Gay-straight alliances (GSAs) may promote resilience. Yet, what GSA components predict well-being? Among 146 youth and advisors in 13 GSAs (58% lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning; 64% White; 38% received free/reduced-cost lunch), student (demographics, victimization, attendance frequency, leadership, support, control), advisor (years served, training, control), and contextual factors (overall support or advocacy, outside support for the GSA) that predicted purpose, mastery, and self-esteem were tested. In multilevel models, GSA support predicted all outcomes. Racial/ethnic minority youth reported greater well-being, yet lower support. Youth in GSAs whose advisors served longer and perceived more control and were in more supportive school contexts reported healthier outcomes. GSA advocacy also predicted purpose. Ethnographic notes elucidated complex associations and variability as to how GSAs operated.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology