LGBTQ Teens Are Dealing With High Stress
A new survey says that LGBTQ teens are dealing with extreme levels of stress.
The Human Rights Campaign (otherwise known as the HRC) and the University of Connecticut came together to produce a new survey focusing on LGBTQ teens. They conducted the largest study ever to focus on LGBTQ teens, and they ended up with over 12,000 respondents aged 13 to 17 from all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
This online survey called the 2017 LGBTQ Teen Survey found that not only are LGBTQ teens experiencing high levels of stress, but most also feel very unsafe in their schools.
“Our strong research partnership with HRC reflects a shared sense of urgency to address the significant health and well-being disparities facing LGBTQ teens,” says Ryan Watson, assistant professor of human development and family studies at the University of Connecticut and principal investigator for the study. “We hope our research findings will help inform policy and practice change to improve the lives of these young people.”
Some of the other results from this online survey include:
- 95 percent of LGBTQ youth report trouble sleeping at night;
- 77 percentof LGBTQ teenagers surveyed report feeling depressed over the past week on average; more than 70 percent report feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness in the past week;
- LGBTQ youth of color and transgender teenagers report the highest levels of rejection and isolation – only 11 percentof youth of color surveyed believe their racial or ethnic group is regarded positively in the U.S.;
- 50 percent of trans and gender expansive youth said theynever use school restrooms because they are unable to access those that align with their gender identity;
- Only26 percent say they always feel safe in their school classrooms – and just 5 percent say all of their teachers and school staff are supportive of LGBTQ people;
- 67 percentreport that they’ve heard family members make negative comments about LGBTQ people.
That said, it wasn’t all bad as some of the results showed a light at the end of the tunnel.
- 91 percent of youth report feeling pride in being an LGBTQ person, and 93 percent are proud to be a part of the community.
- Three out of five LGBTQ students have access to a LGBTQ student club – which has been shown to have a positive impact on the perceptions LGBTQ youth have of their school experiences, and can provide support to those who may face hostile environments at home or in their communities.
Both the HRC and The University of Connecticut hope that the results of this survey can be used to promote change in education. The idea is to use this information to help lobby for LGBTQ protections in schools or at least to bring up in discussions about LGBTQ youth.
Watson added, “This collaboration has the potential to shape prevention, intervention, and treatment related to school and family experiences, weight-related health, and victimization of LGBTQ youth.”
If you want to read more of the results from the Survey, you can click here.