Date of Award

2021

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Specialization

School Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Margaret R. Rogers

Abstract

In school settings, teachers are on the front lines for supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) adolescents and have direct contact with students daily. Previous research establishes that LGBTQ+ adolescents are at a higher rate of experiencing mental health disorders compared to their cisgender and heterosexual peers due to high social stress from discrimination and bullying. The current study expanded upon previous literature by examining preservice teachers’ knowledge, attitudes, and comfort towards LGBTQ+ students, the relationship between these factors, and teachers’ intention to engage in school-based LGBTQ+ advocacy. Participants were 168 undergraduate and graduate level preservice teachers currently attending accredited teacher preparatory programs in the Northeastern United States. Results indicated that this sample of preservice teachers fostered a substantial degree of knowledge regarding the LGBTQ+ community, positive attitudes towards LGBTQ+ persons, and a high degree of comfort. These factors - knowledge, attitudes and comfort - were significantly related to each other. Levels of knowledge was also significantly associated with attitudes and comfort as well as future intent to support LGBTQ+ students. Further, their attitudes and comfort predicted future intent to advocate on behalf of LGBTQ+ students. Study implications and limitations are explored.

Available for download on Thursday, January 05, 2023

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