The equal treatment of minority groups has been an issue that the United States (U.S.) has struggled with since its inception. Contemporarily, sexual minority groups have become the focus of civil liberties in educational institutions and in workplaces. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) individuals navigate very uncertain conditions when it comes to their school setting and their workplace setting. Further, for most individuals of LGBTQ orientation, their sexuality can make them stand out from the norm, whether they desire to be singled out or not. (Fisher et al., 2008, Young, 2010). Secondary schools and educational institutions become the backdrop for LGBTQ self-identification (Savin-Williams, 2001). Unfortunately, educational institutions have a marked lack of policy relating to LGBTQ individuals. This circumstance typically follows them to the workplace. A wide array of negative experiences plague individuals of LGBTQ orientation such as discrimination, bullying, and prejudice, and as a consequence, they are at a higher risk for suicide, physical abuse, alcohol, and drug abuse (Chesir-Teran & Hughes, 2009; Savage & Harley, 2009; Morgan, Mancl, Kaffar, & Ferreira, 2011). This quantitative study focused on the existence of heterosexist and negative experiences for LGBTQ individuals, their frequency, and what coping mechanisms they utilize to manage their emotional, physical, and psychological well-being. Further, this study looked for a correlation between LGBTQ individuals’ negative experiences and their coping mechanisms and found a significant correlation between social support and harassment and rejection. MANOVA statistical tests were conducted to determine whether there was a significant difference between individuals’ age, income levels, and education levels on the Ways of Coping Questionnaire. Although no significant differences were found, the results indicated that more research is needed with a larger population size in order to more fully analyze the statistical differences.
November 24, 2015
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