Lgbtqq Youth Creating Change: Developing Allies Against Bullying Through Performance and Dialogue
Methods: To examine the efficacy of the intervention, paired pre- and post-tests were administered by members of the LGBTQQA youth organization to middle and high school students (8th-12th grade) who viewed a youth-led performance and participated in a post-performance dialogue (n = 502). Dependent quantitative items (using a 5-point Likert-type scale) measured participants’ likelihood to intervene and confidence to do so when witnessing anti-LGBTQ bullying/harassment. Paired open-ended items assessed participants’ perceptions of intervention through the question, “In which cases would you intervene and in which cases would you not?” Two pre-test only qualitative measures assessed current intervention behavior prior to the anti-bullying intervention through the questions, “Why have you intervened?” and “When you didn’t intervene, why didn’t you?” Open-ended responses were analyzed using a constant comparison analysis. Quantitative items were analyzed using two repeated measures general linear models. Cases with missing data were excluded in each analysis. Across both analyses, 20% of respondents identified as LGBTQQ, and 59% identified as white. The analytical sample for the model testing intervention intentions, 57% were cisgender men. The sample for the model testing confidence to intervene was 43% cisgender men.
Results: Repeated measures general linear modeling demonstrates a positive impact of this intervention on middle and high school students’ intentions to intervene when witnessing anti-LGBTQQ harassment [F(1, 492) = 21.83, p < .001] and confidence to successfully do so [F(1, 492) = 13.72, p < .001], particularly for White students [F(1, 492) = 2.82, p < .05]. Qualitative findings demonstrate barriers to intervention and decision-making processes of youth when intervening. Further, among respondents of Color, participants framed their intervention intentions on the importance of not being caught in the middle of “trouble” or “drama,” and not being perceived as causing problems.
Conclusions and Implications: Findings suggest that youth-led anti-LGBTQQ bullying interventions can be an effective way to develop allies in schools. Performances and post-performance dialogues, in particular, might be effective ways to broach these topics in schools. Future research is needed to understand the differential impacts across race with a particular emphasis on translational validity issues.