Early access in the prevention of externalizing conduct to school-based social resources for gay teenagers

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One of the sexual orientations that culture has yet to truly come to grips with is being gay. This premise suggests that any sort of social stigma towards them may already be faced by people who may identify as gay. This stigma may come from immediate social structures, such as family, culture, or the atmosphere of education. Almeida et al. (2009) suggest that despite the gains made in awareness efforts for same-sex marriages, social stigma, especially among young people, is synonymous with homosexuality. These acts take place in the social setting, albeit with the establishment of policies of assistance and the overall enhancement of social support for certain communities. This reality means that gays may still endure adverse experiences of social rejection and isolation, discrimination and abuse, among others. Teens are in their transitionary periods to adulthoods, and their encounter with these negative experiences may disrupt their developmental trajectories causing disturbances in their adult life. Because the adverse events elicit behavioral responses that mediate how the adolescents act on the external environment, the teens likely develop externalizing behaviors. The externalizing tendencies include antisocial behaviors, violence, drug and substance abuse problems, and adolescent crime, among others (Franken et al., 2016; Liu, 2004). Schools have support policies and strategies for gay students to facilitate their coping strategies and stay within the school set up. Therefore, it is essential to ascertain as to whether early access to these support services by gay teens prevent externalizing behavior.

Research question

Does early access to school-based social support prevent the occurrences of externalizing behaviors among gay teens?

Hypothesis

Early access to school-based social support among gay teens prevents externalizing behaviors.

Methodology

Research Design

This research will be a cross-sectional survey of the different social support systems in schools and how an early access to these systems modulate the occurrences of externalizing behavior among gay teens. The choice of the research design is guided by the notion that although schools are known to have support systems in place for students (including gays), little is known regarding early access to those services and the existence of or modification of externalizing behavior tendencies among gay teens. As a result, the design examines whether a change of in one or more variable is related to a subsequent change in the other variable(s).

Sampling, Data Collection and Analysis

This study will utilize stratified random sampling in the recruitment of the participants. Since the research occurs in a school setting, the educational levels (grades) of the participants cannot be ignored. To account for grade differences, stratification by grade becomes necessary. After the students have been stratified, they can then be randomly selected to participate in the study. However, the sample frame will be representative for the generalization of the results across the study population.

Data collection will utilize both semi-structured interviews and a self-reported survey questionnaire to obtain the relevant data study measures. The survey instrument will be the Revised Behavior Problem Checklist and the Psychopathy Checklist since these instruments can be reliably used to measure externalizing behavior among the participants. The measures will include the respondents’ demographics, school-based support strategies, the onset, rate and extent of externalizing behaviors, and the onset of access to the support services.

The collected variables will then be analyzed and graphically presented to facilitate the establishment of appropriate of trends to data sets within the collected measures. Descriptive statistics will be employed in the analysis and will use the SPSS version 22 for covariate data extraction and the determination of inferential statistics.

Expected Results

It is anticipated that the findings on the occurrences of externalizing behavior among gay teens will be mediated by the students’ grade level and the underlying demographics elements. On school-based support services for gay teens, it is expected that the early access will modulate the occurrences of externalizing behavior.

Conclusion

There will be a correlation between early access to school-based support services and the prevention of externalizing behavior among gay teens.

References

Almeida, J., Johnson, R.N., Corliss, H.L., Molner, B.E., & Azrael, D. (2009). Emotional distress among LGBT youth: The influence of perceived discrimination based on sexual orientation. Journal of Youth Adolescence, 38(7), 1001-1014.

Franken, A., Harakeh, Z., Veenstra, R., Vollebergh, W., Dijkstra, J.K. (2016). Social status of adolescents with an early onset of externalizing behavior: The SNARE study. Journal of Early Adolescence, 1-7.

Liu, J. (2004). Childhood externalizing behavior: Theory and implications. Journal of Child and Adolescence Psychiatric Nursing, 17(3), 93-103.

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