Contemporary School Psychology

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 432–443 | Cite as

Gender and Sexual Minority Students’ Engagement with School: the Impacts of Grades, Feeling Unsafe, and Gay/Straight Alliances

  • Cynthia E. HazelEmail author
  • N. Eugene Walls
  • Lacey Pomerantz


Compared to the general student population, gender and sexual minority (GSM) students are at increased risk of low academic achievement, poor attendance, and not completing high school with their cohort. One construct that has the potential to identify GSM students at increased risk for negative educational outcomes is school engagement. Based on self-report data from 411 middle and high school GSM students who attended community sexual minority youth support programming, this study utilized statistical stepwise regression to develop a model of behavioral and demographic variables that predicted a sexual minority student’s engagement with school. Confirmatory hierarchical regression found that school grades, feeling unsafe, and presence of a school-based Gay/Straight Alliance support group accounted for 31% of the variance seen in student school engagement scores. Recommendations for supporting the engagement of GSM students and future research are given.


Gender and sexual minority students LGBTQ Student school engagement 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© California Association of School Psychologists 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Child, Family, and School PsychologyUniversity of DenverDenverUSA
  2. 2.Graduate School of Social WorkUniversity of DenverDenverUSA

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