The Effects of LGBTQ+ Status and Grade Level on Willingness to Seek Help and Perceptions of Social Support

Greater social supports during adolescence are linked to improved emotion regulation, appropriate emotional expression, and reduced risk of suicide, particularly for LGBTQ+ youth as they are at higher risk for suicide (Wright et al., 2022). However, little is known about which domains of social support (i.e., peer, family, other trusted adult) are most important for encouraging adolescents to seek help for mental health concerns. Moreover, little is known about how adolescents’ developmental level affects perceptions of social support, as well as the likelihood of seeking help for mental health concerns. The purpose of the current study is to explore the relationship between grade level and LGBTQ+ status as it relates to intentions to seek help and perceptions of social support. Study results revealed no interaction between LGBTQ+ status and grade level when it comes to help-seeking and perceptions of support. There is a difference among grade level and intentions to seek help as 6th graders were more likely to seek help when compared to 7th and 8th graders. Study findings also showed that LGBTQ+ adolescents perceive lower levels of social support from adults. Implications of this study inform the general population about the social support needs of LGBTQ+ adolescents and grade level effects, as well as ways social support can affect adolescents’ willingness to seek help for a mental health concern.


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Work Title The Effects of LGBTQ+ Status and Grade Level on Willingness to Seek Help and Perceptions of Social Support
Open Access
  1. Sarah Bohlander
  1. Gender
  2. Gender identity
  3. Grade level
  4. Middle school
  5. Sexual and gender minority
  6. LGBTQ+
  7. Social support
  8. Social rejection
  9. Chosen families
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Research Paper
Publication Date 2023
Deposited August 01, 2023




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    • Gender, Gender identity, Grade level, Middle school, Sexual and gender minority, LGBTQ+, Social support, Social rejection, Chosen families
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