Online Program

Building the capacity of educators to support GLBT youth

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Glenn Albright, PhD, Department of Psychology, Baruch College of the City University of New York, New York, NY
Lisa Shumaker, MA, Office Chief, Prevention Services, Division of Behavioral Health, Arizona Department of Health Services, Phoenix, AZ
Background-Many studies have established that stresses experienced by sexual minority youth put them at greater risk for mental and physical health problems including suicidal thoughts and substance abuse as well as hindering school attendance and academic achievement. Educators and staff who work with youth are in an ideal position to set a tone of respect and acceptance for all. However, some lack confidence in addressing their concerns with students who may be harassed, bullied or excluded because of their real or perceived sexual identity, sexual orientation or other differences.

Significance-Building capacity among educators to support GLBTQ students can support overall prevention and early intervention goals, which in turn may have long-term benefits to individual and public health.

Purpose-To examine the impact of an online avatar-based training simulation designed to prepare secondary school educators to support these students.

Method-48 secondary school educators completed a 5 point Likert scale questionnaire measuring preparedness and likelihood to intervene with homophobic language, harassment, and bullying behavior, as well as connect with and support students who are victims of those behaviors. After completing the pre-survey, participants took an online avatar-based training and then immediately completed a post-survey that included level one assessment items (satisfaction and utility ratings).

Findings-Preliminary results indicate that training significantly increases (p<.05) educators' preparedness, self-confidence and likelihood to: 1) manage a classroom where a student has used derogatory language; 2) discuss concerns with an GLBTQ student who is being teased, harassed or bullied; and 3) to connect that student to supportive services.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the benefits of online avatar-based training simulations that build the capacity of educators to support GLBT youth.

Keyword(s): Mental Health, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Albright is the former Chair of the Department of Psychology at Baruch College and has received distinguished teaching awards at both Baruch and New York University. He is actively involved in publishing and presenting at numerous conferences addressing how game-based role-play training simulations can cost-effectively support public health initiatives designed to impact large numbers of people to bring about permanent changes in behavior in the areas of health, and behavioral health.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Kognito Interactive Mental and Behavioral Health Co-founder

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.