It is well established in the literature that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) students are more likely to be bullied at school compared to heterosexual students (Kann et al., 2016). There also has been strong evidence of the detrimental impact of homophobic bullying (HB) on the well-being of LGB youth. In fact, LGB students who are victims of HB are more likely to internalize negative prejudice on LGB people reporting high levels of internalized sexual stigma (ISS) (Baiocco et al., 2010; Blais et al., 2014; Collier et al., 2013). However, important gaps remain in research on coping strategies that may enable LGB youth to overcome the negative effect of HB. Some studies found that the positive valence associated with LGB identity was positively associated with psychological well-being in LGB individuals (Riggle et al., 2014). Thus, we argue that a positive LGB identity may have a critical role in buffering the negative impact of HB on ISS. Participants were 358 Italian LGB youth (58% girls). Among them, 128 self-identified as gay (36%), 116 as lesbian (33%), and 114 as bisexual (31%). Participants’ ages ranged from 15 to 23 (M = 17.82, SD = 2.36). The Multifactor Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Positive Identity Measure (Riggle et al., 2014) was used to investigate positive LGB identity. We used the Measure of Internalized Sexual Stigma for Lesbians and Gay Men (Lingiardi et al., 2012) to assess ISS. Finally, two items were used to assess HB, based on the work of Solberg & Olweus (2003). We ran a series of hierarchical regression analyses to test the moderating role of positive LGB identity on the association between HB and ISS. The results showed a significant positive main effect of HB, β=.18, p<.001, and a significant negative main effect of positive LGB identity, β =–.40, p<.001. There was a significant interaction effect of HB by positive LGB identity, β =–.12, p=.031. Follow-up analyses showed that among participants with low levels of positive LGB identity, high levels of HB were significantly associated with high levels of ISS, β=.32, p<.001. However, the association between HB and ISS was non-significant for participants with high levels of positive identity, β=.05,p=.48. The Johnson–Neyman technique indicated that the interaction effect was present at low and relatively medium levels of positive identity. The model explained the 24% of the variance. Findings point to the importance of studying the development of positive identities among LGB youth. In fact, the valence associated with LGB identity may have an important role in predicting health disparities based on sexual orientation. Our results suggest that developing positive identities is an important coping strategy and it serves an important secondary prevention function by reducing the negative effects of HB. Implications for intervention and educational practice will be discussed.
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|Titolo:||Homophobic Bullying and Internalized Stigma among Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Youth: What Influence Does a Positive Identity Have?|
BAIOCCO, ROBERTO (Corresponding author)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||04d Abstract in atti di convegno|