Eastern Kentucky University

Poster Title

LGBTQIA Youth Experiences with Stigma in Urban and Rural School Settings: A Retrospective Study

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Social Work

Minor

Child and Family Studies

Institution 22-23

Eastern Kentucky University

KY House District #

47

KY Senate District #

7

Department

Dept. of Social Work

Abstract

School is considered an essential element in the development of children academically and socially. The experiences that children have while in elementary and secondary school impact their future academic success both positively and negatively. For children who identify as a part of the LGBTQIA community, social stigma may be a barrier to learning and to making positive social connections while in school. Currently there appears to be limited research available on this topic. Our research study aims to provide a better understanding of how LGBTIQIA youth are experiencing stigma in elementary and secondary school. The purpose of this study is to gain new insight on the struggles that LGBTQIA youth face and to use that insight to help implement better supports and resources for them. These experiences are looked at broadly as well as how they may differ in rural and urban school settings. The hypothesis for this study is that individuals of the LGBTQIA community in rural school settings experience more and worse cases of stigma including micro-aggressions compared to those in urban school settings. We used a retrospective framework conducting 2 focus groups with LGBTQIA college students at a 4-year university. The interview format included open-ended questions exploring their lived experience as youth in rural and urban schools prior to graduation from high school. Interview data were compiled, and thematic analysis techniques were used to examine responses. The study results will be used to educate professionals who may work with youth in this population in order to improve support and resources in schools. Providing new information and educating professionals can help prevent stigma and encourage respectful inclusion of LGBTQIA youth in schools.

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LGBTQIA Youth Experiences with Stigma in Urban and Rural School Settings: A Retrospective Study

School is considered an essential element in the development of children academically and socially. The experiences that children have while in elementary and secondary school impact their future academic success both positively and negatively. For children who identify as a part of the LGBTQIA community, social stigma may be a barrier to learning and to making positive social connections while in school. Currently there appears to be limited research available on this topic. Our research study aims to provide a better understanding of how LGBTIQIA youth are experiencing stigma in elementary and secondary school. The purpose of this study is to gain new insight on the struggles that LGBTQIA youth face and to use that insight to help implement better supports and resources for them. These experiences are looked at broadly as well as how they may differ in rural and urban school settings. The hypothesis for this study is that individuals of the LGBTQIA community in rural school settings experience more and worse cases of stigma including micro-aggressions compared to those in urban school settings. We used a retrospective framework conducting 2 focus groups with LGBTQIA college students at a 4-year university. The interview format included open-ended questions exploring their lived experience as youth in rural and urban schools prior to graduation from high school. Interview data were compiled, and thematic analysis techniques were used to examine responses. The study results will be used to educate professionals who may work with youth in this population in order to improve support and resources in schools. Providing new information and educating professionals can help prevent stigma and encourage respectful inclusion of LGBTQIA youth in schools.