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03-04-2020 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 5/2020

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 5/2020

Bias-Based Bullying and School Adjustment among Sexual and Gender Minority Adolescents: The Role of Gay-Straight Alliances

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 5/2020
Leah M. Lessard, Ryan J. Watson, Rebecca M. Puhl
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The original version of this article was revised: The errors in Table 2 have been corrected.
A correction to this article is available online at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10964-020-01243-9.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.


Adolescents identifying as sexual and/or gender minorities face many challenges at school due to stigma-based peer harassment. This study examined the extent to which sexual and gender minority adolescents experience bias-based bullying across a range of stigmatized identities and attributes, as well as the potential of gay-straight alliances (GSAs, also referred to as gender-sexuality alliances) to reduce simultaneously multiple forms of bias-based bullying, and in turn support school adjustment. Using a United States sample of diverse sexual and gender minority adolescents (N = 17,112; Mage = 15.57, SDage = 1.27), multiple mediation analyses indicated lower levels of multiple forms of bias-based bullying (based on body weight, gender, religion, disability, gender typicality, sexuality) at schools with versus without GSAs, and in turn higher perceived school safety, as well as higher grades and reduced school suspension (due to less weight- and sexuality-based bullying). The findings shed light on the broad-reaching stigma-reduction potential of GSAs.

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