How Does Sexual Identity Disclosure Impact School Experiences?

Ryan J. Watson, Christopher W. Wheldon, Stephen T. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals disproportionately report negative academic outcomes and experiences as a result of stigma and discrimination. No research to date has investigated how being out in different social relationships may affect these youth. We compare youth who are out to family, friends, and people at school to understand which patterns of disclosure are related to school experiences. More complex patterns of “outness” were associated with lower academic achievement and more harassment, whereas being out to no one or everyone was associated with the best outcomes. These findings have important implications for scholars, stakeholders, and counselors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-396
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of LGBT Youth
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2015


  • Academic achievement
  • LGBT
  • bullying
  • harassment
  • identity disclosure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Education


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