Perceptions of Campus Climate by Sexual Minorities

  • Tetreault P
  • Fette R
  • Meidlinger P
 et al. 
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Abstract

Previous research has indicated that students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) often have negative experiences on university campuses due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Direct and indirect experiences contribute to an overall perception of the campus climate. This study used an online survey to assess students' perceptions of campus climate, their experiences confronting bias, support of family members and friends, and whether they had considered leaving campus. Multiple regression analysis indicated that perceptions of poorer campus climate were predicted by greater unfair treatment by instruc-tors, more impact from anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) bias on friends' and families' emotional sup-port, and having hidden one's LGBT identity from other students. Cluster analyses revealed four groups of participants distinguished by openness about their sexual orientation and negative experi-ences, with one group appearing to be at risk for poor retention. Results are discussed in terms of the needs of LGBTQ students on campus.

Author-supplied keywords

  • campus climate
  • sexual orientation
  • university retention

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Authors

  • Patricia A. Tetreault

  • Ryan Fette

  • Peter C. Meidlinger

  • Debra Hope

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