A Call for “Trans-action”: The Role of Enacted Stigma in Mediating the Relationship between School Climate and School Attachment among Gender Minority Students

  • Tracey Peter University of Manitoba
  • Catherine Taylor University of Winnipeg and Director of the RISE Research Program
  • Tamara Edkins University of Manitoba
Keywords: Transgender, school climate, minority stress theory, enacted stigma, school attachment, Mots clés, transgenre, climat scolaire, théorie du stress ressenti par les minorités, stigmatisation effective, intérêt pour l’école

Abstract

Several studies have highlighted the association between enacted stigma with various mental health and educational disparities among sexual minority students, but fewer have done so with an exclusive gender minority sample and even less have included school attachment as an outcome measure. The purpose of the current analyses is to test the main effects that an LGBTQ-inclusive school context as well as enacted stigma has on school attachment, and whether enacted stigma acts as a mediator. Results show that exposure to enacted stigma is a risk factor for low school attachment, while a supportive LGBTQ-inclusive school climate is a protective one, and that the relationship between an inclusive climate and school attachment is significantly mediated by enacted stigma. Within a theoretically informed lens, these findings represent a notable contribution to educational research in terms of the importance of providing a healthy school environment for gender minority students.

Si plusieurs études ont souligné le lien entre la stigmatisation effective et diverses disparités portant sur la santé mentale et l’éducation chez des élèves appartenant à une minorité sexuelle, moins d’entre elles ont porté exclusivement sur un échantillon composé d’une minorité sexuelle et encore moins ont inclus l’intérêt pour l’école parmi les mesures de résultats. L’objectif de nos analyses est d’évaluer les incidences principales qu’ont, d’une part,  un contexte scolaire inclusif face à la population LGBTQ et, d’autre part, la stigmatisation effective, sur l’intérêt pour l’école. Nous cherchons également à savoir si la stigmatisation effective joue un rôle de médiateur. Les résultats indiquent que l’exposition à la stigmatisation effective constitue un facteur de risque pour une mauvaise relation avec l’école, qu’un climat scolaire inclusif face à la population LGBTQ est un facteur de protection et que le rapport entre un climat inclusif et l’intérêt pour l’école est modifié considérablement par la stigmatisation effective. Dans une optique fondée sur les théories actuelles, ces résultats représentent une contribution notable à la recherche en éducation en évoquant l’importance de fournir un milieu scolaire sain pour les élèves appartenant à une minorité sexuelle.

Author Biographies

Tracey Peter, University of Manitoba
Dr. Tracey Peter is a Professor and Associate Head of Sociology at the University of Manitoba. She has been involved in numerous large-scale national studies involving LGBTQ youth and other marginalized populations. Her general research and publication interests include: research methods/applied statistics, mental health and well-being, and issues of homophobia and transphobia /LGBTQ-inclusive education.
Catherine Taylor, University of Winnipeg and Director of the RISE Research Program
Catherine Taylor is Associate Dean of Arts at the University of Winnipeg and Director of the RISE Research Program. She has led three large-scale national studies on LGBTQ-inclusive Education involving students, teachers, and school district officials, and is currently leading a SSHRC-funded study on LGBTQ-inclusive Teacher Education which aims to develop evidence-based curriculum guidelines for Faculties of Education.
Tamara Edkins, University of Manitoba
Tamara Edkins is a Law Student at the University of Manitoba. She was an author of the Prairie report for the Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey, Being Safe, Being Me in the Prairie Provinces: Results of the Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Her main research focus is bullying and mental health among LGBTQ youth in Canada.
Published
2018-02-13