Research Questions and Literature Search

Assignment 1: Research Questions and Literature Search

By: Rickard Jean-Noel

Applied Social Work Research and Evaluation

2019-1028 SWGS 6803

 

Research Question

What intervention approaches are used in schools to prevent bullying of LGBTQ students?

Abstract:

“Background: Seattle Public Schools has implemented policies and programs to increase safety, family involvement, and student achievement for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. This case study examines students’ perceptions of bullying and harassment in the school environment, and teacher intervention when these problems arise in the presence of strong district policies and programs aimed at reducing LGBTQ bullying and harassment in schools. Methods: We surveyed students in Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) groups at 13 secondary schools (N?=?107). We also conducted focus groups with GSA students and students not involved in the GSAs in 7 of 13 schools (N?=?16 groups, including 154 students). Results: GSA students who were lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning (LGBQ) were significantly more likely than straight students to experience several types of harassment. On the basis of student report, the 2 most common intervention strategies by teachers for verbal harassment included stopping the harassment and explaining why it is wrong; teachers intervened in physical harassment by trying to stop the harassment. Students provided input on how to strengthen teacher interventions, including the need for more consistency in responding and following up. Students also noted a need for more focus on educating those who harass, rather than just asking them to stop. Conclusions: Seattle Public Schools has made great strides in creating safe and welcoming schools for LGBTQ students, but still have to work further toward reaching this goal. Data from students on how they experience their school environment can help identify areas for improvement” (Hillard, P., Love, L., Franks, H. M., Laris, B. A., & Coyle, K. K,2014, p.1).

References:

Hillard, P., Love, L., Franks, H. M., Laris, B. A., & Coyle, K. K. (2014). “They Were Only Joking”: Efforts to Decrease LGBTQ Bullying and Harassment in Seattle Public Schools. Journal of School Health, 84(1), 1–9. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.avoserv2.library.fordham.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ1028203&site=eds-live

Abstract:

“Given the research about the decrease in age of coming out and the established need for support during young adolescents’ sexual development, it is clear that programming targeted to middle grades LGBTQ youth is both essential and widely lacking. Interventions such as staff development and training, in-class curriculum, support groups, after-school clubs, and awareness events have the promise to improve the climate for LGBTQyouth in middle grades schoolsand, thereby, their educational and social success. The recent barrage of stories in the news media reflects the consequences of unaddressed homophobic bullyingin school. This lack of responsiveness gives disrespectful behavior permission to continue. Staff training can help to normalize issues of teen sexuality and provide teachers with interventiontools and age-appropriate language. An Out for Equity program in Minnesota conducted a three-year evaluation of interventionsaimed at decreasing homophobia and improving the learning environment for LGBTQstudents in middle school. This article provides an overview of project activities and a qualitative analysis of project outcomes. (Contains 2 figures.)” (Horowitz, A., &Itzkowitz, M.,2011, p32.).

Reference:

Horowitz, A., &Itzkowitz, M. (2011). LGBTQ Youth in American Schools: Moving to the Middle. Middle School Journal (J3), 42(5), 32–38. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.avoserv2.library.fordham.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ934078&site=eds-live

Abstract:

“Comprehensive sexuality education and sexuality education that is inclusive to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth is thought to educate and support youth in their social relations. Despite the obligation for Dutch schools to cover sexuality education in their curricula, including the topic of sexual diversity, the content that is covered varies widely across schools. With the current study, we present an overview of the content of sexuality education as reported by a sample of 601 Dutch adolescents (58.4% female youth) from six different high schools (e.g., public, Roman Catholic, protestant, anthroposophical; grades 10-12). Further, we examine whether the content or extensiveness of sexuality education at the beginning of the school year is related to a decreasein LGBTQ name-calling and an increase in the willingness to intervene when witnessing LGBTQ name-calling at the end of the school year. Adolescents completed three surveys, spaced four months apart. The results show that anatomy, STI prevention, and relationships are covered most often in sexuality education, with less attention to sexual diversity. Our longitudinal findings show that having a wide variety of topics covered in sexuality education-not just sexual diversity-was related to an increase in perceived willingness to intervene when witnessing  name-calling by teachers or school staff, fellow students, and youth themselves (female youth). It also predicted a decrease in the occurrence of name-calling according to females. Our findings emphasize the importance of having comprehensive sexuality education in schools; it not only educates and empowers youth but also signals a safer school climate” (Baams, L., Dubas, J., & van Aken, M. ,2017, p931).

Reference:

Baams, L., Dubas, J., & van Aken, M. (2017). Comprehensive Sexuality Education as a Longitudinal Predictor of LGBTQ Name-Calling and Perceived Willingness to Intervene in School. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 46(5), 931–942. https://doi-org.avoserv2.library.fordham.edu/10.1007/s10964-017-0638-z

Abstract:

“Homophobic bullying is a pervasive issue in U.S. schools. Broadly, two distinct approaches to address bullying include punitive versus supportive practices. Few studies have considered these approaches in the context of school connectedness in relation to homophobic bullying. Drawing from theories of social support and control, we argue that supportive practices should reduce homophobic bullying and promote school connectedness. Further, although punitive practices may deter homophobic bullying, they also compromise school connectedness, except perhaps among students who have been bullied. Supportive practices could be especially important for promoting school connectedness for students who experience homophobic bullying. Using teacher (n = 62,448) and student (n = 337,945) data from 745 high schools that participated in the California School Climate Survey and the California Healthy Kids Survey, our study examines the association between teacher reports of punitive versus supportive practices, and student experiences of homophobic bullying and school connectedness. We also interrogate differential effects of punitive and supportive practices on school connectedness for students who have and have not experienced homophobic bullying. Results indicate that supportive, but not punitive, practices are associated with less homophobic bullying and higher school connectedness. Supportive practices also serve as a protective factor for students who have experienced homophobic bullying. Additionally, students in schools with less supportive practices, and who have not experienced homophobic bullying, report low levels of school connectedness comparable with students who have been bullied. Implications for school policy related to supporting students at risk for being bullied and school disconnectedness are discussed.)” (Day, J. K., Snapp, S. D., & Russell, S. T. ,2016, p.416).

Reference:

Day, J. K., Snapp, S. D., & Russell, S. T. (2016). Supportive, not punitive, practices reduce homophobic bullying and improve school connectedness. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 3(4), 416–425. https://doi-org.avoserv2.library.fordham.edu/10.1037/sgd0000195.supp (Supplemental)

Abstract:

“Gay-straight alliances (GSAs) are school-based organizations for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) youth and their allies that often attempt to improve school climate for sexual and gender minority youth. This meta-analysis evaluates the association between school GSA presence and youth’s self-reports of school-based victimization by quantitatively synthesizing 15 primary studies with 62,923 participants. Findings indicate GSA presence is associated with significantly lower levels of youth’s self-reports of homophobic victimization, fear for safety, and hearing homophobic remarks, and these results are robust, controlling for a variety of study-level factors. The findings of this meta-analysis provide evidence to support GSAs as a means of protecting LGTBQ+ youth from school-based victimization”(Marx, R., &Kettrey, H.,2016 p.1269).

Reference:

Marx, R., &Kettrey, H. (2016). Gay-Straight Alliances are Associated with Lower Levels of School-Based Victimization of LGBTQ+ Youth: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 45(7), 1269–1282. https://doi-org.avoserv2.library.fordham.edu/10.1007/s10964-016-0501-7

Commentary:

After reviewing the articles, we notice that there are similarities in the different articles and there some slight differences. One thing that all of the articles have in common is that they are all presenting ideas and studies in which anti-bullying tactics were development for the protection of LGBTQQ youth.

In the first article entitled “They Were Only Joking”: Efforts to Decrease LGBTQ Bullying and Harassment in Seattle Public Schools. Journal of School Health, by Hillard, P., Love, L., Franks, H. M., Laris, B. A., & Coyle, K. K. (2014)”, took an all hands-on deck approach. The article stated that “Students provided input on how to strengthen teacher interventions, including the need for more consistency in responding and following up. Students also noted a need for more focus on educating those who harass, rather than just asking them to stop”(Hillard, P., Love, L., Franks, H. M., Laris, B. A., & Coyle, K. K ,2014, p.1). The article concluded by stating that “Seattle Public Schools has made great strides in creating safe and welcoming schools for LGBTQ students, but still have to work further toward reaching this goal. Data from students on how they experience their school environment can help identify areas for improvement”(Hillard, P., Love, L., Franks, H. M., Laris, B. A., & Coyle, K. K ,2014, p.1).

The second article entitled “LGBTQ Youth in American Schools: Moving to the Middle. Middle School JournalHorowitz, A., &Itzkowitz, M. (2011)” main focus was the younger children. The article spoke about kids coming out as LGBTQ as young as junior high ages. Because of this, they were now conducting this study on junior school children. Their study consisted of things like mixing the kids up at lunch time so that they can sit with new kids and learn tolerance. The article goes on to state that “33.8% of the students who did report an incident said that school staff did nothing in response” (p. 3). This lack of responsiveness gives disrespectful behavior permission to continue” (Horowitz, A., &Itzkowitz, M.,2011, p32). This is an indication that more work must be done to correct this issue.

In the article “Comprehensive Sexuality Education as a Longitudinal Predictor of LGBTQ Name-Calling and Perceived Willingness to Intervene in SchoolBaams, L., Dubas, J., & van Aken, M. (2017)”, they make a point of stating that one of the best forms of intervention is by providing more comprehensive sexual/sexuality education course. The course helps provide information on sexuality to students. According to the article “The current study confirms that comprehensive sexualityeducation is related to an improvement of school climateover time”(Baams, L., Dubas, J., & van Aken, M. ,2017, p931).

In the article entitled “Supportive, not punitive, practices reduce homophobic bullying and improve school connectedness. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity,Day, J. K., Snapp, S. D., & Russell, S. T. (2016)”, the author expresses that punitive practices done to the bullies did not stop the bullying. Instead it caused a disconnect between the students and the school, increases dropouts and lower grades. So instead, they concluded that a better approach to reducing bulling would be to help both parties do better. The article also states that they would like to see more supportive strategies in rights to policies and practices.

The article entitled “Gay-Straight Alliances are Associated with Lower Levels of School-Based Victimization of LGBTQ+ Youth: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis, Marx, R., &Kettrey, H. (2016)” focusing on the work accomplished by GSA. The article concludes by stating that “findings from our meta-analysis suggest thatGSAs are associated with lower levels of at-school victimization of an often-marginalized group of youth”(Marx, R., &Kettrey, H.,2016 p.1269).

From completing this exercise, I’ve learned that literature searches are not easy. You might start out with a broad idea, but as you continue to search, your broad idea becomes more and more centered. Eventually, you are able to find a specific question that you would like to research that will have articles specific to it. The process of finding those particular articles will

not be easy and that it will take patience to complete this task. However, it did help me to better refine my research skills and correctly citing in APA format.

 

References:

  1. Hillard, P., Love, L., Franks, H. M., Laris, B. A., & Coyle, K. K. (2014). “They Were Only Joking”: Efforts to Decrease LGBTQ Bullying and Harassment in Seattle Public Schools. Journal of School Health, 84(1), 1–9. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.avoserv2.library.fordham.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ1028203&site=eds-live
  2. Horowitz, A., &Itzkowitz, M. (2011). LGBTQ Youth in American Schools: Moving to the Middle. Middle School Journal (J3), 42(5), 32–38. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.avoserv2.library.fordham.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ934078&site=eds-live
  3. Baams, L., Dubas, J., & van Aken, M. (2017). Comprehensive Sexuality Education as a Longitudinal Predictor of LGBTQ Name-Calling and Perceived Willingness to Intervene in School. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 46(5), 931–942. https://doi-org.avoserv2.library.fordham.edu/10.1007/s10964-017-0638-z
  4. Day, J. K., Snapp, S. D., & Russell, S. T. (2016). Supportive, not punitive, practices reduce homophobic bullying and improve school connectedness. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 3(4), 416–425. https://doi-org.avoserv2.library.fordham.edu/10.1037/sgd0000195.supp (Supplemental)
  1. Marx, R., &Kettrey, H. (2016). Gay-Straight Alliances are Associated with Lower Levels of School-Based Victimization of LGBTQ+ Youth: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 45(7), 1269–1282. https://doi-org.avoserv2.library.fordham.edu/10.1007/s10964-016-0501-7

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