Factors Affecting Academic Achievement Among Sexual Minority and Gender-Variant Youth

V. Paul Poteat, Jillian R. Scheer, Ethan H. Mereish

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

46 Scopus citations


Experiences of victimization among sexual minority youth (e.g., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender; LGBT) and gender-variant youth remain pronounced in many schools. Although much work has shown the connection between homophobic bullying and mental and physical health, there has been limited attention to how victimization impedes learning, academic achievement, and other school-related outcomes for these youth. In this chapter, we propose several pathways through which victimization leads to academic disparities among sexual minority and gender-variant youth, with attention to its effects on individual learning processes (e.g., motivation, concentration, self-efficacy, and other cognitive stressors) as well as broader psychological and social processes (e.g., mental health, school avoidance, harmful coping strategies, exclusionary discipline). We also consider protective factors (e.g., social support, Gay-Straight Alliances, extracurricular involvement, nondiscrimination policies, inclusive curriculum) that could promote resilience and suggest potential mechanisms by which they may operate. In doing so, we aim to stimulate ideas for an advancement of research in this area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Child Development and Behavior
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages40
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvances in Child Development and Behavior
ISSN (Print)0065-2407


  • Academic achievement
  • Bisexual
  • Bullying
  • Discrimination
  • Gay
  • LGBT
  • Learning
  • Lesbian
  • Minority stress
  • Transgender
  • Victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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