Disengaged or Bookworm: Academics, Mental Health, and Success for Sexual Minority Youth

Ryan J. Watson, Stephen T Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Same-sex attracted youth (SSAY) experience higher rates of negative mental health outcomes compared with their heterosexual peers; however, the association between sexual minority status and academic achievement is less clear. We used four waves of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to compare 1,279 ethnically diverse SSAY (57% male) based on the degree to which they were "engaged" (65%) or "disengaged" (35%) in school, classified through cluster analysis techniques. The pattern of results indicated significantly better mental health among the engaged group one and 6 years later (e.g., fewer depressive symptoms, less alcohol use), and more occupational and educational achievement eleven years later. The implications of school connection and achievement across a decade of life are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-165
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cultural Studies

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