Describing Roles that Gay-Straight Alliances Play in Schools

Yet another study making clear the link between supporting LGBT youth and better mental health outcomes...

Published in: Addictive Behaviors. April 2014. Authors: Nicholas Heck, Nicholas Liivngston, Annesa Fletne, Katherine Oost, Brandon Steward, Bryan Cochran

"After controlling for demographic variables and risk factors associated with illicit drug use, the results of 12 logistic regression analyses revealed that LGBT youth attending a high school without a GSA evidenced increased risk for using cocaine... hallucinogens... and marijuana... relative to peers attending a high school with a GSA. Youth without a GSA also evidenced increased risk for the misuse of ADHD medication... and prescription pain medication. The present findings underscore the importance of providing LGBT youth with school-based support groups and highlight the potential damaging effects of not having these resources in our nation's schools."


  • "Assessed association between high school gay-straight alliances (GSA) and illicit drug use."

  • "LGBT youth evidence lower risk for illicit substance use when their school has a GSA."

  • " Inclusive school-based programs may be protective factors for LGBT youth."

"These findings extend the research base related to GSAs and further demonstrate the importance of providing LGBT youth with opportunities for socialization and support within the school setting."