014 Aug 30.

Contextualizing gay-straight alliances: student, advisor, and structural factors related to positive youth development among members.

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  • 1Boston College.

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.

PMID:
25176579
PMCID:
PMC4331256
DOI:
10.1111/cdev.12289
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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