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Organizational Support for Sexual Minority Adolescents


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ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT FOR SE XUAL MINORITY ADOLESCENTS By CHRISTINE R. REGAN A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2006

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Copyright 2006 by Christine R. Regan

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To the graduate students of the University of Florida and the entire lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning adolescents out there who need our attention, love, and support

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iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would first like to express my deepest gr atitude to my partner Megan, who has not only stood by me and supported me, but more importantly encouraged me to pursue a masters degree and complete a thesis. I am al so grateful for my family and friends, who all stood by me, supported me, and encouraged me to pursue this degree. I would also like to thank my thesis chair, boss, and me ntor Dr. Marilyn Swisher, for our numerous discussions, her unyielding patien ce, guidance, and encouragement. I also give special thanks to my other committee members, Dr. Rose Barnett, Dr. Jane Luzar, and City CommissionerDr. Jeanna Mastrodicasa, fo r their insights, guidance, and support. Finally, I thank the Department of Fam ily, Youth, and Community Sciences who supported this research wit hout hesitation from day one.

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v TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv LIST OF TABLES...........................................................................................................viii LIST OF FIGURES.............................................................................................................x ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... xi CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND.................................................................1 Adolescent Development..............................................................................................2 Eriksons Stages of Psychosocial Development....................................................3 Adolescent Development of Sexual Identity.........................................................4 Ecological Framework of Adolescent Development.............................................5 Inadequate Family, School, So cial, and Community Support......................................6 Need for Further Research..........................................................................................10 Problem Statement......................................................................................................11 Objectives...................................................................................................................11 Research Questions.....................................................................................................12 2 LITERATURE REVIEW...........................................................................................13 Institutions..................................................................................................................1 3 Alternative Theoretical Frameworks..........................................................................14 Analytic Framework of Institutional Theory..............................................................16 Homogenization/Isom orphic Processes......................................................................17 Youth Development....................................................................................................19 Organizational Change...............................................................................................24 Organizational Diversity.............................................................................................25 Diversity Training...............................................................................................26 Peer and Client Environments/Normative Beliefs..............................................30 Social-Contact Hypothesis..................................................................................32 Social Awareness.................................................................................................33 Professional/Staff Development..........................................................................34 Hypotheses..................................................................................................................37

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vi 3 METHODOLOGY.....................................................................................................38 Research Design.........................................................................................................38 Sample Selection........................................................................................................42 Instrumentation for Indices.........................................................................................44 Instrumentation for Structured Interviews..................................................................46 Procedures...................................................................................................................48 Data Collection...........................................................................................................50 Data Analysis..............................................................................................................50 Limitations..................................................................................................................51 4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................54 Demographic Characteristics......................................................................................54 Hypothesis 1...............................................................................................................54 Hypothesis 2...............................................................................................................57 Data Reduction...........................................................................................................59 Multiple Regression....................................................................................................60 LGBT Training and Importance.................................................................................70 5 DISCUSSION.............................................................................................................73 Hypothesis 1...............................................................................................................73 Hypothesis 2...............................................................................................................77 Hypothesis 3...............................................................................................................82 Hypothesis 4...............................................................................................................83 Hypothesis 5...............................................................................................................87 Hypothesis 6...............................................................................................................89 Summary.....................................................................................................................90 6 CONCLUSIONS........................................................................................................93 Recommendations for Organi zations and Practitioners.............................................93 Need for Further Research..........................................................................................97 APPENDIX A OPERALIZATION OF VARIABLES.....................................................................102 B SUMMATIVE ORGANIZATION SC ORES FOR LEVEL OF YOUTH INVOLVEMENT.....................................................................................................103 C LEVEL OF YOUTH INVOLVEMENT..................................................................105 D PEER AND CLIENT ENVIRONMENT.................................................................107 E ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPPOR TIVE ACTIONS INDEX...................................110

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vii F STRUCTURED INTERVIEW/QUESTIONNAIRE................................................111 G VARIABLES BY ORGANIZATION......................................................................123 H EDUCATION LEVEL.............................................................................................125 I OTHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT EXPERIENCE...............................127 J YOUTH INVOLVEMENT OPEN-RESPONSE QUESTIONS..............................130 K DIVERSITY TRAINING OPEN-RESPONSE QUESTIONS.................................132 L ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT OPEN RESPONSE QUESTIONS....................135 M VARIABLES BY JOB POSITION..........................................................................138 N DEFINITIONS.........................................................................................................140 LIST OF REFERENCES.................................................................................................141 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...........................................................................................167

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viii LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1 Organizations with Highest and Lowest Levels of Youth Involvement Scores.......44 4-1 Kruskal-Wallis test for median differences..............................................................55 4-2 Mann Whitney U 2-sample test................................................................................55 4-3 Mann Whitney U 2-sample test................................................................................56 4-4 Mann Whitney U 2-sample test................................................................................56 4-5 Mann Whitney U 2-sample test................................................................................58 4-6 One-Sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov test ..................................................................61 4-7 Multiple regr ession model one.................................................................................62 4-8 Regression summary for model one.........................................................................63 4-9 Multiple regre ssion model two.................................................................................63 4-10 Regression summary for model two.........................................................................64 4-11 Multiple regre ssion model three...............................................................................65 4-12 Regression summar y for model three.......................................................................65 4-13 Multiple regression model four................................................................................66 4-14 Regression summar y for model four .......................................................................67 4-15 Correlations among independent variables..............................................................67 4-16 Multiple regression model five................................................................................68 4-17 Regression summar y for model five........................................................................69 4-18 Multiple regre ssion model six..................................................................................69 4-19 Regression summar y for model six..........................................................................70

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ix A-1 Operalization of variables.....................................................................................102 B-1 Summative organization scores for level of youth involvement............................104 D-1 Part one of peer and client environment index.......................................................107 D-2 Part two of peer and client environment index......................................................108 E-1 Organizational supportive actions index................................................................110 F-1 Peer environment groups........................................................................................114 G-1 Variables by organization.......................................................................................124 H-1 Education l evel......................................................................................................126 I-1 Other professional development experience...........................................................128 J-1 Youth involvement open-response questions.........................................................131 K-1 Diversity training open-response questions............................................................133 K-2 Open-response questions to dive rsity and in-service trainings...............................134 L-1 Organizational support open-response questions............................................136 M-1 Variables by job position.........................................................................................139

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x LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 Organizational change..............................................................................................24 4-1 Distribution of orga nizational support scores..........................................................57 4-2 Correlation between youth involve ment and organizational support.......................58 4-3 Diversity training and LGBT issues.........................................................................71 4-4 Importantance of sexual orient ation in diversity training........................................71 4-5 Specific training on LGBT issues in current job......................................................72

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xi Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT FOR SE XUAL MINORITY ADOLESCENTS By Christine R. Regan August 2006 Chair: Mickie Swisher Major Department: Family, Youth, and Community Sciences This research tested what factors within youth-serving organizations contribute to organizational support for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) or sexual minority adolescents in Alachua County, Flor ida. A two-phase, cros s-section and case study design examined the level of youth i nvolvement in the decision-making processes of youth-serving organizations. The effects of professional development, membership in professional organizations, p eer and client environments and diversity training on organizational support for LGBT adolescents we re tested. Results in dicate youth-serving organizations differ with respect to levels of youth involvement in their decision-making processes. Youth-serving organizations in this study did not significantly differ with respect to organizational suppor t for LGBT adolescents, but mo re in-depth analysis to open-response questions indica ted organizational support is extremely varied. Multiple regression analysis indicates that peer environments (peers and board members) and racial diversity training c ontributed most significantly to organizational support for LGBT adolescents. In depthanalysis of ope n-response questions indicated organizations

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xii support diversity, but not necessarily in refe rence to sexual minority adolescents. The type and content of professional developmen t, professional membership and diversity training on LGBT issues were important f actors in explaining the findings of the research. Finally, some religious ideas or be liefs negatively affect the environment in youth-serving organizations in regard to suppor t for LGBT adolescents. Therefore, youthserving organizations should provide suppor tive diversity traini ng on LGBT issues, dispel myths and stereotypes and develop a c onsistent message in regard to support for LGBT adolescents.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgende red (LGBT) people form an important segment of the American population.1 In 1948, Kinsey estimated that 10% of the population identified themselves as predominan tly gay or lesbian (Kinsey et al., 1948). However, most contemporary researchers agr ee that 6 to 10% of the U.S. population, or between seven and fifteen million Americans, consider themselves to be gay or lesbian (Patterson, 1995a; Fay et al., 1989; Schneider, 1988; Tievsky, 1988; Dillon, 1986; Gramick, 1983; Dulaney & Kelly, 1982; Marm or, 1980). Prevalence ra tes are probably under-reported because of the stigmatization and discrimination associated with being LGBT. Further, the network of people who ar e potentially affected by an individuals status as a member of a sexual minority in cludes family and friends. Based on current estimates of prevalence, at least 50 million Americans are themselves LGBT, or have a friend or family member who is. There is little research about the developmental concerns of lesbian and gay individuals and th eir families, even though a fifth of the U.S. population is affected (Patterson, 1995a, 1995b). The adolescent population affected by the social stigma often forced upon members of this sexual minority in the U.S. populati on includes both youth who are lesbian or gay themselves, and those who are affected through family or friends.2 Historically, some 1 For the purposes of simplicity, the terms LGBT and LGBTQ will be used synonymously, to describe lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning individuals alike. 2 Sexual minority refers to the status of LGBT individuals

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2 researchers argued that LGBT youth did not exist. They presumed that youth were sexually neutral and that their sexual orie ntation did not form until late adolescence (Rofes, 1995). In the early 1990s, sexual minorit y youth started to develop a language to articulate their identities and were more like ly to come out to others at earlier ages (Buckel, 2000; Savin-Williams, 1990, 1995). D' Augelli (1998) and Buckel (2000) note that the increasing social acceptance of lesb ians and gay men has allowed more sexual minority youth to become aware of their sexua l orientation at an earlier age, and has allowed these youth to develop in a contex t of lesbian and gay pride. Although the majority of adolescents are heterosexual, there are more than two million school-aged LGBT youth (National Mental Health A ssociation, 2005; Human Rights Watch, 2005). This does not include youth who are questioni ng their sexuality, unsure about it, or not yet open about their sexual orientation. It is difficult to estimate accurately th e number of LGBT youth and individuals who are affected through social ties with these individuals, but the number is undoubtedly high. For example, estimates of the number of lesbian or gay parents in the U.S. range from two to eight million (Casper & Schultz, 1999; HRW, 2001; Patterson, 1995b). The wide range in these estimates makes it diffi cult to accurately count the number of children who have one or more LGBT parents. Research has shown th at adolescents with gay or lesbian parents are also ridiculed or treated poorly (DA ugelli & Patterson, 1995; HRW, 2001). Adolescent Development All adolescents experience the same physic al, cognitive, psychological and social processes of development. One of the major psychological tasks of adolescence is to form self-identity and sexual identity. LGBT adoles cents face challenges th at the heterosexual

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3 adolescent does not. Research shows that adolescent sexual minority youth are at an increased risk for a number of problematic behaviors, including drug abuse (DAugelli et al., 2001; Grossman & Kerner, 1998), home lessness (Kruks, 1991), low-self esteem (Grossman & Kerner, 1998; Unks, 1994), vi ctimization (Cato, 2003; Cochran, 2001; Hetrick & Martin, 1987; Mufioz-Plaza et al ., 2002; Remafedi, G., 1987), and depression and suicide (DAugelli et al., 2001; DAuge lli et al., 2002; Garafalo et al., 1999; Hershberger et al., 1997; Mc Daniel et al., 2001; Rivers 2000; Rotheram-Borus & Fernandez, 1995; Safren and Heimberg, 1999). LGBT teens are about twice as likely as their heterosexual counterparts to attempt suicide (Hetrick-Martin Inst itute, 2004; Cato et al., 2003; DAugelli et al., 2001; McDaniel et al., 2001; Russell & Joyner, 2001; Safren & Heimberg, 1999; Kruks, 1991). The Gay, Lesb ian, and Straight Education Network reports that approximately 42% of homeless you th self-identify as gay or lesbian (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, 2004). Fort y-five percent of gay males, and 20% of lesbians report having experien ced verbal harassment and/or physical violence because of their sexual orientation during high school (GLSEN, 2004). Not only are LGBT youth at risk for these behaviors, they must also deal with the web of disc rimination and violence associated with heterosexism, ho mophobia and coming out to others. Eriksons Stages of Psychosocial Development According to Erik Erikson (1968), adol escence is a time when young people are at a crucial stage in the development of thei r self-identity. Erikson (1968) believes the central task of adolescence is to incorpor ate new sexual drives into the familial and societal expectations and norms placed on them to form an integrated, healthy personality. The result of this integration is identity, whic h Erikson (1968) defines as a sense of personal sameness and historical continuity (p.17). Successful resolution of

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4 this identity crisis provides adolescents and young adults with a clear sense of themselves, their personal beliefs and va lues, and their place in their community. Unsuccessful resolution leaves adolescents with a diffuse sense of identity, lack of selfesteem, confusion about social roles, and uncer tainty about internal feelings according to Erikson (1968) and Kroger (1989). Identity versus identity c onfusion is a central issue in adolescence. Erikson (1968) viewed the emergence of a healthy personal ity through successive developmental crises as a continual progression toward self-accepta nce and well-being: the vital personality weathers [internal and external conflicts], re-e merging from each crisis with an increased sense of inner unity, with an increase of good judgment, and in increase in the capacity to to do well (p.92). A healthy path to constr ucting an identity in adolescence involves searching for and establishing a clear and de finite sense of who you are and how you fit into the world around you. This often require s reconciliation between social identity, what adult and societal norms prescribe, a nd individual identity. Identity confusion leads to social deviance and conflic t. Christiansen & Palkovitzs (1998) study gives support to the conclusion that development in previous psychosocial stages (i.e., identity and intimacy in adolescence) is extremely im portant to later stages of psychosocial development, and therefore, the overall well -being of an individual. An individual's perception of high familial conflict significantly affected identity formation in a negative way (Markland & Nelson, 1993). Adolescent Development of Sexual Identity A major component of ones personal id entity is ones sexual identity. Reaching this identity is often more confusing for LG BT youth than their he terosexual peers in a homophobic society (Herek, 1986). Adolescence is a time for sexual experimentation, but

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5 sexual intercourse is only one facet of that experime ntation. Many will engage in behaviors such as petting, hugging, kissing or fondling. Many LGBT youth feel unsafe or uncomfortable engaging in such behaviors for fear of rejection or being teased by peers (Cobb, 2004). An important concept in the development of a LGBT sexual identity formation is the immersion of these youth into social networks. Research (Cass, 1979, 1996; DAugelli, 1996; Fox, 1995; Herdt & Boxer, 1993; Savin-Williams, 1995; Troiden, 1989) has consistently indicated that social contacts with other LGBTs he lp the individual to come to terms with a self-def inition of sexual orientation, as well as provide support to cope with the stigma and feelings of aliena tion and isolation from the heterosexual world. LGBT adolescents rarely have full access to the lesbian and gay community, which are typically more adult-oriented (Kourany, 1987) The supportive contacts and interaction within these networks contribute to the overa ll well-being of the adolescent. Hence, it is critical to examine the relationships adol escents experience within familial, school, community and organizational settings. Ecological Framework of Adolescent Development As adolescents develop their identities, th ey tend to move away from their families and towards their peers and community. The eco logical model of adolescent development provides a framework for understanding adoles cent development in its context. The model examines: ) how key se ttings such as family, school, and community affect the adolescent; 2) the interactions among each of these contexts; 3) the role of the larger environment; and 4) dynamic changes across tim e in all these interrelationships (Crain, 2005, p.125). According to this model, childr en live in a dynami c flow with their

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6 microsystem, which includes family, school peers and community. Community organizations therefore play a key role in adolescent development (Roffman et al., 2003). Inadequate Family, School, So cial, and Community Support Sexual minority adolescents are increasi ngly at the center of the gay rights movement in a variety of settings. These include schools, places of employment, religious and secular organizations, and community-based organizations and pr ograms. In schools, legal issues are rising, curriculum is be ing disputed, and numerous counties are challenging the formation of gay-straight alli ances as after-school clubs (American Civil Liberties Union, 2005). Anti-di scrimination laws are bei ng enacted or revoked in workplaces, housing and schools (Human Ri ghts Council, 2005). Many sexual minority adolescents learn that their lifestyle is sinf ul and/or unhealthy in religious organizations or religiously-affiliated youth programs. LGBT or sexual minority adolescents are increasingly the target of anti-gay legisla tion, attitudes and behavi ors from many parts of society. LGBT youth are on the front lines of th ese battles, often in isolation and without organizational support. For example, until the 1990s, there was very little action in the courts regarding abuse of LGBT students in the nations public schools (Lambda Legal, 2005; National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 2005; Buckel, 2000). Individual components of the community may fail to provide adequate support for this adolescent population. Adolescence is a di fficult time for all people, but researchers have discovered that sexual minority youth of ten lack the support st ructures that most heterosexual teens use (Gonsiorek, 1998). Wh ether it is stigmatization from society, marginalization of their status or identity from teachers, or exclusi on from peer groups or other organizations, LGBT teens rarely have the resources of other teens to overcome the struggles of adolescence. Furthermore, co mpared to LGBT adults, LGBT adolescents

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7 tend to have inadequate psychological, soci al and economic resources (Cato & Canetto, 2003; McDaniel et al., 2001; Rotheram-B orus & Fernandez, 1995). Young people who have developed connections to organized le sbian/gay communities that have a positive identity and supportive networks have a greater ability to buffer anti-gay victimization (Rivers 1999a, 1999b). There is room for improvement in the ways schools, local health officials, families, peers, and community and reli gious organizations treat, vi ew, and interact with sexual minority adolescents. There seems to be a systematic exclusion of LGBT youth in schools (Macgillivray, 2000). Parents have a hard time with LGBTQ childrens coming out process (DAugelli et al., 2005; Saltzbur g, 2004). Community organizations are not always supportive or inclusive of gay and lesbian i ssues (Nesmith et al., 1999). In the late 1990s, increased pride and asse rtiveness within LG BT adolescents often puts them in direct conflict with many of the people and institutions they traditionally turn to for support, such as family and peers, orga nized religion, community organizations, and schools (Rofes, 1994). Sexual minority adolescents are stressed and anxious in schools because of the negative feelings projected by their peers, teachers and school administrators. One would think that schools would be an ideal place to offer support and counseling services to LGBTQ youth. However, according to Mufioz -Plaza et al. (2002), Elia (1993) and Remafedi (1987), social support systems for lesbian and gay youth are lacking in our schools and the classroom can be the most homophobic of all social settings. The majority of current educational policies, both locally and nationally, do not allow for inclusion of sexual orientation in sexual e ducation materials (Dar ia & Campbell, 2004;

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8 Hetrick-Martin Institute, 2004; Gold & Nash, 2001). According to GLSEN (2004), antigay language is rampant in schools. Two-thirds of students report using homophobic language, such as thats so gay to desc ribe something that is wrong, bad or stupid. Eighty-one percent report he aring homophobic language in th eir schools frequently or often. Over half of the students reported hearing homophobic comme nts made by school staff and two-thirds of guidance counselors harbor negative feelings toward gay and lesbian people (GLSEN, 2004). According to the Hetrick-Martin Institute (2004), 41.7% of LGBTQ youth do not feel safe in their school, 28% of LGBTQ teens drop out of school annually (three times the national av erage), and 69% of LGBTQ youth reported experiencing some form of harassment or violence in school. DAugelli et al. (2002) suggest that LGBTQ youth ar e often the victims of att acks ranging from verbal harassment to physical assault. Much of this occurs in a school setting. Furthermore, Jenness (1995) suggests th at homophobia is the most frequent, visible, violent and culturally legitimated type of bias-motiv ated conduct. In other words, individuals sexual orientati on causes them to be victims of violence. Finally, Rivers (2000) points out that for many y ears, gay and lesbian youth have been participants in an educational system that has done very little to tackle the violence, harassment and social exclusion they have experienced as a result of their sexual orient ation. The education al system has excluded this population even though nearly three-fourths of high school students know a gay or lesbian person, almo st 50% of students know a lesbian or gay classmate, 30% have a close lesbian or gay friend, and 11% know a lesbian or gay teacher.

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9 Merier & Berger (1989) point to the lack of readily available support systemsat home, in the community, and in the educationa l systemas the cause for social isolation for LGBTQ youth. Disclosure or discovery of a youth's ho mosexual orientation often disrupts supportive relationships with family and peers, and has a deleterious effect on the development of intimate relation ships with others (Anderson, 1993, 1994; Rotheram-Borus et al., 1994). Allan (1999) suggests local gay co mmunity centers and bookstores are excellent resources to reduce these negative attitudes and behaviors. Finally, Muifoz-Plaza et al. (2002) point out that one of the cr ucial variables in identifying why some gay male and lesbian yout h prosper in spite of risk appears to be the presence of supportive and understanding peers and adults in their lives. Many parents have a hard time with LG BTQ childrens coming out process (DAugelli et al., 2005; Saltzburg, 2004). The literature discussing family response to learning that an offspring is gay or lesbian largely consists of anecdotal accounts, a small body of retrospective studies with parents of adults, and selected studies with gay and lesbian adults and adolescents using self-repo rts. Feelings of loss (Collins & Zimmerman, 1983; De Vine, 1984; Mattison & McWhirter, 19 95; Robinson et al., 1989), shame (BenAri, 1995; Bernstein, 1990; Hammersmit h, 1987; Herdt & Koff, 2000), cognitive and emotional dissonance (Boxer et al., 1991), a nd guilt (Bernstein, 1990; Boxer et al., 2000) emerge in the literature as dominant cognitive forces regulating the lives of parents and influencing adjustment. Finall y, gay and lesbian youths have recounted stories of ejection from the home, emotional rejection, and family vi olence as a result of parents learning of their sexual orientation (Hammelman, 1993; Hunter & Schaecher, 1987; Savin-Williams, 1989, 1994).

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10 This abuse occurs not only in schools, but also in a variety of community settings (DAugelli & Hershberger, 1993). Community orga nizations are not always supportive or inclusive of gay and lesbian issues. Hate crim es against gay or lesbian adolescents occur in local communities across the country. In 2003, 1,479 hate crimes were committed with sexual orientation as the motivation for th e crime (FBI, 2003). The widely publicized murder of Matthew Sheppard, a teenager in Laramie, Wyoming, was committed by two adult males merely because of Matthews sexua l orientation. On a smaller scale, damage can also occur when adult leaders make homophobic remarks. This creates an atmosphere of intolerance and inhibits positive youth de velopment. Educating youth peers and adults who work with youth to have an attitude of tolerance and acceptance is crucial. Need for Further Research Research shows youth prefer to attend setti ngs that are youth-orie nted (Villarruel et al., 2003). Sometimes community centers that serve a variety of youth do not provide a welcoming environment for sexual minority youth (Stanley, 2003). Many researchers agree that outlets for social support and creating opportunities for connection are critical for LGBT individuals (Hollander, 2000; Tharinger & Wells, 2000; Oswald, 2000; Nesmith et al., 1999; Hershberger & DAuge lli, 1995; SavinWilliams, 1995; Robinson, 1994; Morrow, 1993). Programs in community sett ings need to expand to include LGBT adolescent issues (Greely, 1994; Sing erline, 1994; Gerstel et al., 1989). Much of the research about sexual minor ities focuses on adults, some including retrospective studies in which adults reflect on their adoles cent experiences. Not until the 1980s did researchers begin to publish empi rical articles about gay youth (D'Augelli, 1996). This might explain why there is little research in the area of sexual minority youth issues. It cannot be assumed that all informa tion applicable to sexual minority adults is

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11 also applicable to sexual minority youth, because youth do not have the same access to resources, have not yet matured physically or psychologically, and do not have the same foundation of knowledge from which they may base decisions (Nesmith et al., 1999). Additionally, there is little research in the area of or ganizational support for sexual minority youth and the factors that affect organizational support for the LGBT community as a whole. Problem Statement Research shows that compared to thei r heterosexual peers, adolescent sexual minority adolescents, or lesbian, gay, bisexua l, and transgender (LGBT) adolescents are at an increased risk for a number of probl ematic behaviors. In creased organizational support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transg ender (LGBT) adolescents is needed, including support from families, schools, nonpr ofit and religious organizations, and local community centers. Institutional change is ne cessary in many of these settings to improve the level of organizational support of LG BT adolescents. Identifying the underlying mechanisms or processes by which such ch ange can occur is crucial. Objectives The objectives of this research are as follows: To determine the factors that affect or ganizational support for LGBTQ adolescents To add to the theoretical body of knowl edge of the institu tional theory of organizational behavior in regard s to support for sexual minority youth To identify the processes and structures that are likely to enhance institutional support for LGBTQ adolescents To provide policy and program recommendati ons to youth-serving organizations in regard to LGBTQ adolescents

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12 Research Questions This research will address the following questions: Are there differences among youth-serving or ganizations with respect to level of youth involvement within the organization? Are there differences among youth-servi ng organizations with respect to organizational, supportive actions for LGBT adolescents? Is there a relationship between level of youth involvement and support for LGBT adolescents? How does professional development affect organizational support for LGBT youth? What kinds of processes and structures ar e likely to enhance institutional change to support LGBT adolescents? This study examines why organizations differ in terms of support of sexual minority adolescents, in the community of Alachua County, Florida. Independent variables include professional development, p eer and client environments and level of youth involvement within youth-serving orga nizations. The dependent variable is organizational, supportive actions in reference to LGBT adolescents.

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13 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW In the following chapter, I will examine se veral bodies of literature. I will discuss theories in the field of organizational beha vior and youth development. I will provide a brief synopsis of agency theory and resour ce dependency theory to show I am aware these theories exist and unders tand they may affect the outcom e variable in my research. Institutional theory will be explained mo re thoroughly because this is the major theoretical framework I will us e in my study. Specifically, I w ill discuss criticisms of the theory in terms of inability to explain institut ional change and the lack of research in that area. Furthermore, I will give an overvie w of youth-serving organizations and youth development with regards to youth-adult partnerships as an avenue for change. I will discuss professional development of staff, diversity training, the social-contact hypothesis, diversity within organizations a nd the affect of these concepts on outcomes within organizations, and the normative beliefs of heterosexism in society. Links will be made about how the institutional perspective of organizational behavior and the concept of youth-adult partnerships will guide my research on youth-serving organizations. Also, links will be made about how the role of professional development, diversity training, and level of youth involvement can create institutional change regarding support for sexual minority adolescents. Institutions In sociological terms, institutions are an organized, established, procedure (MacIver, 1931). These procedures are usually subject to the rules of society. According

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14 to Scott (1995, p.33), institutions consist of cognitive, normative, and regulative structures and activities that provide stabilit y and meaning to social behavior. They are transported by various carriers, cultures, stru ctures, and routines, and they operate at multiple levels of jurisdiction. Institutions can take the form of significant practices, relationships, or organizations in a society or culture. They are created by people, either intentionally or uninten tionally (often both), and tend to persist over time. Institutions serve as mechanisms of social cooperation or social structure and usually govern the behavior of two or more indi viduals. Institutions are mani fested in both, real formal organizations such as the Roman Catholic Church and the U.S. Congress, and also informal organizations, such as a group of friends or informal community associations, reflecting human psychology, habits, behaviors, social norms and customs. Institutions are powerful external forces that help de termine how people understand the world around them and how they should act in it. Finally, inst itutions deal with and regulate conflict to ensure consistency and stability in society. Organizations are prominent forms of institutions in todays society. They reflect and help shape societal beliefs and norms. Or ganizations structure the daily activities for many people, including adolesce nts. These qualities of orga nizations have endured over time (Aldrich & Pfeffer, 1976; Etzioni, 1964; Zucker, 1983). A variet y of organizations are found everywhere in our so ciety, from grocery stores and manufacturing firms to schools and churches. They have direct effect s on peoples lives, including their wellbeing. Alternative Theoretical Frameworks For decades, organizational behavior theorists have known that organizations act, and have been trying to figure out what determines how and when they will act?

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15 (Thompson, p.1). There are several frameworks that can be used to explain organizational behavior. Agency theory generally looks at the power relationships between people who control organizations and thos e who work for the organization. It involves the costs of resolving conflicts between the principals and agents and ali gning the interests of the two groups. These two groups are part of an or ganization that consists of formal and informal contracts between the owners of factors of production and customers (Fama and Jensen, 1983). Organizational survival requires that a bus iness organization deliver a product or service that is demanded by its cu stomers at the lowest price, while covering costs (Alchian, 1950; Jensen, 1983). Agency theory has been used to explain the importance of separation of ownership and control within an organization (Fam a, 1980; Fama & Jensen, 1983; Fligstein & Freeland, 1995; Jensen & Meckling, 1976) and how to best organize relationships in which one party (the principal) determines the work, which another party (the agent) undertakes (Eisenhardt, 1985). The central issue of this theory is to define and control who is the principal and who is the agent w ithin an organization. The ownership of an organizations assets is vested in the share holders of the corporation or organization and control over these assets lies in the hands of the board of directors and employees. This theory assumes that the interests of the ow ners and Board members (managers) are not aligned (Jensen & Meckling, 1976) Organizations must keep the control (ratification and monitoring processes) of decisions separate from the management (initiation and monitoring) of decisions in order to control problems that arise (Fama & Jensen, 1983; Miller-Millesen, 2003). Within youth-serving organizations, d ecisions to support or not

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16 support sexual minority adolescents may be af fected by this struggl e for control of the organization. Resource dependency theory holds that orga nizations are externally constrained in their actions, but that they nonetheless engage in political decisionmaking processes and seek to manage and strategically adapt to their environments" (Pfeffer, 1992, p.192). Organizations obtain resources from th eir environments, a nd usually become interdependent with other organizations. Gene rally, organizations respond most readily to the demands of organizations that control cr itical resources. Orga nizations compete for and exchange resources in the environment in order to survive (Fligstein & Freeland, 1995; Pfeffer, 1981; Pfeffer & Salancik, 1978). This need to acquire resources creates dependencies between organizations (Pfeffer & Salancik, 1978).Within this framework, the concepts of organizational survival and performance are both linked to the ability to acquire and maintain resources efficiently (Pfeffer & Salancik, 1978). This perspective asserts that organizations have the ability to adapt to their environments and affect their own survival chances by decreasing the num ber of dependencies. According to this theory, organizations that have fewer depe ndencies will survive longer than those who have more because they control more of thei r resources. From this perspective, in terms of support for sexual minority adolescents, it is possible organizations may not be supportive because they do not want to lose funding sources. Analytic Framework of Institutional Theory Institutional theory posits that organizations behave as social units. Early theorists such as Zucker (1977) and Meyer and Rowan (1977), drew from the work of Berger and Luckmann (1967) who argued that institutions are socially constructed templates for action and are generated and maintained th rough ongoing interactions An institutional

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17 perspective claims that organizational behavi or is shaped by the institutional environment (DiMaggio & Powell, 1983; Meyer & Ro wan, 1977; Zucker, 1987, 1983). Organizations exist in fields with other si milar organizations that infl uence each others behavior (DiMaggio & Powell, 1983; Meyer & Rowan, 1977). When these organizational fields become well defined and mature, or structura ted, these fields exert powerful influences on the behavior of the organizations with in them. As these fields become more structured, the organizations tend to beco me increasingly homogeneous. From this perspective, in order to survive and maintain legitimacy, organizations embrace the norms, values, beliefs and expectations that co nform to societal traditions or customs, even when these social pressures may negatively affect organizational performance (DAunno & others, 1991). Homogenization/Isomorphic Processes Institutional environments can be conceptu alized in terms of understandings and expectations of appropriate organizational fo rm and behavior that are shared by members of society (Tolbert, 1985; Zucker, 1987; 1983). These normative understandings compose the institutional environments of organizations. Organizat ions are constantly pressured to adapt their structures, processes, and behaviors to be consistent with the institutional environment in order to guarant ee their legitimacy, and therefore chances for survival (DiMaggio & Powell, 1983; Meyer & Rowan, 1977). A fundamental assumption of institutional th eory is that organizations of similar types and environments become increasingly similar, or isomorphic, over time. It has been used to explain the c oncept of isomorphism within organizational fields and the establishment of institutiona l norms (DiMaggio, 1988). Institu tional theorists argue that

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18 coercive, mimetic, and normative processes affect the isomorphism of strategies, structures and processes within orga nizations (DiMaggio & Powell, 1983). Institutional isomorphism occurs via co ercive, mimetic, and normative processes. Mimetic processes of organizati ons are that they tend to imita te the behaviors of similar, successful organizations. These processes ar e known as mimetic isomorphism (DiMaggio & Powell, 1983). Imitation is only one sour ce of homogeneity within organizational behavior. Coercive processes include structur al and regulatory aspect s of an organization. Coercive isomorphism results from both formal and informal pressures exerted on organizations by other organizations upon which they are dependent and cultural expectations in the society within which organizations function (DiMaggio & Powell, 1991). These forces serve to legitimize an organization. For example, nonprofit organizations that have a national board of directors must adhere to their rules and regulations. This is an exam ple of a coercive process. Normative isomorphism occurs when an or ganization adopts forms or structures because professionals in the organization cl aim they are superior. Organizations might adopt certain structures and processes in order to improve the normative approval or moral legitimacy organizations receive (M eyer & Rowen, 1977; Scott, 1995; Suchman, 1995). Normative aspects of institutions em phasize moral beliefs and internalized obligations as the basis for social meaning a nd social order. Normative processes explain organizational behavior as an awareness of ones role in a social situatio n and a concern to behave appropriately, in agreement with others exp ectations and internalized standards of conduct, versus acting primarily in ones self-interes t and expedience (Scott

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19 & Christensen, 1995). In other words, organizatio ns tend to act in a wa y that is socially acceptable, rather than ventur e into unfamiliar territory. It was originally and still is difficult to empirically distinguish between these three different types of processes (DiMaggi o& Powell, 1983; Mizruchi & Fein, 1999). Primarily, normative process have occurr ed because professionals who work in organizations are also involved in networks ot her than their place of employment, such as national, professional organi zations (DiMaggio & Powell, 1983; Galaskiewicz, 1985). The values, norms and knowledge of profe ssionals are greatly influenced by their professional ties to their peers and by prof essional associational memberships (DiMaggio & Powell, 1983; Galaskiewicz, 1985; Galask iewicz & Burt, 1991). In terms of sexual minority adolescents, leaders of youth-serv ing organizations may be involved with professional, youth-oriented associations who are also unsupportiv e of this population. This helps shape their ideas and decisi on-making within their own organizational structure. Youth Development There are over 17,000 youth-se rving organizations in the United States (National Center for Charitable Statistics, 2005). Y outh-serving organizati ons and programs that work with adolescents can have a tremendous, positive impact on the development of all adolescents. These organizat ions have the potential to provide opportunities for adolescents to acquire personal and social assets and experience features of positive developmental settings, such as teamwork, diversity, citizenship, leadership, character development, opportunities to belong, suppor t for efficacy and mattering, and a sense of well-being (Benson, 1997; Damon & Lern er, 2001; Eccles & Gootman, 2002). Specifically, youth-based organizations and programs have an opportunity to reach

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20 sexual minority or LGBT adolescents. Organizations can model openness and teach both adolescent peers and mentors how to respec t and appreciate differences, as well as similarities, rather than neglect and/or stigmatize these adolescents. Roth and Brooks-Gunn (2003) performed a meta-analysis of youth development programs shown to have successful outcomes for youth. These researchers extended the five Cs of youth development, competence, confidence, connections, character, and caring that were proposed a few years ago by Pittman, Irby, and Ferber (2000). Roth and Brooks-Gunn (2003) concluded that the organi zational environment must provide youth with support and empowerment. This type of environment allows for a successful youthserving organization to reach its goal of supporting the adoles cents within their organization. The structures and processes of youth-servi ng organizations allow these five Cs to be played out. Civic engagement includes giving youth a voice and allowing them to be agents of their own development by exhi biting confidence and competence (Camino, 2002). Competence grows when yout h are able to help determine activities and programs are planned. This is similar to Montessori schools where youth are able to choose which activity they want to do, which in turn pr oduces a sense of self-efficacy (NAMTA, 2005; Montessori, 1977). Youth should have a voice in defining goals for the programs in which they are involved. At an individual level, the inclusion of youth voices allows youth to experience respect and be accepted by a dults. This is especially significant for at risk or invisible youth, such as LGBT youth, who are left behind or ignored by societal institutions (Diversi & Mecham, 2005; Krueger, 2005; Zeldin et al., 2005a). At a program level, youth voice in group decision-making is crucial because it ensures programs are

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21 focused on and include a diverse array of in terests, experiences, and concerns of adolescents (Denner, et al., 2005; Libby, et al., 2005; Zeldin, et al., 2005a) The focus of much research about adoles cents deals with the negative aspects of development and identification of problematic behaviors and how to correct them. It is also key to understanding what enables them to develop in a positive ways. Recent research has focused on assets of youth and how they can positively affect not only their own well-being, but also the well-being of other youth and adults (Zeldin, 2004). One example of this is to allow youth be involve d in leadership positions. Burt (1998) found that many youth-serving organizations involve youth in responsible leadership positions around program activities, such as tutors, p eer counselors, and ev ent organizers. These leadership positions allow youth to become active agents in their own development (Zeldin et al., 2005b). Emerging literature supports the logic of this argument, demonstrating that youth involvement in decision-making and actions with adults promotes both youth, adult and organizati onal development (Kirshner et al., 2002; National Research Council and Institute for Medicine, 2002; Ze ldin, 2004b; Zeldin et al., 2005). Youth-adult partnerships ar e important as they provide an opportunity for youth civic engagement and adult learning. Allo wing youth to participate in the decisionmaking processes within youth-serving organizati ons will allow them to feel this sense of belonging or mattering, or a connect ion to others. It also allo ws them to develop a sense of personal efficacy (Bandura, 1994). Nei ghborhood organizations are increasingly encouraging youth to participat e in service and program pla nning activities in order to encourage civic engagement and attachment to their community (Delgado, 1999; Fogel,

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22 2004; Parker and Franco, 1999). Support for youth voices provides the groundwork for the development of strong, long-term adultyouth partnerships (Zeldin et al., 2005a). Youth must feel that their beliefs and f eelings are valued by their adult mentors. Therefore, adults must be able to demonstr ate respect for youth voi ces by making time to listen to their opinions and feelings and respond in a non-judgmental way. These partnerships are either youth-driven or adult-driven. The rationale for the adult-driven model is that adults know best and they have greater knowledge and experience. This knowledge and experience creates better program activities (Larson, et al., 2005). The developmen tal rationale for the youth-driven model is that young people become active participants and learners when they are able to make decisions. The goal of this model is empowerment and th e promotion of leadership skills (Camino, 2000; Larson, et al., 2005; Zeldin, 2004).This model often is used in programs where a primary goal is not just youth development, but community change (Ginwright & James, 2002). It is possible this model could also be used to create institutional change. However, a frequent concern of adults is th at youth do not have sufficient leadership and organizational experience to keep program activities on track and functioning effectively (Camino, 2000; Larson, et al., 2005; Zeldin, 2004). Furtherm ore, research on youthadult partnerships on community boards found that misunderstanding and conflict between youth and adults occurred often (Camino & Ze ldin, 2002). For example, this occurred if adults had hidden assumptions about youths in ability to make good decisions or exerted covert control because youth veered aw ay from organizational agreements and responsibilities (Camino, 2000; Zeldin, et al., 200 1). Organizations need to be able to find the middle ground between adult and youth-driven models.

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23 Organizations are currently putting an emphasis on youth being more involved in the decision-making processes of organizati onal programming, even th ough there is still a struggle between youth and adults in terms of decision-making power (Zeldin et al., 2005a). Changes to the structures should in clude allowing youth to be engaged in organizational governance. Zeldin (2004) f ound that engaging youth in decision-making secured the commitment of young people to their organizational communities and contributed to positive youth development. Specifically, young people became committed to participation because their organizations created a positive sens e of belonging within the organization, established respect be tween adults and youth in terms of communication, and established a balance of power between suppor ting and empowering the youth (Zeldin, 2004). Similar to work done by Yates and Youniss (1999), Zeldin (2004) found the experience of youth governance was a positive channel for identity exploration among youth. The key point is that youth involvement is tied to organizational support for sexual minority adolescents. Therefore, as seen in Figure 2-1, youth involvement is the first concept used to measure organizational s upport for sexual minority adolescents. There are approximately two million LGBT adoles cents (HRW, 2005; NMHA, 2005). There are at least 10% LGBT adolescents and/or their friends involved in a youth-serving organization. Therefore, there is a great er probability this population would be represented and given a voice if allowed to participate in the governance of the organization. This is just one way to produ ce organizational change within youth-serving organizations.

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24 Figure 2-1. Organizational change for organizational support of sexual minority adolescents. Organizational Change Institutional theory has primarily focu sed on the creation and maintenance of isomorphic, institutional environments, by means of coercive, mimetic, and normative processes (DiMaggio, 1988; DiMaggio & Powell, 1983; DiMaggio & Powell, 1991; Scott, 1987). However, little attention has been given to what structures or processes change institutional environments (Gr eenwood & Hinings, 1996; Kondra & Hinings, 1998; Ledford et al., 1989; Powell, 1991). Researchers and practitioners need an enhanced understanding of both the sour ces of heterogeneity in institutional environments and the processes that generate institutional change, according to Powell (1991, p.183). There must be variation or dive rsity within organizations in order to change institutional norms. Institutional th eory has tended to ignore this (Kondra & Higgins, 1998). Researchers need to know what processes or stru ctures need to be altered to help create this change in regard s to institutional support for sexual minority Organizational support of sexual minority adolescents Professional Development of Staff and Administration External peer/client environments Level of Youth Involvement in Decision-Making

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25 adolescents. One key to this is the forma tion of youth-adult part nerships to get youth involved in the decision-making processes within organizations. As a social scientist, I hypothesize that professional deve lopment of staff and administration is essential for the support of sexual minority adolescents (Figure 2-1). Organizational survival requires qua lity leadership and governance and organizational change must be implemente d from the top-down. Therefore, it is appropriate to examine the characterist ics of the governing body of youth-serving organizations for more information about how to create change in regards to support for sexual minority adolescents. Organizational Diversity Organizational culture can be defined as in integrated system of shared beliefs, ideas, behaviors, and objects of an organi zation (Jordan, 1995; Li nnehan et al., 2003). This culture is formed through organizati ons leaders, employees, volunteers, and members. Organizations in the United States must increasingly operate within a culturally diverse context (Milliken and Martins, 1996; van Knippenberg et al., 2004) as the population of the United States continues to become more di verse (United States Census, 2000). Explicit value for diversity among member s, openness to alternative approaches to learning, and tolerance for ambiguity are elem ents of organizational settings that are important for promoting diversity (Bond, 1999, 1995; Cox, 1993). The term diversity has several dictionary defi nitions. According to MerriamWebster, diversity is the condi tion of being composed of distinct or unlike elements or qualities (Merriam-Webster, 2005). For purpo ses of this research and its uses in previous research, it refers to personal attributes among independent members of a work unit (Jackson et al., 2003). It is important to understand how di versity affects outcomes of

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26 organizations such as employee job satisfacti on or turnover, organizational performance, job morale, et al.. Instituti onal theorists (Greenwood & Hi nings, 1996) have begun to look at diversity within leadership positions and its effect on radical change within organizations. Researchers in several di sciplines, such as business management, psychology, and social psychology, have sought to understand the effects of different types of diversity, or heterogeneity, on pe rformance outcomes (Milliken & Martins, 1996; Pitts, 2005; Willoughby & OReilly, 1998; Wise and Tschirhart, 2002, 2000; Wise et al., 1997). Specifically, board diversity has shown strong li nks to organizational social performance (Siciliano, 1996). Increasing board diversity is becoming more common within nonprofit organizations and corpor ate America (Council on Foundations; 2005; Gardyn, 2003). Board membership must be divers e in order for boards to be responsive to and inclusive of a diverse society. Increas ing racial equity on boards has shown an improvement in group work performance (Siciliano, 1996). Perhaps including LGBT individuals on boards would increase s upport for sexual minority adolescents. Diversity Training Diversity training programs increased dr amatically in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This trend continues toda y as the need for diversity training in the United States continues to increase. This need will continue for a long time due to a variety of factors, including changing workforce demographics increasing globalization, and continuing conflict and litigation within or ganizational environments in regards to diversity (Bendick et al., 2001; Buckel, 2000; Nemetz, 1996). By 1997, most government agencies and 60% of Fortune 500 companies provided some kind of diversity training for their employees (Hemphill & Haynes, 1997). Further evidence of an increase in di versity training is revealed in a 2003 Human Resources

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27 Institute report of findings from a 2001 su rvey of Fortune 100 companies (Human Resources Institute, 2003). This report found that 96% of respondents said they provide diversity training about race, 88% about ge nder, 85% about ethnicity, 65% about age, 64% about disability, 57% about sexual orientation, and 54% about religion. There was very little research performed about the outcomes of the effectiveness of such trainings during the early 1980s and 1990s (Rynes & Benson, 1995). Over the past decade, several researchers have also doc umented the lack of empirical research evaluating the positive outcomes or effects of diversity training, speci fically the effect on interpersonal behavior (Karjetm 1996; Neme tz & Christensin, 1996; Roberson et al., 2001; Sanchez & Medkick, 2004). Some studies show that backlash or negative reinforcement of stereotypes has occurred as a result of diversity or awareness training (Galen & Palmer, 1994; Hanover & Cellar, 1998; MacDonald, 1993; Rynes & Rosen, 1995). However, several researchers have found positive changes in racial attitudes as the result of diversity trainings (Cox, 1991; Hanover and Cellar, 1998; Sanchez & Mendick, 2004). Also, clinical psychol ogy training programs have been more successful in addressing issues of race and ethnicity than of sexual orientation (Allison et al., 2006). However, much of the work on diversity stems from a normative view that any diversity leads to positive c onsequences (Wise & Tschirhart 2002). Research has not attempted to assess the genuine value of diversity, with few exceptions (Wise & Tschirhart 2000). Research also suggests th at the messages and actions of management must convey strong support for the programs. Rynes and Rosen (1995) concluded that the factor that was most strongly related to su ccessful diversity training was the perception that top management supported the diversity training. Perhaps the most powerful way of

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28 conveying this support is by having a top manageme nt team that is diverse. Organizations could purposefully look to the LGBT comm unity for new board members. Richard (2000) offers support that dive rsity training has a positive impact on firm performance, but it cautions us to remember this benefit appears to emerge only in certain contexts. Therefore, when looking to diversity training for LGBT ad olescents, we must keep in mind this training needs to be posit ive to have beneficial results. In order to increase the effectiveness of these trainings, more systematic evaluations must be develope d as empirical findings are sc arce (Ellis and Sonnenfeld, 1994; Roberson et al., 2001; Rynes and Rosen, 1995). Some programs have been evaluated, but the method for obtaining feedback has come form the trainee rather than the individuals involved in the training (Roberson et al., 2001; Bhawuk and Triandis, 1996). Diversity trainings primarily have three objectives: 1) to increase knowledge and awareness about diversity issues; 2) to reduce biases and stereotypes; and 3) to change behaviors of individuals (Cox, 1993; Hanover et al., 1998; Roberson et al., 2001; Sanchez and Medkick, 2004). Furthermore, Fowler (2006 ) states that according to Ferdman and Brody (1996), a hallmark of much diversity tr aining is its connec tion to organizational needs and objectives. Specifically, Ferdma n and Brody (1996) state, at a minimum diversity training implies a concern for the impact of differences among people on their interactions and on the organi zation including issues related to working in and with a heterogeneous workforce. More broadly, it can address issues related to the implications of diversity for organizati onal change (p. 285).

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29 For example, the Safe Zone Project, a predominantly university-based diversitytraining program, was designed to increase aw areness and knowledge of, and sensitivity to, important issues affecting LGBT students, fa culty, and staff. The results of this project were that it helped create a more open, suppor tive environment for LGBT individuals and increase the visibility of LGBT people and issues on a college campus (Evans, 2002; Finkel et al., 2003). Also, faculty and sta ff hung Safe Zone cards on their walls and doors, as well as throughout the entire department and training areas (Finkel et al., 2003). Therefore, I propose that diversity awarene ss training about LGBT issues would not only increase peoples knowledge, but also provide the stimulus for organizational behavioral change in regards to support for sexual minority adolescents. A step towards opening up a group or orga nization to include diverse members, such as sexual minority adolescents, include s creating settings wh ere trainers who are LGBT are able to share their experien ces (Bond, 1998; Reinharz, 1994). In the past, researchers have advocated usi ng mixed race trainee groups for racial diversity training to increase the educational benefits of the tr aining because they have produced beneficial results (Kirkland and Regan, 1997). On the other hand, sometimes training about sexual orientation is portrayed in a negative way. Conversion therapie s, known in the mental health profession as religious and therapeutic approaches which attempt to change an individuals sexual orientation, use practices like electric shock thera py, hypnosis, medication, and psychoanalysis (Evans and Wall, 1993; Morrow, 2004; Tozer and McClanahan, 1999) to try to convert homosexuals back to be heterosexual. Although conversion therapies still have proponents (Byrd, 2004; Nicolosi, 1991; Throck morton, 2002), their critics believe this

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30 therapy promotes both internal and ex ternal homophobia (Stein, 1999; Tozer and McClanahan, 1999) and ignores the historic a nd scientific record showing that LGBT orientations are normal and h ealthy (APA, 2005). Research also shows results of such therapy should be examined carefully b ecause these studies tend to have major methodological issues (Haldeman, 2002, 1994; Stein, 1999). Recent research also highlights the controversies, benefi ts, and harms experienced by clients who have sought such interventions (Bieschke et al., 2000; Haldeman, 2002, 1994). Currently, these conversion therapies stand in opposition to po licies enacted by national mental health organizations, such as the Amer ican Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the National Asso ciation of School Psychologists, the National Association of Social Workers, and the National Edu cation Association (APA, 1999). Moreover, the training and education among ment al health practitioners that does exist, is frequently inaccurate and sometimes pathologizing (Al lison et al., 1994; Evans and Wall, 1991). Therefore, it is important to not e that training or education th at exists about LGBT issues it is not always supportive or be neficial to that population. Peer and Client Environments/Normative Beliefs Prejudice against lesbians and gay me n was first studied methodically by psychologists in the early 1970s. Researcher s have used the term homophobia to describe an irrational persiste nt fear or dread of homosexuals or an irrational fear or intolerance of homosexuality (Lehne, 1976; MacDonald, 1976). Different terminologies have been introduced over the last 30 y ears, such as lesbophobia, homonegativity, and psychological heterosexism (Herek, 1995; Kitzinger and Peel 2005). Even with new terminology, the underlying co ncept persists. Some individua ls hold negative, biased

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31 and prejudiced attitudes towards LGBT individu als that result in discriminatory behaviors from verbal gay bashing to othe r more violent hate crimes. Normative beliefs in society about LGBT individuals are those of homophobia and are experienced within a variety of institutions, such as schools, homes, and communities (Buckel, 2000; Pratte, 1993; Rothblum and Bond, 1997). Furthermore, there is evidence that mental health professionals, child we lfare workers, and physicians are homophobic (Herek 2000; Herek and Capitanio, 1999; Quinn, 2002). This homophobic abuse occurs not only in schools and within families, but is also reflected in a variety of community settings. Community organizati ons are not always supportive or inclusive of gay and lesbian issues (Keefer and Reene, 2002). Homophobic creates an atmosphere of intolerance and inhibits positive youth development. Heterosexual men tend to show higher levels of prejudice towards LGBT individuals than heterosexual women in both survey and labo ratory studies (Herek, 2000; Herek and Capitanio, 1999; Kite and Wh itley, 1998; Yang, 1998). Many adults in the United States hold negative attitudes towa rd homosexual behavior (Herek, 2002; 2000; Herek and Capitanio, 1996; Yang, 1997), but att itudes are slowly changing. Research has shown that younger people have more favorab le attitudes towards LGBT individuals and are more supportive (CIRCLE, 2004; Cloud, 2005; Herek, 2002; Kaiser Family Foundation, 2001; Savin-Williams, 2005; SIECUS, 2001). These attitudes are reflected in beliefs about same-sex marriage, non-discrimina tion clauses, and gay-straight alliances. There is an inconsistency between ha ving a focus on positive youth development and excluding a certain percen tage of that youth (sexual mi nority adolescents) through unsupportive actions. Today, homophobia and r acism are decreasing because public

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32 institutions have been forced to deal with the issue of diversity (Buckel, 2000; Russell, 2002; Wald et al., 1996). For example, affirma tive action has created more jobs for ethnic minorities and in turn has brought new ideas, va lues, and beliefs to institutional settings. Many national organizations have recently taken public stances against homophobia and inclusion of sexual orientation in safety and anti-discrimination clauses such as the American Academy of Child and Adolescen t Psychiatry, American Psychological Association, American School Counselor A ssociation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Education Associ ation, and the National Mental Health Association (APA, 2005). Social-Contact Hypothesis The original contact hypothesis (Allport, 1954) and more recent conceptualizations of it (e.g., Stephan, 1987) have proposed that under the correct ci rcumstances, contact will facilitate interactions between members of different groups and reduce hostility, prejudice, and stereotypes. The contact hypothesis is a general model of intergroup contact, which assumes similar responses fo r both members of stigmatized groups as well as members of non-stigmatized groups. A numb er of studies have exposed the positive effects of inter-group cont act, (Ellison and Powers, 1994; Pettigrew and Tropp, 2000; Pettigrew, 1997; Sigelman and Welch, 1993; Wood and Sonleitner, 1996). However, these researchers are careful to point out th at context places a key role in findings and consistent operationalization of variables is important for theoretical validity. Finally, simple contact may not completely change ones attitude, but it does alter pre-existing beliefs. This theory has been used in ma ny disciplines and applied to many pressing social issues, reaching from desegregation of schools (Stephan and Rosenfield, 1978) and educational mainstreaming of disabled child ren (Harper and Wacker 1985; Shafer et al.,

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33 1989) to reducing prejudice of LGBT indivi duals (Herek, 2002) a nd the resolution of ethnopolitical disagreements (Chirot and Seligman, 2001; Hewstone et al., 2002). The contact hypothesis has received onl y moderate support from research concerning inter-ethnic interactions (Ste phan, 1987). Powers and Ellison (1996) found that contact had an independent effect of tending to reduce racial prejudice. However, more promising effects of contact have been established in hete rosexuals attitudes towards gays and lesbians (Herek, 2002; Herek and Glunt, 1993; Herek and Capitanio, 1996; Sakalli and Uurlu, 2002). Specifically, am ong heterosexual individuals, contact with LGB individuals and content has been found to be a correlate of stereotype reduction and more positive atti tudes toward LGBT individua ls in college (Bowen and Bourgeois, 2001; Geller, 1991; Herek, 2002, 1998; Herek and Glunt, 1993). Furthermore, recent studies have used this hypothesis to examine intergenerational attitudes between the elderly and adolescents. Results show an increase in positive attitudes between the two groups (Kite and Johnson, 1988, Meshel and McGlynn, 2004). Perhaps using this social-contact hypothesi s in combination with diversity training is an effective way to promote support fo r sexual minority adoles cents. For example, many LGBT diversity trainings include a pane l of LGBT individuals. These individuals share stories about their live s and try to put a face with the issue. As discussed previously, the Safe Zone project proved to be successful using this strategy. Social Awareness Some believe the term social awareness has it roots in the second wave of the feminist movement (Bickford and Reynolds, 2002). For many researchers, awareness about issues affecting the community or rais ing social consciousne ss has always been a precursor to social movement (Steinem, 1983; Swift, 1990). The inte rnal and external

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34 survival of organizations, particularly highe r education institutions, requires that they engage their members and encourage them to de velop a social awareness that will enable them to reach out to the br oader community on these issues More recent research has also explored the theoretical connections between interaction w ith diverse peers and dimensions of social awareness. Springer et al. (1995) found that stud ents who interacted with diverse peers reported more frequent di scussion of complex social issues, including such things as the economy, peace, human right s equality, and justice. Awareness brings social change via community-level actions, whether they occur at the institutional, organizational, or individual le vel. Individuals who are more aware of LGBT issues and concerns are more likely to have pos itive attitudes towa rds this population. Professional/Staff Development Professional development has no single de finition. Its meaning may not always be clear or shared across disciplines. A literatu re review by Elman et al. (2005) revealed neither efforts to achieve consensus on the meaning of it nor definitions in standard or psychiatric dictionaries Professional development may rela te to diverse tasks associated with completing professional degrees, pursui ng postdoctoral activities (Kaslow et al., 1992), preparing for licensure, beginning a career, functioning during the midcareer years, or nearing retirement (Ronnestad and Skovholdt, 2001). Also, the attainment of professionalism may involve internal pro cesses (e.g., growth, differentiation, emergence of fuller understanding, crystallizing of attitu des) that include ongoing consideration of and reflection on personal and professiona l experiences (Ronnestad and Skovholdt, 2001). It has also been defined as workshop pa rticipation, in terms of either the number of sessions attended or hours completed (Fis cher and Eheart, 1991; Kontos et al., 1995;

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35 Rouse, 2004). For the purposes of this study, it refers to formal or informal training to enhance skills, knowledge, and ability to practice in the field of youth development. In the field of youth development, co mmon educational prerequisites and preservice training for youth workers seem to be inadequate (Huebner et al., 2003). Borden (2002) performed a comprehensiv e literature review of st aff development training for youth development professionals and concl uded that the lack of comprehensive educational opportunities leaves the field of youth development devoid of professionals and volunteers who are thoroughl y grounded in its theory, res earch, and standard best practices. Furthermore, Halpern, Barker, and Mollard (2000) found that youth workers tend to rely on their own experi ences rather than on formal training to determine day-today activities and programming priorities. A dult mentors must develop an understanding of youth development features or the esse ntial elements of positive youth development work in order to improve the quality of youth development programs and in turn strengthen professional practice. Staff development is a logica l point from which to begin to change the process of youth development. Other researchers agre e that practitioners who master and apply professional paradigm s and science-based programs and standards can be effective change agents with youth and significant contributors to theory and practice improvements in youth development (E ccles and Gootman, 200 2; Villarruel et al., 2003). In disciplines such as family child care, levels of formal education and training are factors in providers' lives that uniquely c ontributed to higher levels of quality care (Weaver, 2000). Also, quality of family child ca re has been associated with belonging to professional organizations and associations and participating in other professional

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36 development opportunities (DeBord and Sawy ers, 1996; Kontos, Howes, Shinn, and Galinsky, 1995). The empirical link between staff development and quality youth programs has been established by the literatur e about early childcare and adolescent care (Ghazvini and Mullis, 2002; No rris, 2001; Phillips et al., 2001; Weaver, 2002). However, as of 2006, there is little evidence that di rectly links staff development to improved, quality programs for adolescents (Huebner et al., 2003). The reasons fo r this are unclear. Grossman et al. (2002) performed a study of program quality that involved middle schoolaged youth and found that the key to ha ving high quality activi ties was the ability of the staff leading those activities. This ability is directly linked to knowledge about youth development. Therefore, I hypothesize that the more knowledge a staff person is about youth development issues, the more likely they are to be inclusive they should be of all youth. This inclusion would in clude sexual minor ity adolescents. In summary, youth-serving organizations are on e of the critical structures that help shape the identity and well-b eing of adolescents. The inst itutional environment within many of the youth-serving organizations in the United States is unsupportive of sexual minority adolescents. High levels of youth involvement within the processes and structures of organizations have shown positive results for youth, adults, and organizations. The concept of professiona l development has b een studied in many disciplines and has been effective in promoting positive outcomes for children. Diversity training has been used to explain outcomes such as organizational performance, group relations, and employee turnove r. Specifically, professional development and educational attainment are crucial concepts for promo ting positive youth development. Furthermore, peer environments can affect work-relate d decisions. Examining levels of youth

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37 involvement, peer environments, and prof essional development among youth workers will be useful in understanding why organi zations do or do not support sexual minority adolescents. Hypotheses The following are the hypotheses for the research: There are differences among youth-serving or ganizations with respect to level of youth involvement within organizations. There are differences among youth-servi ng organizations with respect to organizational, supportive actions for LGBT adolescents. High levels of professional development are positively correlated with support for LGBT adolescents. Diversity training about LGBT issues w ill be positively correlated with support for LGBT adolescents. Peer environments, professional peers and board members, will be positively correlated with respect to supportive actions for LGBT adolescents. Client environments, parents of or the adolescents themselves, will have a positive correlation with organizationa l support LGBT adolescents

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38 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY This chapter discusses the research design used in this study and its limitations. It will describe the development of test instrume nts, data collection, and data analysis. The following discussion of the research desi gn applies to all hypotheses tested. Research Design I used a two phase design. In phase one, I employed a cross-sectional design. In phase two, I used an explanatory, theo ry building case study design. The case study design allows investigators to retain the ho listic and meaningful ch aracteristics of reallife events, such as individual life cycl es or neighborhood change (Yin, 2003), and permits the researcher to examine several va riables and their interaction simultaneously (de Vaus, 2001; Yin, 2003). The stage of theo ry development regarding this subject implies that research should have a desc riptive and explanator y role (de Vaus 2001; Fowler 1993). The limited amount of research in the area of organizational support for LGBT adolescents stresses the importance of re search that begins to build theories about this issue. Furthermore, in the case study de sign, researchers are able to select cases based on the outcome variable. Researchers know a priori the cases are different with respect to this outcome vari able and then try to determ ine why they are different. Researchers must be able to distinguish th e different levels of analysis within each case. A unit of analysis is the thing about which we collect information and form which we draw conclusions (de Vaus, p.18). A case is the object of study (de Vaus, 2001). As per Yin (2003), your tentative definition of the unit of analysis (a nd therefore the case)

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39 is related to the way you have defined your in itial research questions . As cited in de Vaus (2001), Yin (1989) makes the distinction between cases as a w hole and cases that consist of various levels or components by us ing the terms holistic or embedded to refer to this distinction. In this study, the orga nizations will serve as the units of analysis. I interviewed three participants in each or ganization. The executive directors/religious leaders, youth workers, and board members or policy-makers serve as the embedded units of analysis in the study. Internal validity refers to the degree to which the research design eliminates other explanations than the ones proposed in the hypotheses and illustrates casual direction between the predictor and outcome variables. Case studies sometime s have low internal validity because they, unlike experimental desi gns, they do not create interventions to create control and treatment groups (de Vaus, 2001). However, I took certain measures to increase internal validity. I addressed the issue of internal validity by evaluating multiple cases (six total), evaluating relationships between variables thr ough several measurement sources (indices and open-res ponse questions), and using an idiographic approach to examine cases. I reduced the number of po ssible alternative causal explanations by comparing multiple cases. I created compar ison groups based on the outcome variable, using the maximum variation sampling appro ach, and compared the groups of high and low level of youth involvement to each other, based on the predictor variables. The use of these comparison groups and their contribution to internal validity is comparable to the control group in an experimental design. Howe ver, case study designs allow the groups to be created post hoc I examined how different predictor variables affect multiple cases within each comparison group, whic h in turn infers causality.

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40 According to de Vaus (2001), idiographic explanations focus on particular events, or cases, and seeks to develop a complete explanation of each case.by developing a full, well-rounded causal account, case studies can achieve high internal validity. The idiographic approach decreases the possibility of alternativ e explanations and offers a fuller explanation of each case. I assesse d the relationship betw een the variables by measuring numerous predictor variables in combination with each other (de Vaus, 2001). External validity refers to the extent to which results of a study can be generalized beyond the study itself (de Vaus, 2001). One must differentiate between two types of generalizability in case studies. Researchers so metimes refer to statistical generalizability when discussing external validity. Statistical generalizability is the ability to generalize the findings of the research to a broader popul ation than the sample and can be increased by using probability or random sampling. Case studies sometimes do not aim to achieve statistical generalizability, as the findings from them do not always offer explanations of phenomena to a population outside of those who are studied. Rather, case studies focus on achieving theoretical generalizability. Theo retical generalization entails generalizing from a study to a theory, rather than what the study tells us about the wider population (statistical generalization). The cases tell the researcher about how effective the theory is in explaining the phenomena under study. If cas es are selected using a sound theoretical framework, using a priori reas oning, theoretical ge neralizability for a case study design is high (de Vaus, 2001). In this study, the six cases were selected using a sound theoretical framework. I can make theoretical generalizations because I selected multiple cases using a sound theoretical framework and because I assigned cases to groups based on an appropriate outcome variable. I compared multiple (three) case s within each group

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41 (high/low levels of youth involvement). E xplanatory breadth was achieved by examining the complex interactions betw een numerous variables. I al ways intended to achieve theoretical generalizability, not statistical generalizability beca use I wanted to be able to explain how the constructs affect the outcome variable for the cases in this study, not all youth-serving organizations. Reliability refers to how consistently the instrument will produce the same measurements (Bryman, 2004). I am confident of the reliability of indices because of the process I used to develop them. I utilized my expert panel as outlined above to address low construct validity and therefore, reliabi lity. The instruments used have high internal consistency and are replicable. I enhanced the reliability of the results by addressing issues of internal consistency, or construct va lidity. Internal consistency is the degree to which items in a scale or index actually measur es the construct it is intended to measure. Operationalization of the concepts into more than one measurable variable increases the internal consistency of the research (A ppendix A). I improved the replicability, and therefore reliability, of this study by deve loping clear operational definitions of the variables and constructs (see th e end of this section for de finitions). Also, I developed multiple measures of the same construct, su ch as indices and open-response questions answered through structured in terviews. This increased c oncurrent validity and the overall validity of the instruments. Overall, th e indicators appear to measure the concepts. In this study, the outcome variable is organizational support for LGBT adolescents. The independent variables are youth invol vement, peer/client environments, and professional development (Figure 2-1).

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42 Sample Selection The theoretical population for this study w ould be all youth-serving organizations in the United States. The accessible populat ion was youth-serving organizations in Alachua County, Florida. As of 2005, Alac hua Countys population is approximately 223,852, with a median income of $33,056 (Cen sus, 2006). The population demographics are 73.8% Caucasian, 20.2% black, 6.2% Hi spanic or Latino, 4.2% Asian, and 0.3% American-Indian. Furthermore, Alachua County is one of the only Democratic counties in the state of Florida and tends to be one of the most liberal. In the 2004 election, 56% of the County voted for the Democratic Presid ential candidate, while 43% voted for the Republican candidate. Alachua County is also a University town, as the University of Florida resides here. University towns tend to have more resources for LGBT adolescents, such as student groups and local gay-straight alliances. Alachua County and its liberal politics may skew the results because youth-serving organizations in this area may tend to be more supportive of LGBT adol escents than a more conservative County in the state of Florida. However, I intended to pick an area of th is nature to ensure I would end up with organizations that were supportive of this population. I defined a youth-serving organization as an organization that primarily serves youth and that has year-round program or serv ices that focus on youth development. A youth is an individual ages seve n to eighteen in this study (Arn ett, 2003). I received a list of community organizations in the Alachua County, Florida area from the Office of Community Service on the University of Florid a campus. I cross-referenced that list with several websites and other resources, includ ing The Gainesville Chamber of Commerce website and The United Ways organizat ion resource book. The total number of organizations on the list was two hundred and twenty. The organizations in this

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43 population may or may not be representative of U.S. youth-serving organizations as a whole, but they are representa tive of youth-serving organizations in University towns, or Counties similar to Alachua County. In phase one, I censused the population of 240 youth-serving organizations in Alachua County, Florida to determine the le vel of youth involvement in decision-making within these organizations. Level of youth i nvolvement in decision-making was used as a dummy variable, in place of the outcome variable, because there was no way to know a priori which organizations were supportive or no t supportive of LGBT adolescents. For a detailed argument of why le vel of youth involvement in decision-making was used, see chapter 2. In phase two, I used maximum variation sampling. A maximum variation sample is one type of a purposive sample. This sampli ng approach aims at capturing and describing the central themes or principal outcomes that cut across many participant or program variations (Patton, 1987). This approach is commonly used when a researcher believes that large differences between cases will pr ovide the best opportunity for understanding the phenomena under study. This approach allo ws one to identify extremes in the predictive variables. It is also valuable wh en the literature review suggests there may be many possible factors for explaining beha vior. For purposes of this study, I felt organizations at the extremes would be most beneficial to determining what factors contribute to organizational s upport for LGBT adolescents. In order to select organizations or case s for phase two, I created a summative score for the level of youth involvement for decisi on-making within all of the youth-serving organizations that responded to phase one of the research (Appendix B). The initial goal

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44 was to select ten cases total. Each of two groups, high and low levels of youth involvement in decision-making, should have possessed five cases each. I could not reach this goal due to time and resource cons traints. Overall, I examined six cases by taking the organizations with the three highest and lowest scores (See Table 3-1). The actual lowest score was from an organization which was eliminated since it did not meet the criteria for this study. Table 3-1. Organizations with Highest and Lo west Levels of Yout h Involvement Scores in Alachua County, Florida, 2006. Ranges of scores for level youth involvement High (61-100) Medium (31-60) Low (0-30) Organization A 28 Organization B 19 Organization C 18 Organization D 91 Organization E 79 Organization F 72 Instrumentation for Indices Indices are often used to measure multi-dim ensional variables such as attitudes or professional development. Indices are a combin ation of measures that generate responses to a set of inter-rela ted items and they create a single data point, even though they are made up of multiple statements or questions. Indices require a researcher to establish construct validity of th e related items before using the instrument (Swisher, 2006). I used the Delphi method as explained below to es tablish construct validity of my indices. I used a two-dimensional index in orde r to measure several variables. Twodimensional indices are more precise th an a one-dimensional index (Swisher, 2006). Two-dimensional indices are a set of related it ems that are used to provide more precise measures of a multidimensional variable (S wisher, 2006). This precision is reached

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45 because each item in the index has a weight a ssociated with its importance, as determined by my expert panel. Organizational suppor t for LGBT adolescents and peer/client environments were measured using this twodimensional index and therefore are precise measurements. I used the Delphi method, or an expert pane l, to create an index for the independent variables level of youth involvement (See Appendix C for complete youth involvement index), the peer/client environment index (See Appendix D for complete peer/client environment index) and the outcome va riable organizationa l support for LGBT adolescents (See Appendix E for complete or ganizational support in dex). According to Linstone and Turoff (1975, p.3) the Delphi method may be characterized as a method for structuring a group communication process, so that the process is effective in allowing a group of individuals, as a whole, to deal with complex problems. The Delphi method is a technique aimed at building an agreement, or consensus among a group of panel experts in the relevant field of study (Adler and Ziglio, 1996; Linstone and Turoff, 1975). This procedure is a forecasting met hodology for generating expert opinion on any given subject matter via a series of questi onnaires with controlle d opinion feedback (Adler and Ziglio, 1996; Mi ller and Salkind, 2002). In order to implement the Delphi method, I first compiled a list of approximately fifteen experts in the field of adolescent deve lopment. I created my own list of items that reflected levels of youth involvement, peer/cli ent environments, and supportive, concrete actions that organizations could serve as in dicators for support for LGBT adolescents. I asked my panel of experts to list 7-10 items that reflected levels of youth involvement within a youth-serving organization and act ions that were supportive of LGBT

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46 adolescents. I compared this list to the one I had created based on current research. The review and help of experts ensured relevanc e to the domain of interest and maximized item appropriateness (DeVellis, 2003). Furthermore, the panel of experts discussed how relevant they though the items were in terms of what I am trying to measure, evaluated the items clarity and conciseness, and o ffered other ways to measure the concept (DeVellis, 2003). Next, I created a rule to de termine which items to keep on the list. I kept the items that 80% of respondents said were important. This completed the first dimension of the index. Once I compiled the fina l list, I sent it back to the panel and had each person rank the items for importance (on a 1-5 scale). Then I took the mode for each item and kept the top 7-10 answers. This co mpleted the second dimension of the index. In order to measure peer/client environm ents, I utilized the same procedure as outlined above. The difference with this variable was that the second dimension (intensity) occurred on the or ganization side of the design. I had individual s within the organizations rank how important four groups of people were to them and then answer six questions in relation to each group. The resulting instruments content validity is based on the judgment, logic, and reasoning of the researcher with validation from an expert panel of judges who have expert ise in the content area (Wynd, et al, 2003). Instrumentation for Structured Interviews The interview included questions that a ddressed the variables from four main concepts, professional development, peer/org anizational environment and organizational supportive actions (See Appendix F for a comple te questionnaire). I took the essential procedural steps to ensure that the intervie w instruments were valid measurements of the four main conceptual constructs and that th ey provide accurate information. I began by stating my research hypotheses, explicitly including the related sub-questions. I then

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47 listed the appropriate interview topics for each hypothesis. I developed several questions for each topic with varied wording choice a nd different response formats. I reviewed these questions extensively to eliminate th e unnecessary ones. I re viewed the remaining questions with an expert panel and colleagues. I also had a panel of experts review the interview questions for their content and face va lidity. The experts included University of Florida professors and researchers in the fields of psychology, co mmunity development, youth development, research design and methods, community board members, youth workers, and executive directors from lo cal nonprofit organizations, and two local religious leaders. They reviewed the c onstruction and wording of the questions along with the logical flow of the instrument. They also rated each question as vital, important, or nice, but not critical. The self-completion questionnaire includes two indices that measure organizational supportive actions and importan ce and perceptions of peer environments. Respondents were asked to answer these questio ns on their own instead of verbally in an interview setting because this re search dealt with a sensitiv e topic, sexual orientation. This technique may produce less social desi rability bias for these items (Fowler 1993). Also, the respondents may feel answers of th is type are more anonymous because there are no identifying marks on the que stionnaire itself (Fowler 1993). I asked community members from my sampli ng frame that did not participate in the first round of data collection if they were willing to pilot test the instrument. Furthermore, I pre-tested the interview questions a nd self-completion questionnaire with six individuals. I asked for feedback on the word ing of questions and about the comfort of the participants. The key issues for the resear cher when pre-testing an instrument are to

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48 check for misunderstandings, incomplete concep t coverage, inconsistent interpretations, politically correct responses, and context effects (Collins, 2003). The instructions for the interview were written on the actual interview instrument to ensure the same information was communicat ed to all participants. This increased the reliability of the actual interview data (Fowle r, 1993). Also, the instructions for the selfcompletion questionnaire were exactly the same for all participants. This increased the reliability of the actual questionnaire (Fowler, 1993). The interview questions and selfcompletion questionnaire address all the vari ables in the study. I am confident of the reliability of my indices because of the pro cess I used to develop them. These instruments have high internal consis tency and are replicable. Procedures In phase one, I mailed out a questionnaire to executive directors and religious leaders. I received 46 total questionnaires out of 220 afte r the first round of data collection which took three week s to complete, yielding a 20.9% initial res ponse rate. In phase two, I administered a self-completion que stionnaire and a struct ured oral interview designed specifically for this study. I conducte d 18 total interviews in six youth-serving organizations to collect data about the variab les needed to test the research hypotheses. I administered the interviews at some of the or ganizations and at par ticipants offices that were not on-site. Structured interviews allow for open comm unication with the participants (Fowler, 1993). A structured interview i nvolves asking interviewees the same questions each time and then scoring their responses the same way. The benefits of structured interviews include better reliability, validity, and lega l defensibility than semi-structured or unstructured interviews (Bartels et al., 2006). I increased the re liability by providing

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49 written instructions to develop consistency in how the interview was administered and that all participants received the same inform ation (Fowler, 1993). Fu rther, I was the lone researcher and administered all of the inte rviews, which contributes to the consistent delivery of the interview questions. I also wr ote the instructions on the self-administered interview questions to ensure they were read exactly the same to each participant. There was no test for reliability of the open-response format questions, but this allows for a more in-depth look at the responses. Participants were provided with an inform ed consent sheet to sign prior to starting the interview (Appendix F). Once they signe d this sheet, I provided them with information about the first phase of the rese arch. I told them the second half of the research dealt with organizational divers ity and professional development. Some participants wanted to know ah ead of time if the diversity part of the research dealt with lesbian and gay issues. I told pa rticipants that some of the que stions would deal with this issue, but that their organi zation was not singled out and that we were looking for a variety of viewpoints. I advise d the participants about the le ngth of the interview and how the fourth part would be a self-completion que stionnaire. I made sure to ask once more if participants had any questions before we be gan. I began the structur ed oral interview, which usually lasted approximately 20 minutes. At the fourth part of the interview, the participants were given the self-completion questionnaire to complete. I explained to them verbally that they were to answer ba sed upon their role within the organization. This information was in the instructions as well. After collecti ng the questionnaire, I asked several open-ended questions. At the end of the interview, I asked if the participants had any questions and we pr ocessed those together. Finally, I told

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50 participants the results of the research will be made available to them if their organization had requested a copy. As outlined in the informed consent sheet, this standard protocol involved no more than minimal risk ordinarily encountered in daily life. The information obtained in the interviews will remain confidential. The only direct benefit for the participants is that they will receive a copy of the research repor t when it is finished. Finally, as stated before, the response rate for the initial phase was 20.9%. The response rate for the embedded units within the six cases was 100% All participants were willing to participate in the study. Data Collection I collected the first round of my data in early spring 2006 and finished the second round in the beginning of May 2006. I transcri bed the data before analyzing it, as researchers suggest doing so when using in-depth interviews (Borman et al., 1986; Tashakori &Teddlie, 1998). The procedure for recording and transcri bing interviews has many advantages. It allows for a more thor ough examination of what people say, permits repeated examinations of the interviewees an swers, and helps alleviate the limitations of human memory or what we thought people said or meant in an interview (Bryman, 2004; Heritage 1984). I transcribed the openended questions of my interviews and recorded meaningful themes, statements, and quotes. I also created tables to compare cases to one another (Appendix G). Data Analysis I ran three Mann-Whitney U tests to de termine if the 44 organizations who responded from the initial census were significa ntly different in terms of level of youth involvement, low, medium, and high. Ne xt, I ran a Kruskal-Wallis Test, the

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51 nonparametric alternative to one-way ANOVA, to determine if the medians differed among the three groups, high, medium, and low levels of youth involvement. I also ran the Mann-Whitney U test to determine if the organizations are signifi cantly different in terms of organizational suppor t for LGBT adolescents. I pr ovide the results of three regression models used to explore the asso ciation between indepe ndent variables, and between the independent and dependent vari ables. The models used examined the variables at both the individual and organizational level. I recorded themes that emerged from using the data from my open-response que stions. Finally, I create d several tables to gain a holistic look at all of the cases a nd then used them to compare across cases. The n in the study was small (n=18). These participants were from organizations that were selected on the basis of the surr ogate measure (level of youth involvement) of organizational support for LGBT adolescents. This small sample size inhibited my ability to make a more complete evaluation of di fferences between groups. I was limited in the statistical analysis I could use to evaluate the differences. I created comparison groups based on the outcome variable, using the maximum variation sampling approach, and compared the groups of high and low level of youth involvement to each other, based on the pred ictor variables. This approach left out organizations that may have scored in the middle level of youth i nvolvement and did not provide me with any information about the shape of the regressi on lines used in the analysis. This was done intentionally b ecause I wanted to know more in-depth information about the extreme cases. Limitations The final instrument used to measure level of youth involvement in decisionmaking was not a complete index. The majority of questions used were yes/no questions

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52 that included content from the expert pane l. This decreased the precision for this instrument. Finally, there was no test for reliability of the open-response format questions. Therefore, these types of questi ons reduce the precision of the measurements in exchange for allowing for more in-depth re sponses. Finally, I recorded and transcribed all eighteen interviews to reduce measurement error. In addition, sexual orientation among adolescents is a sensi tive issue. I am unsure if participants responded honestly or simply to be politically correct. In order to remedy this issue, most of the questions related to this sensitive topic were addressed in a selfcompletion questionnaire instead of verbally in the structured interview. On the other hand, some of them may have felt as if they wa nted to talk about this subject because it has come up frequently in their job. I assu red confidentiality and gained trust because prior to the start of the interview, I introduced myself and explained I was trying to better serve youth. I believe I received more truthf ul information because I took this step. Also, I only talked to three individuals in each organiza tion. This may have biased the results because the results may have been different if I spoke with three additional people or three different peopl e within the organization. Also, the individuals may not have responded based on their role within the organization, rather from a personal standpoint. In order to limit this, I reminded them several times during the interview to answer questions based on their role within the organization. Th ese instructions were also on the questionnaire they were given. Furthermor e, I had to interview the leader of each organization, so in that case, there was no one else to interview. Finally, it became clear during the interv iew process that the self-completion questionnaire people filled out may have need ed some additional pre-testing because the

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53 pre-tests were only conducted on participants who had a positi ve reaction to the questions being asked. If I had pre-te sted the instrument on someone who had a negative reaction, perhaps some of the wording could have been adjusted. I did try to recruit people who had negative opinions, but it was difficult to get them to help in the development of the instrumentation. The instruments would more reliably measure the constructs under study if I pilot tested the in struments with cases representing all user groups.

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54 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS In this chapter I first provide some dem ographic information about the participants. I then present the results of the statistical tests that I conducted in order to test for differences in central tendency. Finally, I pr ovide the results of three regression models that I developed in order to explore the association between independent variables, and between the independent and dependent variables. Demographic Characteristics The research participants were half ma le and half female. The mean age was 47 years, the median was 46, and the range wa s 26-67. Three participants were single, 13 married, one divorced, and one separa ted. Seventeen participants were European/Caucasian and one was African-American. The education achievement of the 18 participants can be seen in Appendix H. Appendix I describes the aspects of participants lives that have prepared them to work with adolescents. Approximately 25% of the participants have education backgrounds related to youth development, while 25% of them have divinity degrees. The other 50% ha ve degrees in other areas, such as library science, zoology, and history. Hypothesis 1 H1: There are differences among youth-serving organizations with respect to levels of youth involvement. Appendix B shows the level of youth involvement in decisionmaking scores for all organizations in the st udy. Refer to table 3:1 for the scores of the six case study organizations.

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55 There are differences among youth-serving or ganizations with respect to level of youth involvement. I ran a Kruskal-Wallis Test the nonparametric alternative to one-way ANOVA, to determine if the medians di ffered among the three groups, high, medium, and low levels of youth involvement. There were differences among the three groups (pvalue < 0.0001). Table 4-1 shows these results. Table 4-1. Kruskal-Wallis test for median differences among high, medium, low levels of youth involvement, Alac hua County, Florida, 2006. Test Statisticsa,b 33.290 2 .000 Chi-Square df Asymp. Sig. Score on youth involvement Kruskal Wallis Test a. Grouping Variable: LowMediumHigh level of Y b. Next, I ran three Mann-Whitney U tests to determine if the initial 44 organizations in the sample were significantly different in terms of level of youth involvement, low, medium, and high. The results of the compar ison between organizations with low and medium levels of youth involvement can be seen in Table 4-2 below. Table 4-2. Mann Whitney U 2-sample test to compare organizations with low and medium levels of youth involveme nt, Alachua County, Florida, 2006. Test Statisticsb .000 66.000 -4.660 .000 .000a Mann-Whitney U Wilcoxon W Z Asymp. Sig. (2-tailed) Exact Sig. [2*(1-tailed Sig.)] Score on youth involvement Not corrected for ties. a. Grouping Variable: Level of YI b.

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56 The p-value was < .001 and is therefore sign ificant. The result s of the comparison between organizations with medium and high le vels of youth involvement can be seen in Table 4-3. The p-value for this test wa s < .001 and is therefore significant. Table 4-3. Mann Whitney U 2-sample test to compare organizations with medium and high levels of youth involvement Alachua County, Florida, 2006. Test Statisticsb .000 276.000 -4.157 .000 .000a Mann-Whitney U Wilcoxon W Z Asymp. Sig. (2-tailed) Exact Sig. [2*(1-tailed Sig.)] Score on youth involvement Not corrected for ties. a. Grouping Variable: Level of YI b. The results of the comparison between orga nizations with low and high levels of youth involvement can be seen in Table 4-4 be low. The p-value for this test was < .0001 and is therefore significant. Table 4-4. Mann Whitney U 2-sample test to compare organizations with low and high levels of youth involvement, Alachua County, Florida, 2006. Test Statisticsb .000 66.000 -3.636 .000 .000a Mann-Whitney U Wilcoxon W Z Asymp. Sig. (2-tailed) Exact Sig. [2*(1-tailed Sig.)] Score on youth involvement Not corrected for ties. a. Grouping Variable: Level of YI b.

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57 Hypothesis 2 H2: There is a positive correlation be tween level of youth involvement and organizational support for LGBT adolescent. There is no apparent relationship between level of youth involvement and organizationa l support for LGBT a dolescents. I first examined the distribution of scores for s upport of LGBT adolescen ts. I expected those organizations selected from the group of or ganizations with high youth involvement to exhibit the highest LGBT support scor es, but they do not (Figure 4-1). Figure 4-1. Distribution of or ganizational support scores for youth-serving organizations in Alachua County, Florida, 2006. Also, I created a scatterplot to determine if there was a relationship between the two variables (Figure 4:2). No obvious pattern emerges. 60.00 55.00 50.00 45.00 40.00 35.00 30.00 Organizational support scores 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0 Frequency ORG. F ORG.S A & C ORG.S B & D ORG. E Mean = 41.3333 Std. Dev. = 9.4798 N = 6

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58 Figure 4-2. Correlation between youth i nvolvement and organizational support among youth-serving organizations in Alachua County, Florida, 2006. I also ran the Mann-Whitney U test to determine if the organizations are significantly different in terms of organiza tional support for LGBT adolescents (Table 41). A Mann-Whitney test is designed to test a hypothesis about the lo cation (median) of a population description. It often involves the us e of matched pairs, for example, before and after data, in which case it tests for a median difference of zero. Table 4-5. Mann Whitney U 2-sample test (normal approximation) to compare organizations with high (n=3) and low levels of youth involvement (n=3) with the outcome variable of organiza tional support for LGBT adolescents, Alachua County, Florida, 2006. Organizational Support Mann-Whitney U 3.000 Wilcoxon W 9.000 Z -.655 Asymp. Sig. (2-tailed) .513 Exact Sig. [2*(1-tailed Sig.)] .700(a) a Not corrected for ties. b Grouping Variable: YI 60.00 55.00 50.00 45.00 40.00 35.00 30.00 Organizational Support for LGBT Adolescents 100.00 80.00 60.00 40.00 20.00 Level of Youth Involvement

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59 The p-value for the Mann-Whitney test was .70, which is greater than .05. Therefore, the two case study groups (high a nd low levels of youth involvement) do not significantly differ in terms of organiza tional support for LGBT adolescents. Data Reduction I needed to perform data reduction before proceeding with statistical data analysis for my other hypotheses. Data reduction allo ws researchers to reduce responses to a number of questions to a si ngle score or number (Blaikie, 2003). Answers to related questions can be analyzed as one variable, instead of having to analyze multiple responses to multiple questions (Blaikie, 2003). An assumption of multiple regression is that data is interval or near-interval data (Sheskin, 2004). Therefore, I had to convert some of my data from ordinal to interval. First, in order to measure professional deve lopment, I assigned values to the level of education for each participant, where 1.0=no college, 1.5=A.A. degree, 2.0=B.S., and 2.5=M.S. or Ph.D. Next, I assigned a 1 to a non-related youth development degree and a 2 to participants who did have a degree re lated to youth development. I then multiplied these to numbers to obtain one interv al score for professional development. In order to better measure di versity training, I did two thi ngs. First, I took the total number of trainings and multip lied it by the scalar response given for how much of the most recent training dealt with gender, race, and sexual orientation. I summed these totals for a summative score and included it in the first model (Table 4-7). Secondly, after I ran the first multiple regr ession model, I wanted to examine the differences between the responses to the se parate components of the diversity training (gender, race, sexual orientation). I took the total number of trainings a participant had received and multiplied that total number by the scalar response given for how much of

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60 the most recent training dealt with gender, race, and sexual orientation. The resulting number was interval data for all three of those measures. I was left with three variables for diversity training, gender (GENSUM), race (RACESUM), and sexual orientation (LGBTSUM) instead of one summative score. Multiple Regression One of the assumptions of multiple regression is normality of distribution. One way to test for normality is to run the one-s ample Kolmogorov-Smirnov test. This procedure compares the observed cumulative distribution function for a variable with a specified theoretical distribution, which may be norma l, uniform, Poisson, or exponential. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov Z is computed from the largest difference (i n absolute value) between the observed and theo retical cumulative distribut ion functions. This goodnessof-fit tests whether the observ ations could reasonably have come from the specified distribution (Sheskin, 2004). Fu rthermore, large significant va lues (i.e.= values >.05) indicate that the observed distribution of variables co rresponds to the theoretical distribution. Therefore, if all p-values are > .05, procedures assuming normality, such as multiple regression, can be employed. Statistical generalizability is the ability to generalize the findings of the research to a broader population, but the use of regressi on in this study was to perform numerical comparisons on the data. I always intended to achieve theoretical generalizability, not statistical generalizability becau se I wanted to be able to explain how the constructs affect the outcome variable for the ca ses in this study, not all youth-serving organizations.

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61 I ran a one-sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov test shown in Table 4-6. All p-values were > .05, except for the professional de velopment total vari able (PROVDEVTOT). This p-value was .046, which rounds up to .05. Table 4-6. One-Sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov test to determine if normality exists the variables professional memberships, professional development, peer environment, client environment, gender di versity score, racial diversity score, and LGBT diversity score, Alachua County, Florida, 2006. PROF ORGS PROFDEV TOT PROFENV SUM CLIENTENV SUM GEN SUM RACE SUM LGBT SUM N 18 18 18 17 18 18 18 Mean 1.6 2.5 130.8 92.5 15.7 25.5 16.4 Normal Parameters (a,b) Std. Deviation 1.1 1.1 51.2 46.4 19.1 33.8 21.8 Positive .24.32.15.12 .27 .25.23 Most extreme differences Negative -.15-.12-.10-.08 -.21 -.23-.23 Asymp. Sig. (2-tailed) or p-value* .246.046**.807.971 .139 .198.300 a. Test distribution is Normal. b. Calculated from data. ** Compare to an alpha value of .05 This p-value was .046, which rounds up to .05 I used multiple regression models to anal yze the contribution of the variables in predicting organizational support for LGBT adolescents and the contribution of the variables in predicting individua l scores of support for LGBT adolescents. It is assumed in multiple regression that the residuals (predicted minus observed values) are distributed normally or follow the normal distribution of a bell curve (Sheskin, 2004). Multiple regression also shares all the assumptions of correlation, linearity of relationships, the same level of relationship throughout th e range of the independent variable ("homoscedasticity"), interval or near-interval data, absence of outliers, and data whose range is not truncated. I used mean substitu tion multiple regression, or replacement of all missing instances of a given variable with the mean value for that variable. Mean substitution is a good solution when data is both randomly missing and normally

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62 distributed. It is also more advantageous than pairwise deletion because it produces a more internally consistent set of correlation matrix (Sheskin, 2004). The first mean replacement multiple regressi on resulted in a model with a multiple correlation coefficient of R2 = .85 and a p-value =0.002 (See Table 4-3). The model indicated that peer environment one and peer environment two are both significantly contributing to the overall R2 value, and therefore, the organizational-level outcome variable (p= 0.09 and 0.05, respectively). Als o, the model showed that the overall diversity training score was a significant contributing f actor (p= 0.02) and that the number of memberships in professional or ganizations was a si gnificant contributing factor (p=0.04). Peer environment three and peer environment four were not significant contributing factors (p= 0.44 and 0.78, respectively). Table 4-7. Multiple regression model one; th e relationship between peer environment one, peer environment two, peer envir onment three, peer environment four, diversity training, and professional orga nizations with organizational support for LGBT adolescents, Al achua County, Florida, 2006. MODEL SUMMARY 1 Model R R Square Adjusted R Square Std. Error of the Estimate Significance 1 .924a .853 .756 4.33 p=0.003 a. Predictors: Peer environment one, peer environment two, peer environment three, peer environment four, diversity training, and professional organizations

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63 Table 4-8. Regression summ ary for model one; the relationship between peer environment one, peer environment two, peer environment three, peer environment four, diversity training, and professional organizations with organizational support for LGBT adoles cents at the organizational level, Alachua County, Florida, 2006. COEFFICIENTS a Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients Variable B Std. Error Beta t Sig. (p-value) (Constant) 14.763 3.35 .008 PEERENV1 .384 .200 .110 1.92 .087* PEERENV2 .487 .216 .166 2.25 .051* PEERENV3 .206 .252 .056 .816 .435 PEERENV4 -.065 .229 -.026 -.284 .783 DIVTR .394 .132 .524 2.99 .015* Model PROFORG .347 .144 2.52 2.42 .039* a. Dependent variable: Organizational support for LGBT adolescents *compare to alpha < .10 The multiple regression model for individuallevel responses indicated that none of the variables contributed si gnificantly to the overall R2 value of .39, and therefore, the individual-level measure of the outcome vari able (See Table 4-9). P eer environments one (p =0.60), two (p =0.41), three (p =0.65) and f our (p =0.95), diversity training (p =0.40), and number of professional organizations (p = 0.80), were not signifi cant with respect to the individual-level score of orga nizational support (See Table 4-10). Table 4-9. Multiple regression model two; the relationship between peer environment one, peer environment two, peer envir onment three, peer environment four, diversity training, and professional orga nizations with organizational support for LGBT adolescents at the individual level. MODEL SUMMARY 1 Model R R Square Adjusted R Square Std. Error of the Estimate Significance 2 .625a .391 -.015 4.42 p =0.50 a. Predictors: Peer environment one, peer environment two, peer environment three, peer environment four, diversity training, and professional organizations

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64 Table 4-10. Regression summ ary for model two; the relationship between peer environment one, peer environment two, peer environment three, peer environment four, diversity training, and professional organizations with organizational support for LGBT adolescen ts at the individual level, Alachua County, Florida, 2006. COEFFICIENTS a Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients Variable B Std. Error Beta t Sig. (p-value) (Constant) 8.07 1.80 .106 PEERENV1 .224 .407 .032 .551 .595 PEERENV2 .381 .442 .065 .864 .410 PEERENV3 -.245 .515 -.033 -.476 .646 PEERENV4 .032 .469 .006 .069 .947 DIVTR .235 .269 .156 .876 .404 Model 2 PROFORG .076 .293 .275 .259 .801 a. Dependent variable: Individual organizational support for LGBT adolescents *compare to alpha < .10 I collapsed the data for peer environmen t one and two and created the professional peer variable (PROFPEER) because they were both significant for the organizational level model. I also collapsed the data for peer environment three and four scores and created the client peer variable (CLIPEER ) because they were both not significant contributing factors to the overall R2 value of .85 at the organi zational-level of analysis (Refer to Table 4-8). Also, th e constructs of peer environm ent one and two both deal with peers and peer environments th ree and four also both deal with client environments. The third model I ran used the specific di versity training variables for race, gender, and sexual orientation (GENSUM, RACESU M, and LGBTSUM), as well as the collapsed data from the previous mode l for peer environments (PROFPEER and CLIPEER). A mean replacement multiple regres sion resulted in a model with a multiple correlation coefficient of R2 = .88 and a p-value of 0.001 (S ee Table 4-11). The model indicated that the summed racial diversity training score (RACESUM) and professional peer environment (PROFPEER) both cont ribute significantly to the overall R2 value, and

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65 therefore, the organizationallevel outcome variable of support for LGBT adolescents (p= 0.015 and 0.009, respectively). Also, the m odel indicated that the professional development variable (p= 0.10), the gender dive rsity training score (p=0.19), the sexual orientation diversity training score (p=.12), and the client peer environment variable (p=0.86) did not significantly contribute to the overall R2 value, and therefore, the organizational-level outcome variable of s upport for LGBT adolescents (See Table 4-12). Table 4-11. Multiple regression model three; the relationship between peer environment, client environment, professional deve lopment, gender diversity training, race diversity training, and sexua l orientation diversity tr aining with organizational support for LGBT adolescents at the organizational level, Alachua County, Florida, 2006. MODEL SUMMARY 1 Model R R Square Adjusted R Square Std. Error of the Estimate Significance 3 .939a .88 .80 3.88 p = .001 a. Predictors: Peer environment, client environment, professional development, gender diversity training, race diversity training, and sexual orientation diversity training Table 4-12. Regression summary for model three; the re lationship peer environment, client environment, professional devel opment, gender diversity training, race diversity training, and sexua l orientation diversity tr aining with organizational support for LGBT adolescents at the individual level, Alachua County, Florida, 2006. COEFFICIENTS a Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients Variable B Std. Error Beta t Sig. (p-value) (Constant) 20.68 3.59 .006 PROFDEV .229 .126 1.75 1.82 .101 GENSUM .558 .397 .245 1.41 .193 RACESUM .626 .210 .155 2.98 .015 LGBTSUM -.607 .351 -.232 -1.72 .118 PROFPEER .554 .168 .098 3.29 .009 Model 3 CLIPEER -.028 .154 -.005 -.191 .855 a. Dependent variable: Individual organizational support for LGBT adolescents *compare to alpha < .05 Next, the individual-level model I ran used the specific diversity training variables for race, gender, and sexual orientati on (GENSUM, RACESUM, and LGBTSUM), as

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66 well as the collapsed data from the previ ous model for peer environments (PROFPEER and CLIPEER). A mean replacement multiple regression resulted in a model with a multiple correlation coefficient of R2 = .72 and a p-value =0.03 (See Table 4-13). The model indicated that the summed gender di versity training score (p=0.01), sexual orientation diversity training score (p=0.03), and professional peer environment (p=0.01) all significantly contributed to the overall R2 value, and therefore, the individual-level outcome variable. Also, the model indicated that the professional development variable (p=0.17), the summed race diversity traini ng score (p=0.50), and the client peer environment variable (p= 0.98) did not significantly c ontribute to the overall R2 value, and therefore, the individuallevel outcome variable. Table 4-13. Multiple regression model four; th e relationship between peer environment, client environment, professional devel opment, gender diversity training, race diversity training, and sexua l orientation diversity tr aining with organizational support for LGBT adolescents at the individual level, Alachua County, Florida, 2006. MODEL SUMMARY 1 Model R R Square Adjusted R Square Std. Error of the Estimate Significance 4 .851a .72 .54 2.98 p = .033 a. Predictors: Peer environment, client environment, professional development, gender diversity training, race diversity training, and sexual orientation diversity training

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67 Table 4-14. Regression summar y for model four; the relati onship peer environment, client environment, professional devel opment, gender diversity training, race diversity training, and sexua l orientation diversity tr aining with organizational support for LGBT adolescents at the individual level. COEFFICIENTS a Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients Variable B Std. Error Beta t Sig. (p-value) (Constant) .311 .071 .945 PROFDEV .283 .192 1.09 1.47 .174 GENSUM 1.91 .607 .420 3.14 .012 RACESUM -.230 .322 -.028 -.710 .496 LGBTSUM -1.35 .537 -.258 -2.51 .033 PROFPEER .814 .258 .072 3.16 .012 Model 4 CLIPEER -.007 .236 -.001 -.030 .977 a. Dependent variable: Individual organizational support for LGBT adolescents *compare to alpha < .05 Table 4-15. Correlations among independent variables to test for multicollinearity, Alachua County, Florida, 2006. Correlation matrix among independent variable s in relation to orga nizational support for LGBT adolescents Variable PROVDEV GENSUM RACESUM LGBT SUM PROFPEER CLIPEER ORGS UP PROVDEV 1.0 -.116 -.211 -.077 .230 -.180 .211 GENSUM -.116 1.0 .513 .940 -.324 -.302 .111 RACESUM -.211 .513 1.0 .507 .272 .276 .699 LGBTSUM -.077 .940 .507 1.0 -.220 -.320 .104 PROFPEER .230 -.324 .271 -.220 1.0 .103 .727 CLIPEER -.180 -.302 .276 -.320 .103 1.0 .185 ORGSUP .211 .111 .699 .105 .727 .185 1.0 I tested for multicollinearity (See Tabl e 4-15). The summed gender diversity training score (GENSUM) and the sexual orientation diversity training score (LGBTSUM) were highly correlated with each other (r2=0.94). Multicollinearity refers to linear inter-correlation among variables (Sheskin, 2004). If nominally "different" measures actually quantify the same phenomenon to a significant degree (i.e.= when the variables have different names and perhaps employ different numeric measurement scales but correlate highly with each other), they are redundant. The redundancy produces an overfit in regression analysis models. The be st regression models ar e those in which the

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68 predictor variables each corre late highly with the depende nt (outcome) variable, but correlate minimally with each ot her. Therefore, from this poi nt forward, I collapsed these two variables into one (GENLGBT ) to eliminate multicollinearity. The penultimate model I ran used the specifi c diversity training variables for race, the combined variable for gender and sexual orientation (GENLGBT, RACESUM), professional development variable (P RDEVTO), the number of professional organizations participants belong to (PROFORG ), as well as the collapsed data from the previous model for peer environments (P ROFPEER and CLIPEER). A mean replacement multiple regression resulted in a model w ith a multiple correlation coefficient of R2 = .89 and a p-value =0.001 (See Table 4-16). The model indicated that the summed racial diversity training score (p= 0.03 and professional peer envi ronment (p=0.01) are both significantly contribu ting to the overall R2 value, and therefore, the organizational-level outcome variable. Also, the model indicated that the professional development variable (p=0.07) and the number of professional organi zations (p=0.09) were not significantly contributing to the overall R2 value, but were close a nd still worth discussing. The summed gender and sexual orientation divers ity training score (p=0.88) and the client peer environment variable (p=0.94) did not significantly contribute to the overall R2 value, and therefore, the organizationallevel outcome variable (See Table 4-17). Table 4-16. Multiple regression model five ; the relationship between professional organizations, professional developm ent, race diversity training, peer environment, client environment, a nd gender/sexual orie ntation diversity training with organizational suppor t for LGBT adolescents at the organizational level, Alachua County, Florida, 2006. MODEL SUMMARY 1 Model R R Square Adjusted R Square Std. Error of the Estimate Significance 5 .947a .90 .83 3.61 p = .001 a. Predictors: Professional organizations professional development, race diversit y training, peer environment, client environment, and gender/sexual orientation diversity training

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69 Table 4-17. Regression summar y for model five; the relatio nship between professional organizations, professional developm ent, race diversity training, peer environment, client environment, a nd gender/sexual orie ntation diversity training with organizational suppor t for LGBT adolescents at the organizational level, Alachua County, Florida, 2006. COEFFICIENTS a Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients Variable B Std. Error Beta t Sig. (p-value) (Constant) 19.25 3.50 .007 PROFORG .246 .118 1.78 2.08 .067 PROFDEV .220 .118 1.69 1.88 .092 RACESUM .534 .208 .132 2.57 .030 PROFPEER .515 .148 .091 3.47 .007 CLIPEER .011 .146 .002 .078 .940 Model 5 GENLGBT -.030 .193 -.006 -.157 .878 a. Dependent variable: Organizational support for LGBT adolescents *compare to alpha < .05 The last model I ran used the specific diversity training vari ables for race, the combined variable for gender and se xual orientation (GENLGBT, RACESUM), professional development variable (P RDEVTO), the number of professional organizations (PROFORG), as well as the co llapsed data from the previous model for peer environments (PROFPEER and CLIPEER ). A mean replacement multiple regression resulted in a model with a multiple correlation coefficient of R2 = .45 and a p-value=0.37 (See Table 4-18). The model indicated that none of the variables in the model significantly contributed to the ou tcome variable (See Table 4-19). Table 4-18. Multiple regression model six; the relationship between professional organizations, professional developm ent, race diversity training, peer environment, client environment, a nd gender/sexual orie ntation diversity training with organizational support for LGBT adolescents at the individual level, Alachua County, Florida, 2006. MODEL SUMMARY 1 Model R R Square Adjusted R Square Std. Error of the Estimate Significance 6 .672a .45 .08 6.38 p = .370 a. Predictors: Professional organizations, professi onal development, race di versity training, peer environment, client environment, and gender/sexual orientation diversity training

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70 Table 4-19. Regression summar y for model six; the relatio nship between professional organizations, professional developm ent, race diversity training, peer environment, client environment, a nd gender/sexual orie ntation diversity training with organizational support for LGBT adolescents at the individual level, Alachua County, Florida, 2006. COEFFICIENTS a Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients Variable B Std. Error Beta t Sig. (p-value) (Constant) 4.66 .730 .483 PROFORG .026 .273 .095 .096 .926 PROFDEV .300 .271 1.15 1.10 .298 RACESUM -.012 .481 -.001 -.025 .980 PROFPEER .527 .343 .047 1.54 .159 CLIPEER -.076 .339 -.007 -.224 .827 Model 6 GENLGBT .329 .447 .034 .735 .481 a. Dependent variable: Individual organizational support for LGBT adolescents *compare to alpha < .05 The number of professional organizations (p=0.93), the profe ssional development variable (p=0.30), the summed racial diversity training sc ore (p=0.98), the professional peer environment (p=0.16), the summed gender and sexual orientation diversity training score (p=0.48) and the client peer environment variable (p =0.83) did not significantly contribute to the overall R2 value, and therefore, the individual-level outcome variable. LGBT Training and Importance Lastly, I wanted to specifically present the raw data for the diversity training section on sexual orientation, as it presents mo re genuine information than the regression models. I discuss the implications of these figures in chapter 5.

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71 Figure 4-3. How much of the content of the most recent diversity trai ning for participants dealt with LGBT issues. Figure 4-4. How important participants fe lt the issue of sexual orientation was in diversity trainings.

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72 14 4 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 Specific training on LGBT issues# of participants no training training Figure 4-5. How many participants received specific training on LGBT issues in current job. *All four participants recei ved training that is unsuppor tive of LGBT adolescents In summary, I ran three Mann-Whitney U te sts and determined the 44 organizations who responded from the initial census were sign ificantly different in terms of level of youth involvement, low, medium, and high. Next, I ran a Kruskal-Wallis Test, the nonparametric alternative to one-way ANOVA, and determined the medians differed among the three groups, high, medium, and low levels of youth involvement. I also ran the Mann-Whitney U test and determined the or ganizations are not si gnificantly different in terms of organizational support for LGBT adolescents. Three regression models were used to explore the association between independent variables, and between the independent and dependent variables. The m odels used examined the variables at both the individual and organizati onal level. The last model was significant, with peer environment and the racial diversity score as the most significant contributing factors to the model.

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73 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION The ultimate goal of this study is to unders tand how to create institutional change to better support LGBT adolescents by identifying the underlying mechanisms or processes by which this change can o ccur. This study examined youth-serving organizations in Alachua County, Florida, to determine if these organizations differ in terms of support of sexual minority adolescen ts. Independent variab les include level of youth involvement, peer and client environmen ts, and professional development of staff and administration in youth-serving orga nizations. The dependent variable is organizational, supportive actions in reference to LGBT adolescents. Hypothesis 1 H1: There are differences among youth-serving organizations with respect to levels of youth involvement. In the first phase of the research, I found significant differences between all fortyfour youth-serving organizations with respect to low, medium, and high levels of youth involvement. I also found differences among th e six cases, or organizations in the second phase of the research. This finding is consistent with research findings that many community-based organizations do not involve youth in decision-making and interaction with adults, even though research show s this promotes youth and organizational development (Camino & Zeldin, 2002; Flan agan & Faison, 2000; Zeldin, 2004a). Youth involvement is challenging and perhaps th reatening. Implementati on usually requires a

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74 shift in traditional roles among adults and youth and significant pol icy and programmatic changes within youth-serving organiza tions (Camino, 2000; Larson, et al., 2005). I asked two open-response questions a bout level of youth involvement in the second phase of the research, questions 1 (Why or why not should adolescents be involved in the decision-making processes of the programs and activities of your organization?) and 2 (Why or why not should ad olescents have a forum to give feedback about the programs and activities they are involved in?). Orga nizations 1, 2, and 3, or the low group, were in the low level of youth invol vement category and all of the responses from these organizations to the open-re sponse questions about youth involvement reflected the low scores. Partic ipants in organization 1 gave responses such as this helps the organization get into the adolescent mind and it gives youth a voice and ownership. Some also stated that adolescents should not necessarily have final decision-making authority, but input is good to have and too many voices ruin decision-making. Participants in organizati on 2 stated that that giving youth a voice allows the organization to better meet its go als, but added that this voice should be limited and decision-making should only be allowed if it is something the youth can do. All participants in organization 3 stated that it is important to know if programs and activities are meeting adolescen t needs, but also said that adolescents should only be involved in decision-making if it is something adolescents can do, adolescents should not make decisions about how to spend money, and it is hard to trust adolescents thoughts on issues. Participants from this low group organization ha d reservations about allowing youth to make decisions because th ey felt the adolescents may not have the ability to make successful decisions or follo w through properly. Consistent with research

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75 findings, participants suggested organizations must be careful about allowing youth to make decisions because it could ruin th e organizations credibility (Camino, 2000; Zeldin, et al., 2005a). The organizations in the low group seem to think it is a good idea to have youth involvement, but ultimately do not implement the practice fully. These hesitations are consistent with research findings about youth-adu lt partnerships which shows many organizations believe adults ma ke better decisions and have more knowledge about how programs should be de signed and implemented (Larsen, et al., 2005; Zeldin, 2004). Also, responses from organi zations in the low group are consistent with prior research findings about youth involvement which a ssert youth must trust adults and vice versa to make partnerships wo rk (Denner, et al., 2005; Zeldin, 2004). Organizations 4, 5, and 6, or the high gr oup, were in the high level of youth involvement category. They all scored hi gh on level of youth involvement, and the responses reflect the numerical scores. All three pa rticipants from organization 4 stated that adolescents need ownership and mor e involvement means more input. Two of the three stated that that feedback help s the organization, too. Two of the three participants from organization 5 stated that that it is important to gain adolescent perspectives and it is an organizational goa l to teach leadership and develop decisionmaking skills. Participants from organizati on 5 also stated we must recognize adults and adolescents have different perspectives. Consistent with research findings, organization 5 appears to recognize the benefici al effects of allowi ng youth to participate in programming and activities (Dworkin, et al ., 2003). Also, two of the three participants from organization 6 stated th at that feedback helps the organization, too. Two of the three participants from organization 6 stated that that feedback he lps to get input and

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76 ensure needs are met and giving adolescents decision-making ability allows the organization to gain different cultural perspe ctives. The organizations in the high group of youth involvement seemed to concur that allowing youth to be involved in decisionmaking is beneficial for identity development and self-esteem. This finding is consistent with Eriksons research (1968) which demonstrates that a he althy path to constructing a positive self-identity in adoles cence involves searching for and establishing a clear and definite sense of who you are. Adolescents who are given a chance to govern and lead can use this exploration to formulate a posit ive identity. Furthermore, these findings are consistent with research which posits yout h are successful and feel confident about making decisions when adults believe in th eir abilities (Camino & Zeldin, 2002; Zeldin, 2004). For a complete summary of the responses to the open-response questions about level of youth involvement in decision-making, see Appendix J. Responses to the two follow-up open-re sponse questions abou t youth involvement reflect a different pict ure than the initial breakdown of organizations into three groups, low, medium, and high levels of youth involveme nt. The organizations with low levels of youth involvement, based on the initial instru ment, may have responded in a positive way about youth involvement because this con cept is at the forefront of positive youth development strategies. Responses given by pa rticipants from organizations 1, 2, and 3 imply that the organization supports youth invol vement. Consistent with current research, there may be obstacles or unwillingness on the part of the organization to actually allow youth to be involved in the d ecision-making processes of thei r organizations (Camino and Zeldin, 2002; Flanagan and Faison, 2000; Zeld in, 2004a), even though participants from all three organizations felt this was important.

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77 Responses of the participants from the organizations with high levels of youth involvement, based on the initial instrument, were consistent in the first and second phases. Participants from these organizations de monstrated that they not only say that this is important, but that youth involvement is actually high within these organizations. It appears as if the organizations in th e high group understand the benefits of youth involvement and are not afraid to implement this as a strategy. Hypothesis 2 H2: There are differences among youth-ser ving organizations with respect to organizational support for LGBT adolescents. There were no significant statistical differences between youth-serving organizations with respect to organizationa l supportive actions fo r LGBT adolescents (p=.05). This is consistent with research th at shows that youth-serv ing organizations tend to exhibit a range of support to sexual minority youths (Philips and Curtis, 1997; Schneider and Owens, 2000). Some agencies op enly discriminate against them, while others support them and advocate on their be half. Many organizations and schools initiate well-intentioned efforts to increase sensitivity and support, but are unable to sustain their efforts due to competing demands, legal issu es, and resistance from staff members, clients, administrators, and the comm unity (Mallon, 1992; Philips & Curtis, 1997; Talburt, 2004; Underwood, 2004). The responses to the open-response questions provided a much clearer picture of the organizational culture with regard to se xual minority adolescents within these youthserving organizations. Responses to open-re sponse format questions 30 (A group of adolescents are engaged in a group activity. Suddenly, one ad olescent yells to another, hey faggot, what are you doing? The recipient of that remark starts to cry. What would

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78 your organization want you to do in this si tuation? Or, what is the policy of your organization in dealing with this type of situ ation?), 31 (A parent voices negative concern about an activity that dealt with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender information. The parent has threatened to remove their child from your organizati on if the activity is stopped. What would your organization do in th is situation? Or, what is the policy of your organization in dealing with this type of situation?), and 32 (If any, what kinds of experiences have you had in your job dealing wi th LGBT adolescents or issues?) indicate that the most supportive organi zations (E, D, and B, respectively) gave similar responses about why the organization is supportive of LGBT adolescents. Two of the three participants from organization E stated that we do not discriminate , our organization has values that recite respect for others , and our organizati on does not advocate for certain lifestyles, but would not discriminate either. Also, all three participants from organization E stated that we promote diversity and handle a ll adolescents with respect. Finally, all three participants stated that w e promote diversity and handle all adolescents with respect in reference to how organi zations can better handle LGBT adolescent issues. More importantly, part icipants from organization E stated they have a national anti-discrimination policy that includes sexual orientation. All three participants from organization D stated that corrective action would be taken for both adolescentsthe one who made comment and the one who is upset about the anti-gay remark. Two of the three part icipants also stated that we would be supportive and its not ok to disc riminate. Finally, all three pa rticipants stated that we should promote understanding and two stated that we should train our staff and community in reference to how organizations can better handle LGBT adolescent issues.

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79 Two of the three participants from orga nization B stated that our organization would want this addressed in a positive wa y and both this lo cal and our national organization are supportive of the LGBT populat ion. Also, two of the three participants stated that we would explain to parents that this is how the program operates and they can remove the child if necessary. Finally, al l three participants st ated that we should turn to professionals for training and give people tools to be mo re accepting, and two stated that we should teach tolerance in reference to how organizations can better handle LGBT adolescent issues. On the other hand, responses to the same questions from the least supportive organizations (C, A, and F respectively) were also similar. It is important to note here these organizations were religious-based or ganizations. All three participants from organization C stated that adolescents s hould not make derogatory remarks, you should love all people regardless of sexual orientation, as Jesus would, but homosexuality is ultimately wrong and if training is used for learning, it is ok, but the training would be taught in an unsupportive way. I asked for further clarific ation of this point and the participants stated learning meant learning the way of God and Scri ptures. Participants continued to express negative statements about homosexuality and that any education about the topic would be taught in an unsuppor tive way. Finally, all three participants stated that we should counsel them and show them Scripture and what God saysthat homosexuality is wrong and two stated th at we should find the cause of homosexual feelings and love the sinner, but hate the sin in refere nce to how organizations can better handle LGBT adolescent issues. This stance sounds like a mixed message because on the one hand the organization would counsel an LGBT person, but would ultimately

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80 tell them what they are doing is wrong a nd not an acceptable way to live their life. In reference to LGBT adolescents, this type of message could be devastating and disrupt positive youth development. All three participants from organizati on A stated that we would correct the statement, but we do not condone homosexuality and Jesus loves all people, regardless of sexual orientation. None of the three participants commented on question 31 because this organization would not implement an activ ity that supported this type of diversity training, due to the organizations national polic y. Two of the three participants stated that have dialogue and communication about it with staff and individual, but the homosexual lifestyle is still not ok in refe rence to how organizations can better handle LGBT adolescent issues. Finally, participants from organization A felt there is much violence and hatred in societ y towards homosexuals, but clea rly stated no one from this religious-based organization ha tes homosexuals, just their be havior. This stance could be construed as a mixed message in relati on to whether or not they support LGBT adolescents. It is clea r that organization A does not support this population. Two of the three participants from organization F stated that we do not discriminate, but no gays are allowed and w e do not judge others. None of the three participants commented on question 31 because this organization would not implement an activity that supported this type of divers ity training due to the organizations national policy. Finally, two of the three participants stated that we should plan ahead and train people and our organization s upports all types of diversit y except for this type in reference to how organizations can bette r handle LGBT adolescent issues. These statements seem to promote discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Again, this

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81 policy stands in contradiction to positive youth development. How can a youth-serving organization promote leadership and charac ter-building skills, while simultaneously discriminating against a segment of the popul ation? For a comple te summary of the responses to the open-response questions in re gard to support for LGBT adolescents, see Appendix L. Finally, the individual-level model (the individual responses about support for LGBT adolescents) showed no significant values for any variables in the model. This makes sense because it shows that the indivi dual responses did not predict individual scores for the outcome variable. This is cons istent with the premise of the research and gives the organizationallevel model more validity in that participants were wearing their organizational hat and should have been answering on behalf of the organization. In summary, responses to open-response format questions 30, 31, and 32 indicate that the most supportive orga nizations (E, D, and B respectively) had similar responses about why the organization is supportive of LGBT adolescent s, while the l east supportive organizations (C, A, and F respectively) also had similar reasons for not supporting LGBT adolescents. Even though these distinctio ns can be made, participants from all organizations indicated this to pic is relevant to today and there is more awareness about it now than there has been, adolescents s hould not make derogatory remarks, more and more adolescents have friends who are LGBT and people should not discriminate. The organizations differed with respect to what supporting these a dolescents meant. The religious-based organizations, or ones with a religious undertone, be lieve they are being supportive of LGBT adolescents simply because they are willing to c ounsel and listen to an adolescent in crisis. The conclusive me ssage given to LGBT adolescents from these

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82 organizations is that being LGBT is not oka y or healthy. This fa ilure to support LGBT adolescents has also been the result of politic al or religious pressures within many child welfare agencies (Mallon 1992). This seems to be the case within the youth-serving organizations that scored on the low end of the supportive action index. Furthermore, through the use of open-respons e questions, it is obvious that some religious ideas or beliefs negatively affect the environment in youth-serving organizat ions in regard to support for LGBT adolescents. Th ese beliefs translate into di scriminatory practices and ultimately leave adolescents with low self -esteem and unhealthy resolution to their identity development (Erikson, 1968). Hypothesis 3 H3: High levels of professional developm ent are positively correlated with support for LGBT adolescents. The level of professional development among participants and the number of professional memberships merit discussion. Ex isting literature shows that professional development has been linked to positive outcom es in many settings that involve children and their families (DeBord & Sawyers, 1996; Ghazvini & Mullis, 2002; Grossman et al., 2002; Norris, 2001; Phillips et al., 2001; Weaver, 2002). Howeve r, there is little evidence that directly links staff development to improved, quality programs for adolescents (Huebner, et al., 2003). In this study, a highe r level of professional development was found among the most supportive organizati ons (E and D respectively). Among the individuals in these three orga nizations, five degrees were ob tained in the areas of child education, education, counse ling, and youth agency admini stration. Organization B had the same professional development score as or ganization C, but the participants in this organization have experience working in a government youth agency and have all taken

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83 sensitivity courses that deal with diversit y, including sexual orient ation. The professional backgrounds of the participants also have an effect on their decisions and views about LGBT adolescents. For example, in the three most supportive organizations (E, D, and B, respectively), the combined professional e xperiences were within community-based youth-serving organizations that held a comm itment to diversity that included sexual orientation (50, 57, and 21, years respectivel y). One could purport that professional experience with youth development programs a nd agencies, coupled with an educational background that dealt with youth developm ent theory, leads to support for LGBT adolescents. The participants in the other three or ganizations did have some professional development. However, within organizations C, A, and F, the professional development was predominantly based on religion. Among the individuals in these three organizations, ten degrees were obtained in the areas of re ligion, theology, or divi nity. The content of the programs studied by these individuals taught people to be unsupportive of LGBT adolescents (See Appendix H for a complete list of degrees). Furthermore, the professional backgrounds of the participants ha ve an effect on their decisions and views about LGBT adolescents. For example, in the three most unsuppor tive organizations (C, A, and F), the combined professional experien ces were in religious-based environments that were unsupportive of LGBT adolescents (50, 20, and 22 years, respectively). There seems to be a correlation between religious-b ased environments and lack of support for this population. Hypothesis 4 H4: Diversity training about LGBT issues will be positively correlated with support for LGBT adolescents.

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84 The results of the first regression model s how that the overall diversity score is related to support for LGBT adolescents (p=.02). However, the second model that examined specific diversity training variable s for race, gender, and sexual orientation showed that the LGBT score was not a signifi cant factor in the overall model, although the race score was. I never intended for race diversity training to be a predictor in my overall model. It was measured in conjuncti on with the other dive rsity training topics, gender and sexual orientation. In answering the open-response questions about reasons why diversity training should include the different aspects of r ace, gender, and sexual orientation, all organizations in the study talked about the importance of being all-inclusive, understanding cultural values and differe nces, and breaking down myths and stereotypes. All organizations mentioned they strive to serve the needs of the entire community. Specifically, five out of six orga nizations stressed the importance of reaching both the African-American and Latino/Hispanic communities. Consistent with research findings (Bendick, et al., 2001; Buckel, 2000; Nemetz, 1996), these organizations felt that this kind of diversity training is needed b ecause of the changing demographic landscape of the country. The three most supportive organizations (E, D, and B, respectively) all stated that including sexual orientation in diversity trai ning is important because, as an organization, they must serve all youth. The least supportive organizations (C, A, and F, respectively) all agreed that LGBT issues are a relevant topic today and that they must understand these differences. However, all three or ganizations do not su pport the homosexual lifestyle and view it negatively. For example, participants from organization C believe

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85 this type of lifestyle is not healthy or ba lanced, and is a sin, wh ile participants from organization F believe everyone should be mo rally straight and should not practice this lifestyle. For a complete list of answers to open-response questions, see Appendix K. Analysis of the raw data at the organiza tional level regarding how important LGBT issues are in diversity training illustrates a mixed picture. Intuitively, the most supportive organizations would believe including LGBT issues in diversity training was very important. However, this is not the ca se. The second and third most supportive organizations (D and B) held the highest average for importance of including LGBT issues in diversity tr aining, while the third highest aver age was held by the second to least supportive organization (A). The open-respons e questions indicate all organizations, regardless of whether they were very or not very supportive of LGBT adolescents, feel this training is important, but for diffe rent reasons. Again, the most supportive organizations felt including sexual orientation as a topic is important because we need to support our LGBT adolescents a nd our organization needs to be all-inclusive. The less supportive organizations felt training on this topic is important because, even if an organization it disagrees with this lifestyle, individually people seemed to want more information and want to be able to understand LGBT adolescents. The analysis performed at the individua l job-function level merits discussion. The raw data for how important LGBT issues are in diversity training shows that, compared to the other positions, board members felt thes e issues were most important, followed by the executive director s/religious leaders and then youth workers, respectively (See Appendix L for entire results table). Rynes a nd Rosen (1995) conclude d that the factor that was most strongly related to successful diversity training was th e perception that top

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86 management supported the diversity training. In this study, organization B, the third most supportive organization, has openly gay and lesb ian board members. Perhaps one way of conveying support for LGBT issues in diversit y training is to have a top management team or a board that is diverse, specifi cally including LGBT i ndividuals who are open about their sexual orientation. In addition, analysis of the raw data fo r questions 26 (How much of this most recent diversity training dealt with sexual or ientation issues?), 27 (How important do you think it is to include sexual orientation in thes e types of diversity trainings?), and 28 (Why or why not do you think it is important to include sexual orientation in these types of trainings?) indicate that there is a discrepancy between what people want in terms of diversity training about LGBT issues and wh at they actually receive. For example, as shown in figure 4-4, more than half of the part icipants felt this type of training was either very important or somewhat important. Yet, as shown in figure 4-3, the majority of participants responded that none of the cont ent in their most recent diversity training dealt with issues about sexual orientation. Finally, as shown in figure 4-5, only four participants received specific training about LGBT issues in their cu rrent job. All four of these participants come from an organizati on that is not only less supportive of LGBT adolescents (C and A respectively), but also trained them to be unsupportive of this population in that training session. Upon further analysis, it seem s as if the definition of diversity does not include sexual orientation or LGBT i ndividuals within th e three least supportiv e organizations (C, A, and F, respectively). On the surface, dive rsity means all-inclusive, but responses to the open-response questions revealed conflicti ng evidence. Furthermore, the results show

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87 that the content of the diversity training is important to understanding outcomes. All organizations had diversity tr aining of some kind that incl udes LGBT issues, but not all organizations presented this type of divers ity in a positive light. Some organizations misuse diversity training to reinforce exis ting prejudicial attitu des and behaviors in regard to sexual minority adolescents. The f undamental objective of awareness training is not to obtain knowledge of the biases that in fluence ones social perception or belief. Rather, this knowledge is supposed to be translated to positive action or a positive change in the trainees behavior related to how th ey treat others (Cox, 1993; Hanover, et al., 1998; Rasumussen, 1996; Roberson, et al., 2001; Sanchez and Medkick, 2004). Hypothesis 5 H5: Peer environments (professional peers and board members) will be positively correlated with respect to supportive ac tions for sexual minority adolescents. The results show that there is a rela tionship between peer environments and organizational support for LGBT adolescents. Our peer environments affect our workrelated decisions. This is true with respect to support for LG BT adolescents. In this study, organizations seem to make decisions base d on their perception of how peers and board members feel about support for LGBT adolesce nts. This finding is consistent with the normative processes of institutional theory which asserts that organizations may adopt certain structures and processes in order to improve the normative approval, or moral legitimacy organizations receive (Meyer and Rowen, 1977; Scott, 1995; Suchman, 1995). Also, participants from all organizations mentioned that they must follow the policies and procedures set forth by thei r national organizatio ns. This qualitative information supports the coercive isomorphi c process dimension within institutional theory. This type of process results from bot h formal and informal pressures exerted on

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88 organizations by other organizations upon which they are dependent and cultural expectations in the society within which organizations function (DiMaggio and Powell, 1991). These forces serve to legitimize an organization. Another finding that addresses institutiona l theory was that participants from several organizations did men tion the issue of funding in regard to why they would or would not support LGBT adolescents openly. Fo r example, on paper, organization D was the second-most supportive organization. Howeve r, participants from this organization also stated funding sources are an issue to think about, whether it was in reference to federal funds, foundation money, or parents. Th ey stated that if enough parents called, complained and pulled an adolescent from their program because their children had participated in a diversity exercise that included LGBT issues, the organization might rethink including that aspect of the progr am. Participants from the most supportive organization (E) actually said they received more funding from outside sources because they were supportive of this population. This may be a sign that th ings are starting to change and that funding sources will conti nue to support organi zations that support LGBT adolescents. A few results merit discussion after analyzing the raw data about peer environments from a job-function perspective. Compared to the youth workers and executive directors/religious l eaders, board members on averag e scored highest in regards to peer environments one and two (peers a nd other board members). This is worth noting because it implies that board members percep tions of how their peers and other board members feel about support for LGBT adoles cents affects the orga nizational-level policy and program decisions they make about LGBT adolescents. It is evident that

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89 organizations are formulating policies base d on what they think people feel about supporting LGBT adolescents. Pe rhaps leaders of youth-serv ing organizations should intentionally meet to discuss this topic and truly find out where everyone stands on the issue of support for LGBT adolescents. Hypothesis 6 H6: Client environments (parents of or the adolescents themselves) will have a positive correlation with organizational support for LGBT adolescents. There is no apparent relationship between client environments and organizational support for LGBT adolescents. Al though this variable was not statistically significant, it merits discussion. It may not be important for organizations to act on their perceptions of what parents want, but it is im portant for them to focus on wh at the adolescents in their organization think and/or want. In refe rence to support for LGBT adolescents, organizations assume they know what the adol escents in their organizations think about this. Instead, they should implement strate gies to get the youth more involved in decision-making and leadership. Th is strategy is consistent w ith research which has been shown to be beneficial for at-risk or invisi ble youth, such as LGBT adolescents, who are left behind or ignored by so cietal institutions (Diversi & Mecham, 2005; Krueger, 2005; Zeldin et al., 2005a). Implementing this st rategy means talking to adolescents about diversity issues, including LGBT-related material. The raw data at the organizational level show that the most supportive organizations (E, D, and B, respectively) scored the highest in regards to client environments. This may mean that perceptions of how their parents and adolescents feel about support for LGBT adoles cents affects the organizatio nal-level policy and program decisions they make about LGBT adolescents Many participants made comments about

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90 the difficulty of answering on behalf of others. I told them to answer the best they could and if they were unsure, to mark which was neutral. Ultimately, the majority of participants found it more diffi cult to answer on behalf of the parents and adolescents than on behalf of their peers or board members. Perhaps this is why this variable was not a significant contributing fact or in the overall model. Orga nizations should pay more attention to what their constituencies want or need. A common factor among all organizations was their na tional organizations policy regarding discrimination and treatment of LG BT adolescents. For example, organization B mentioned that their top f under will not allow them to discriminate on basis of sexual orientation. Organization D also mentioned in open-response questions that they did not let a certain youth-group meet because the group would not sign national policy requirement that the organization would not di scriminate on basis of sexual orientation. Organizations C, A, and F all mentioned that they had national policies that deterred them from supporting LGBT adolescents. This rais es the question of whether to implement change at the local or national level. The resu lts of this study sugge st national policies are the driving force behind local decisions of whether or not organizations should support LGBT adolescents. Summary This research supports the institutional theory of how and why organizations act. Specifically, this study provides evidence th at both normative and coercive isomorphic processes within organizations may be affecting organizational support for LGBT adolescents. High levels of youth involvement within the processes and structures of organizations were not significantly corre lated to organizational support for LGBT adolescents, but there was evidence that showed this may be because youth do not

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91 actually have as much input or control ove r decision-making as organizations think. The concept of professional development and the number of professional memberships were significant factors in predicting organi zational support for LG BT adolescents. Specifically, the type of professional de velopment and the type of professional organization was a crucial piece of the puzzle. Furthermore, diversity training about LGBT issues was not a signi ficant factor in the overall model to predict organizational support for LGBT adolescents. The results indicate there is a discrepancy between what people want in terms of diversity training about LGBT issues and what they actually receive. The result s did not corroborate research findings that show that divers ity training produces positive outcomes (Cox, 1993; Hanover, et al., 1998; Roberson, et al ., 2001; Sanchez and Medkick, 2004). It is important to note, however, that this rese arch assumed the diversity training sessions were providing supportive, positive information about diversity. In some of the diversity or in-service trainings in th is study, this was not the case. Peer environments were the most significant factor in regard to the outcome variable in this study. This is consistent with the institutional theory pers pective that claims that orga nizational behavior is shaped by the institutional environment (DiMaggio and Powell, 1983; Meyer and Rowan, 1977; Zucker, 1987, 1983). Client environments were not a significant fact or, but there were missing data for this measure, which limited the level of analysis I was able to perform. The limited level of statistical analysis that I was able to perform was not a significant problem in this study. Statistical gene ralizability is the ability to generalize the findings of the research to a broader population, but the use of multiple regression in this study was to perform numerical comparisons on the data. I always intended to achieve

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92 theoretical generalizability, not statistical generalizability beca use I wanted to be able to explain how the constructs affect the outcome variable for the cases in this study, not all youth-serving organizations.

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93 CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSIONS This chapter concludes the study with a discussion of recommendations for organizations and practitioners a nd future research directions. Recommendations for Organizations and Practitioners The results of this study i ndicate that there are several steps organizations and practitioners can take to be more supportiv e of LGBT adolescents. First, organizations could provide supportive divers ity training about LGBT issues for board members, staff, and age-appropriate training for adolescents. Th e majority of participants in the study indicated they and other indivi duals in their organization need more training in this area. Individuals universally they sa id this, regardless of whether or not the organization as a whole was supportive of LGBT adolescents or no t. Organizations could also train parents and work with local leaders. Building commun ity-wide coalitions and networks is crucial for any real change to occur. Secondly, there are many stereotypes and much misinformation about LGBT adolescents in our communities. There is no c onsistent understanding of the issues they face. Again, every individual interviewed stat ed that there are many misunderstandings about this population. All of them said we need to dispel myths and communicate better, regardless of the degree to which the organization for which the participant works was supportive of LGBT adolescents. All of these youth-serving organi zations stated that they have a mission that focuses on respect ing and valuing the diversity in their communities and meeting the needs of their community. Therefore, these organizations

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94 need to develop systematic procedures to ensu re that they are doing just that. One way is to make sure diversity training materials are consistently reviewed by knowledgeable representatives of minority groups, including individuals w ho work with and represent the LGBT community. Specifically in reference to diversit y training, these organizations could: Include a role-playing exercise in a diversity training that deals with LGBT issues. Talking about issues helps reveal unrecognized prejudices and misconceptions. Include LGBT leaders in the leadership component of their youth development programs. These leaders could include pe ople such as Virginia Woolf, Harvey Milk, and Oscar Wilde. Highlighting es teemed leaders promotes positive youth development. Include LGBT history when discussi ng culture and background of U.S. Highlighting historical social movement s and grassroots actio n surrounding LGBT issues can help promote positive youth development. Thirdly, organizations are sending mixed me ssages. Most organizations in this study thought that they are supporti ve of LGBT adolescents, but the data show that this is not consistently true. Most organizations in this study are sending in consistent messages. For example, individual employees and boa rd volunteers do not fully and consistently incorporate supportive policies, even in organizations that are more supportive of LGBT adolescents. Some organiza tions encourage LGBT youth to seek counseling, thereby sending the message that there is something wrong with them. Wh ile the organization may view this as supporting LGBT youth, th e message is not conducive to development of self-esteem and self-identity. Organizati ons should develop a consistent message in regard to support for LGBT adolescents that is consistently incor porated into program planning and administrative procedur es. Enhanced communication between

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95 administration and staff is crucial to mainta ining a consistent organizational culture surrounding LGBT-related issues. There is a caveat regardi ng diversity training. Diversit y training by itself cannot sustain long-term change. In order to transfer training objectives into reality, there should be a supportive work environment to allow change to take place. As shown in previous research, this supportive work environmen t should facilitate behavioral change by providing peer support, opportuni ties to learn new skills, positive consequences for the newly learned behaviors, and adequate orga nizational policies and procedures (Rynes and Rosen, 1995; Sanchez, 2004; Tracey and ot hers, 1995). Unfortunately, many of these supplementary post-training activities are not implemented and the overall objectives from the one day workshop or training session are ignored (Rynes and Rosen, 1995). Just like organizations have tried to make their boards more diverse in terms of gender and race, they could do the same fo r LGBT individuals (Council on Foundations; 2005; Gardyn, 2003). In this study, organizati on B had gay and lesbian board members. Not only is this organization supportive, but th ey also believe it is important to portray that supportive message to the parents and volunteers in their community. Furthermore, organizations could pilot te st having youth serve on their boards. Numerous research studies show this strategy is effective because it not only allows yout h to get a sense of empowerment, but it also allows adults to actually experience youth in this governance setting (Camino & Zeldin, 2002; Zeldin, 2004). Religious organizations that are supportiv e need to take a lead role in our communities on this issue. Other youth-serving organizations need to take charge and set a good example for other organizations in thei r community. As the institutional theory

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96 would suggest, organizations tend to imitate the behaviors of similar, successful (DiMaggio and Powell, 1983). Furthermore, normative isomorphism occurs when an organization adopts forms or structures becau se professionals in the organization claim they are superior. Organizations that serve youth need to come together to d eal with this issue and create atmospheres of tolerance a nd to construct positive youth development. Educating youth peers and adults who work w ith youth to have an attitude of tolerance and acceptance is crucial. They not only al low LGBT adolescents to feel supported and share stories of harassment and victimizati on, but also provide a comfortable and safe forum for their heterosexual fr iends and allies to ask quest ions. Exploration of selfidentity through youth involvement contributes to positive youth development (Erikson, 1968). Perhaps the issue of support for LGBT adolescents can be addressed if youthserving organizations allow youth to be invol ved in decision-making and are confident of the youths ability to perform such activities. Finally, gay-straight alliances in school s can foster the development of selfempowerment and proactive behaviors that can lead to change within school environments (Satterly and Dyson, 2005). Pe rhaps youth-serving organizations could look to the formation of over 2,000 gay-stra ight alliances in schools for help and guidance about how to better support this population. These alliances serve as a foundation which can be built upon in other settings. Future laws within youth-serving organiza tions need to include sexual orientation in anti-discrimination clauses. If policies at the national level are not inclusive of sexual minority adolescents, local youth-serving organi zations could create their own inclusive policy. This strategy has successf ully been employed by many local chapters of a national

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97 organization with a national discriminato ry policy. Furthermore, local schools have successfully passed safety clauses to include se xual orientation in st ates where there is no comprehensive policy. For example, in Alachua County, Florida, the Safe Schools Coalition advocated for the safety of LGBT adolescents in schools by insisting sexual orientation be added to the safety clause for all adolescents. This inclusion was successfully added to the clause and received little or no resistance from the community or school board. Alachua County is just one example of successful bottom-up change in regard to sexual minority adolescents. Results from this study also suggest s upportive training on LGBT issues could also affect change from the bottom-up. Perhaps a national level organi zation will recognize the need to create change at the top-level if enough leaders and ad ministration within local chapters of their organization star t implementing training on this topic. Furthermore, the results about the type of professional de velopment could be used to informed higher education programs to include LGBT issues in their curriculum. Professional organizations with a youth deve lopment focus could also take the results from this study and implement training on the topic. Need for Further Research Future research about LGBT issues shoul d include strategies to desensitize the issue. In this study, questions were asked about general diversity, gender diversity, and racial diversity before questi ons about sexual orientation. Th is approach seemed to be effective in eliciting more straightforward information about such a sensitive topic. Furthermore, because the questions about se xual orientation came towards the middle of the interview, participants were given time to feel comfortable and open to talking about diversity-related issues.

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98 Research performed in local communities on this topic can make a big impact to help increase support for LGBT adolescents. Simply by performing research, individuals can go back to organizations th at are supportive to try to bu ild coalitions and networks. Participants in this study all felt this topic was important to study and that LGBT issues were not going away. The importance of th is issue came through simply by performing this research, as several participants were not surprised that research in the area of youth development. Case studies of organizations in multiple cities could be used to gain a broader perspective of what factors are affecting support for sexua l minority adolescents. These studies should include more cases and embe dded units, such as the adolescents and/or parents themselves. It is crucial to gain th e insight of the younger generation because past research shows adolescent voices and involve ment help create successful programs and organizational outcomes. Further, youth-servi ng organizations need to take the time to get to know the clients they are serving. How can an organization know if they are providing effective programming without actually talking to the people participating in those programs? Even if parents, youth professionals, and the administration of organizations do not support LGBT adoles cents, this younger population tends to be more open, welcoming, and inclusive of the LGBT community as a whole. Researchers should specifically examine organizations th at have successfully fused multicultural and multi-faith communities to be inclusive and promote tolerance and acceptance of this kind of diversity. This sugges tion is currently being explor ed in the UK through inclusion policies related to crime and disorder a nd protecting LGBT citizens in the local community (Ryan & Rivers, 2003).

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99 Longitudinal studies are best suited fo r showing change over time. Researchers must build on past studies that are met hodologically sound and have superior external and internal validity. Longitudinal designs co uld be used to examine supportive and less supportive youth-serving organizations over time The data could be used to compare and contrast what structur es or policies successfully provide support for LGBT adolescents. Researchers could interview pa rents, community members and all of the adolescents in the organization. Questions could deal with re sistance or negative feedback regarding the fact that the organization suppor t LGBT adolescents. The results from this approach may be useful when trying to pers uade an organization to implem ent change to include LGBT issues in their programs. Evidence that this ch ange can occur is crucial to demonstrate to leaders within youth-serving orga nizations that this type of change may be met with little or no resistance. It is important to reexamine the level of youth involvement in decision-making and the amount of supportive divers ity training about LGBT issues offered within youthserving organizations. We must show that a discrepancy exists be tween the fact that organizations think those concepts are importa nt, but not necessarily in regard to LGBT adolescents. There is an inconsistenc y between having a focus on positive youth development and excluding a certain per centage of that youth (sexual minority adolescents) through unsupportive actions. Perh aps if attention is drawn to these discrepancies, more organizations will take notice and make changes. All adolescents must be allowed to explore their identities in a safe, welcoming environment. Exploring their identities through involveme nt in decision-making is of vital importance to the wellbeing of youth and the success of youth development programming.

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100 More in-depth analysis of both peer a nd external environments of youth-serving organizations is necessary. A common factor among all local organiza tions in this study was that they were affected by their national organizations policy regarding discrimination and treatment of LGBT adolesce nts. The issue of whether change should occur at the national versus local level should be studied in future research. Researchers in the field of political science have examined existing discrimination policies and political factors affecting support for LGBT adolescents (Rienzo, et al., 1996; Wald, et al., 1996). Furthermore, researchers in the area of education have studied the effects of state-level anti-discrimination policies on lo cal school districts (Russo, 2006). Findings from this research suggest legal protectio ns for sexual minority adolescents can only occur when states establish regulations for adherence to anti-discrimination legislation (Russo, 2006). Russo (2006) seems to suggest change must occur from the top-down. Schools making stronger efforts to deal with sexual orientation issues were much more likely to be found in states that had a dopted extensive gay right s laws or policies in the areas of employment and housing. Thus, it seems that the state political environment, specifically an environment supportive of gay-friendly policies, is very important (Rienzo, et al., 1996). Future researchers could take into account bot h the local and state and school environments in regard to di scrimination based on sexual orientation to determine if these political environments plays a factor in whether or not organizations in the area are supportive of this population. Analyzing the political environment may he lp determine ways in which politics can inform inclusion, tolerance and social accepta nce of LGBT individuals. As found in this study, if organizations are run by national-leve l policies, researchers need to explore

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101 these organizations from the top-down so that change can be implemented at the local level. Studies could be performed at the nati onal level that includes parent or umbrella youth-serving organizations in the sample Furthermore, researchers could assess institutional barriers that prevent the a doption and implementation of policies that proactively support LGBT individuals, such as funding sources or pa rental influences. Finally, it is crucial that research about LGBT adolescents includes their heterosexual allies, including other adoles cents and parents. Collaboration between community organizations, specifically religious organizations and rese archers, is crucial to stimulate change. The results from th is study leave some unanswered questions regarding this topic. How can research in form organizations a bout the importance of youth involvement in decision-making? What aspects of organi zations condone or encourage homophobia against LGBT adoles cents? Why do youth-serving organizations boast diversity for all adolescents, but ex clude LGBT adolescents? Finally, how can organizations overcome negative, external pressure to discriminate against this population? The rigorous work on this topic, both in the area of research and in our communities, must continue if we are going to achieve the goal of creating safe and supportive environments for all adolescents.

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102 APPENDIX A OPERALIZATION OF VARIABLES Table A-1. Operalizat ion of variables. Concepts Variables Instruments/ Measurements Concrete support Items in index Emotional support Items in index Organizational Support (Dependent variable) Informational support Items in index Independent variables Leadership Questionnaire items Decision-making Questionnaire items Youth Involvement Community outreach Questionnaire items Peer environment Items in index External environment Client environment Items in index Diversity training Scalar responses, open-response items Education level Questionnaire item, check appropriate box Professional development Other professional experience Questionnaire, open-response items Gender Questionnaire item, check appropriate box Marital status Questionnaire item, check appropriate box Ethnicity Questionnaire item, check appropriate box Demographic characteristics Age Questionnaire, open-response item

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APPENDIX B SUMMATIVE ORGANIZATION SCOR ES FOR LEVEL OF YOUTH INVOLVEMENT FOR PHASE ONE OF STUDY

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104 Table B-1. Summative organiza tion scores for level of yout h involvement for phase one of study Score Score Or g anization 1 18Or g anization 25 55 Organization 2 44 Organization 26 73** Organization 3 68 Organization 27 37 Organization 4 91 Organization 28 13* Organization 5 46 Organization 29 59 Organization 6 25* Organization 30 28 Organization 7 67 Organization 31 65 Organization 8 34*** Organization 32 70* Organization 9 69 Organization 33 65 Organization 10 43 Organization 34 53 Organization 11 32 Organization 35 64 Organization 12 67*** Organization 36 53 Organization 13 37 Organization 37 50 Organization 14 16** Organization 38 39 Organization 15 49 Organization 39 72 Organization 16 43 Organization 40 15* Organization 17 23*** Organization 41 NS Organization 18 45 Organization 42 15* Organization 19 19 Organization 43 56*** Organization 20 NS Organization 44 NS Organization 21 55 Organization 45 79 Organization 22 12*** Organization 46 79* Organization 23 56 Organization 47 27* Organization 24 34 NS= No score was calculated due to missing data BOLD= organizations in actual sample organizations that did not meet criteria after further analysis (ie= youth not < 18 years old, programs recently end or are not year -round, organization was in restructuring process, so unable to participate) ** organization was unable to schedule interviews *** organization was not willing to partic ipate in second phase of research

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105 APPENDIX C LEVEL OF YOUTH INVOLVEMENT 1) Do you have a Board of Directors? Yes No If yes, go to question 2. If no, go to question 3. 2) Do youth serve on your Board? Yes No 3) If not, why not? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 4) If yes, how many youth serve on the Board? _____________ (# of youth) 5) Do youth serve on Board committees such as the hiring committee? Yes No 6) Are you involved in the decision-making pro cesses of program content, services, or activities? Yes No If yes, go to question 7. If no, go to question 8. 7) With what frequency are youth involved in the decision-making? Not very often (1) 2 3 4 5 6 Very often (7) 8) Do youth have voting rights in the organization? Yes No

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106 9) Are youth involved in determini ng goals for the organization? Yes No 10) What is the percentage of organizational services or activities that are determined by youth versus by adults ? _______________ % (percentage) 11) Are youth involved in the public relati ons aspect of the organization? Yes No 12) Are youth involved in educating the community about issues? Yes No 13) Do youth give feedback to organizati onal leaders about the programs and policies about the organization? Yes No 14) What is the number of youth-led activities or programs? 0 1-3 4-6 7-9 10-12 13-16 17-19 20+ 15) Would you like a copy of the res earch report upon completion? Yes No If YES, please list your name and/or or ganization along with an address where the report can be mailed. Name: _________________________________________________________ Organization: ____________________________________________________ Address: ________________________________________________________ City: ________________________________State:____ Zip: __________ Thank you for your time and opinions today. If you have any questions at any time, pl ease use the contact information on the consent form at your convenience

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107 APPENDIX D PEER AND CLIENT ENVIRONMENTS Please score how much the following people affect your work decisions. Please use a scale of 1 to 5 where 1= not very much and 5= very much Table D-1. Part one of peer and client environment index. People Not very much (1) Very much (5) Board members Your professional work peers Parents of children in your organization Adolescents in your organization Instructions : Please answer these questions from an organizational standpoint, not an individual one. Choose your answer based on your role within this organization. For the four groups of people we asked you about earlier (people who set policy, professional peers, parents, and adolescents), we would like you to answer to what degree you think each of those four groups of people would agree with the following six statements. Before you begin, let me know if you have any questions. (*NOTE: LGBT= Lesbian, gay, bi sexual, and transgender)

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1081A) To what degree do you think each of the following groups of people would agree with the following statements? (Please use a scale of 1 to 5 where 1=st rongly disagree and 5=strongly agree.) Table D-2. Part two of peer and client environment index. 1 2 1) Professional Peers 2) Board Members or policy makers Strongly disagree (1) Strongly agree (5) Strongly disagree (1) Strongly agree (5) 1) LGBT adolescents should feel accepted and welcome in your organization. 2) This organization should take corrective, positive actions when an anti-gay remark has been made by an adult. 3) This organization should take corrective, positive actions when an anti-gay remark has been made by an adolescent. 4) This organization should train volunteers and staff on issues facing LGBT adolescents and ones from same-sex families. 5) This organization should develop networks with other organizations who advocate for LGBT issues. 6) This organization should provide resource materials that are supportive of LGBT adolescents.

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1091B) To what degree do you think each of the following groups of people would agree with the following statements? Please use a scale of 1 to 5 where 1=st rongly disagree and 5=strongly agree. Table D-3. Part three of peer and client environment index. 3 4 3) Adolescents in the organization 4) Parents of adolescents in the org. Strongly disagree (1) Strongly agree (5) Strongly disagree (1) Strongly agree (5) 1) LGBT adolescents should feel accepted and welcome in your organization. 2) This organization should take corrective, positive actions when an anti-gay remark has been made by an adult. 3) This organization should take corrective, positive actions when an anti-gay remark has been made by an adolescent. 4) This organization should train volunteers and staff on issues facing LGBT adolescents and ones from same-sex families. 5) This organization should develop networks with other organizations who advocate for LGBT issues. 6) This organization should provide resource materials that are supportive of LGBT adolescents.

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110 APPENDIX E ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPPOR TIVE ACTIONS INDEX Instructions: Please answer these questions from an organizational st andpoint, not an individual one. Choose your answer based on yo ur role within this organization. Before you begin, let me know if you have any questions. NOTE: LGBT= Lesbian, gay, bi sexual, and transgender 1) How often does your organization employ the following practices? Please use a scale from 1 to 5, where 1= always and 5= never. Check the most appropriate box for each statement. Table E-1. Organizational supportive actions index. (1) Always 2 3 4 (5) Never 1) Provide resource materials that are supportive of LGBT adolescents. 2) Provide supportive counseling for LGBT adolescents when necessary. 3) Train volunteers and staff on issues facing LGBT adolescents and adolescents from same-sex families. 4) Recognize different types of family structures during group activities. 5) Take corrective, positive actions when an anti-gay remark has been made by an adult. 6) Take corrective, positive actions when an anti-gay remark has been made by an adolescent.

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111 APPENDIX F STRUCTURED INTERVIEW/QUESTIONNAIRE Hello NAME OF PERSON. First, I would lik e to thank you for participating in the first round of this research. I would also lik e thank you for agreeing to take time out of your busy schedule today to talk with me t oday. As I stated in my email/phone call to you, the second round of this research d eals with organizational diversity and professional development, as well as so me follow-up questions about the level of adolescent involvement within your organization. There is a total of 5 parts to this interview. I will ask you a series of questions verbally and then towards the end of the interview, I will ask you to f ill out a brief questionnaire. Th e entire process should take no longer than 45 minutes. Before we begin, pl ease read and sign this informed consent sheet. Let me know if you have any questions. PART I Adolescent follow-up questions Instructions: I will first ask you some brief foll ow-up questions about the initial questionnaire you filled out. 1) Should adolescents be involved in the d ecision-making processes of the programs and activities of your organization? Yes No 2) Why or why not? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

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112 3) Should adolescents have a forum to give f eedback about the programs and activities they are involved in? Yes No 4) Why or why not? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ PART II Demographics & Professional development Instructions: Next, I will ask you some general, personal questions about your education, professional development, and experience. 5) What is your highest degree held? Some high school High school degree/equivalency Some college 2-yr college (A.A.) Technical college 4-yr college Masters Ph.D. 2 Ph.Ds 5a) What was your major as an undergraduate? ________________________ 5b) If you received a Masters or Ph.D., what was your degree in? _______________________________________________________________ 6) If your degree did not focus on youth develo pment, what aspects of your education, training, or professional deve lopment have prepared you to work with adolescents? ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ 7) What is your gender? (I will just check this)

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113 Male Female Transgendered 8) Do you mind stating your age? If yes, I can read you categories to choose from. ________________ (years old) 18-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 66-75 76-85 86+ 9) What is your marital status? (Check which box applies to you) Single Married Domestic Partner Widow Divorced Other 10) What is your ethnic background? (Check which box applies to you) African (or black) Asian European/Caucasian Hispanic/Latino Native American Other ( Please specify __________________________) 11) What is the number of professional organi zations with a youth development focus do you belong to? _____________ (#) 12) If any, which ones? 1)_________________________________________________________________ 2)_________________________________________________________________ 13) In the last seven to ten years, what or ganizations have you worked for and how long have you worked for each? ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________

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114 Please score how much the following pe ople affect your work decisions: board members or people who set policy for your or ganization, your professional work peers, parents of the children in your organization or constituency, and the adolescents in your organization or constituency. Please use a scale of 1 to 5 where 1= not very much and 5= very much. I will name the group of people and then you te ll me on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1= not very much and 5= very much. Table F-1. Peer environment groups. People (1) Not very much (5) Very much 35) Board members or people who set policy 36) Your professional work peers 37) Parents of children in your organization or your constituency 38) Adolescents in your organization or your constituency PART III Diversity training Instructions: Next, I will ask you some questions about the diversity within your organization. We know diversity is important especially with th e population growth of minority groups in the United States. We are trying to assess the climate and culture of your organization. Specifically, we are fo cusing on three types of diversity. First I want to ask you some questio ns about overall diversity. 14) I am going to read you a definition of dive rsity training. Please keep this definition in mind when answering the next few questions. Training that addresses issues of race, ge nder, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, and other differences. How many trainings of this type have been you participated in during the past two years? _________________(#)

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115 15) If none, when was the last time that you were involved in trai ning that addressed these issues? _____________________________________ 16) What were the three major themes or idea s that were addressed in the most recent training, or workshop, or c ontinuing education program? A) _____________________________________________________ B) _____________________________________________________ C) _____________________________________________________ 17) Please listen to this definition of in-s ervice training or work shop: Training and professional development of staff, often s ponsored by the employer and usually provided during normal working hours. How many trainings of this type have been you participated in during the past two years? _________________(#) 18) If none, when was the last time that you were involved in trai ning that addressed these issues? _____________________________________ 19) What were the three major themes or idea s that were addressed in the most recent training, or workshop, or c ontinuing education program? A) _____________________________________________________ B) _____________________________________________________ C) _____________________________________________________ Next I will ask you questions about gender diversity. 20) How much of this most recent traini ng dealt with gender diversity issues?

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116 Please rate on a scale from one to five where 1=none of the training and 5=all of the training. None (1) 2 3 4 All (5) 21) How important do you think it is to incl ude gender diversity in these types of trainings? Please rate on a scale from one to five where 1= not very important and 5= very important. Not very important (1) 2 3 4 Very important (5) 22) Why or why not do you think it is important to include gender in these types of diversity trainings? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Next I will ask you some questions about racial diversity. 23) How much of this training dea lt with racial diversity issues? Please rate on a scale from one to five where 1=none of the training and 5=all of the training. None (1) 2 3 4 All (5)

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117 24) How important do you think it is to include race in these types of diversity trainings? Please rate on a scale from one to five where 1= not very important and 5= very important. Not very important (1) 2 3 4 Very important (5) 25) Why or why not do you think it is importa nt to include race in these types of trainings? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Finally I will ask you some questions about sexual orientation, or gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals. We would like to ask you more de tailed questions about this population because we know very little about it. We know this is a se nsitive topic, but we feel it is important to ask these questions. 26) How much of this most recent diversity tr aining dealt with sexual orientation issues? Please rate on a scale from one to five where 1=none of the training and 5=all of the training. None (1) 2 3 4 All (5)

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118 27) How important do you think it is to incl ude sexual orientation in these types of diversity trainings? Please rate on a scale from one to five where 1= not very important and 5= very important. Not very important (1) 2 3 4 Very important (5) 28) Why or why not do you think it is important to include sexual orientation in these types of trainings? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 29) Have you received any training about LG BT issues in your current position? Yes No ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORTIVE ACTIONS Now, because the next series of questions also deals with sensitive information, we thought we would have you fill out a short questionnaire, instead of answering the questions verbally. After you complete this questionnaire, I will finish the interview by asking you a few more open-response questions. THE ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORTIVE ACTIONS INDEX IS APPENDIX E THE PEER AND CLIENT ENVIR ONMENT INDEX IS APPENDIX D

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119 PART IV Scenario questions Instructions: I will read you two scenarios aloud. Wh en I finish, I want you to tell me what your organization would want you to do in the following two situations. Please answer based on your role within this organization. 30) SCENARIO #1Derogatory Remark by an adolescent A group of adolescents are engaged in a gr oup activity. Suddenly, one adolescent yells to another, hey faggot, what are you doing?. Th e recipient of that re mark starts to cry. What would your organization want you to do in this situation? Or, what is the policy of your organization in dealing w ith this type of situation? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 31) SCENARIO #2Complaint from a parent A parent voices negative concern about a diversity activity that included a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender component. The pare nt has threatened to remove their child from your organization if the LGBT compone nt is not removed from the activity. What would your organization do in this s ituation? Or, what is the policy of your organization in dealing with this type of situation? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

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120 We only have three more questions to go. PART V Open-ended questions 32) If any, what kinds of experiences have you had in your job dealing with LGBT adolescents or issues? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 33) Do you have any suggestions about how organizations should handle LGBT adolescents or issues? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 34) Do you have any questions for me about this research or your part in it? ANSWERS: Research: We know little and research does show this population experiences negative feedback from their environments, which lead s to risk behaviors b ecause they lack the support they need from family and community. Their part: Remain confidentialrefer back to informed consent sheet END OF INTERVIEW Thank you again for your time. If you requested a copy of this report, it will be sent to you in August of this year. If you have any more questions or concerns, you can contact one of the people listed on the informed consent sheet.

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121 Informed Consent One January 23, 2006 Dear Participant: I am a graduate student at the University of Florida in the Family, Youth and Community Sciences Department. As part of my resear ch project, I am distri buting questionnaires, the purpose of which is to learn more about levels of youth involvement within youthserving organizations. The questionnaire s hould take no longer than 15 minutes to complete. Once you have completed the questio nnaire, I respectfully request that both this signed consent form and the questionnair e be mailed back to me using the selfaddressed stamped envelope included in this packet. Only I will have access to this information and I will remove any organi zation identifiers during the transcription process. Your identity will be kept confid ential to the extent provided by law and your identity will not be revealed in the final manuscript or at any point in the future. There are no anticipated risk s, compensation or other direct benefits to you as a participant in this intervie w. We want you to know that you can answer the questions with the strictest confidentia lly, in case there is any in formation you are reluctant to share. Your responses will be entered directly into a databa se. They are not emailed nor marked with any identifying information. You can always feel free to refuse to answer. The results of the survey will be distri buted to organizations who request a copy. Thank you in advance for the time you are about to take answer my questions and I hope that with the results, we will be able to better advocate for youth in your organization. By participating in this res earch, you give us permission to report your responses with confidentiality in the final manuscript to be submitted to my faculty supervisor for possible publication. If you have any questions about this rese arch protocol, feel free to contact me or my faculty supervisor, Dr. M.E. Swisher at (352) 392-2201, ext. 256. Questions or concerns about your rights as a research participant ma y be direction to the UFIRB (Institutional Review Board) office at (352) 392-0433, via email, irb2@ufl.edu, or via regular mail at the University of Florida, PO BOX 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611. Sincerely, Christine Regan Mickie Swisher Masters student, FYCS Associate Professor, FYCS crregan@ifas.ufl.edu meswisher@ifas.ufl.edu

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122 Informed Consent Two Dear Participant: I am a graduate student at the University of Florida in the Family, Youth and Community Sciences Department. As part of the sec ond phase of my research project, I am performing interviews with leaders of youthserving organizations, the purpose of which is to learn more about organizational diversity and professional deve lopment within such organizations. The interview should take no longer than 60 minutes to complete. Before we begin the interview process, I respectfully request that you sign this informed consent form. Only I will have access to this info rmation and I will remove any organization identifiers during the transcription process. Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law and your identity will not be revealed in the final manuscript or at any point in the future. There are no anticipated risks, compensation or other direct benefits to you in completing this questionnaire. Once again, this questionnaire is strictly confidential We mention this because we want you to know that you can answer the questions with the strictest c onfidentially, in case there is any information you are reluctant to share. Your responses will be entered directly into a database. Once I transcribe the data, all identifying markers will be eliminated. The results of the survey will be distributed to organizations who request a copy. Thank you in advance for the time you are about to take answer my questions and I hope that with the results, we will be able to better advocate for youth in your organization. By participating in this re search, you give us permi ssion to report your responses anonymously in the final manuscript to be submitted to my faculty supervisor for possible publication. If you have any questions about this rese arch protocol, feel free to contact me at (352) 392-2201, or my faculty supervisor, Dr. M.E. Swisher at (352) 3922201, ext. 256. Questions or concerns about your rights as a research participant may be direction to the UFIRB (Institutional Review Board) office at (352) 392-0433, via email, irb2@ufl.edu, or via regular mail at the University of Florida, PO BOX 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611. I have read the procedure described above for the Organizational Diversity and Professional Development Survey I voluntarily agree to participate in the interview and I have received a copy of this description. ________________________________________ __________ Signature of participant Date

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APPENDIX G VARIABLES BY ORGANIZATION

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124Table G-1. Variable s by organization. Variables (the average of the to tal summed scores for the different positions within organizations) Position in organization Professional organizations (#) (PROFORG) Professional development (PROFDEV) Peer environment 1 (PEERENV1) Peer environment 2 (PEERENV2) Peer environment 3 (PEERENV3) Peer environment 4 (PEERENV4) Received training in current job on LGBT issues* Youth worker 13 2.41 70.5 61 MD MD 2 Yes Executive Director/Religious Leader 10 2.66 53.16 59 MD MD 1 Yes Board member 5 2.33 81.33 67.5 MD MD 1 Yes *All four participants received unsupportive training in current pos ition regarding LGBT adolescents Variables (the average of the to tal summed scores for the different positions within organizations) Position in organization Diversity training sum (DIVSUM) Gender diversity (GENSUM) Gender importance (GENIMP) Race diversity (RACSUM) Race importance (RACIMP) LGBT diversity (LGBTDIV) LGBT importance (LGBTIMP) Youth worker 22.8 8 3.16 23.16 4.3 6.83 3 Executive Director/Religious Leader 54.2 25.66 4 26.83 4.3 24.33 3.3 Board member 33.8 13.5 4.66 26.5 4.16 18 3.8

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APPENDIX H EDUCATION LEVEL

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126Table H-1. Education level. Organizational Support Score (rank, 1=most supportive) Organization B.S. Degree M.S. Degree Ph.D 59 (1) E Biological Science, Youth Agency Administration, Medical Technology Business, Pathology Law Degree, Jd 43 (2) D Child Education, Sociology, Political Science, Education, Zoology Education, Counseling Library Science N/A 40 (3) B Sociology, Political Science, Criminology Business, Accounting Business N/A 39 (4) C Biblical studies (2) Religion Ministry, Religion Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (2) 35 (5) A Business Administration, Religion, Speech Communication Divinity, Theology N/A 32 (6) F History, Engineering History Law Degree, Jd

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APPENDIX I OTHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT EXPERIENCE

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128Table I-1. Other professional development experience. Organizational Support Score (rank, 1=most supportive) Organization Participant Oth er professional experience (# of years of experience) Other professional experience or training that prepared participant to work directly with youth Youth Worker Community-based youth-serving organization (3.5) Coalition for Minority Health (4) Hospital (11) none Executive Director/Relig ious Leader Executive Director for community-based youth-serving organization (23) educating youth professionals, humanics agencies 59 (1) E Board member Board member for community-based youth-serving organization (24) University of Florida, Science (11) Guardian Ad Litem (2) hands on work in a community-based youth-serving organization Youth Worker Community-based youth-serving organization (9) Teacher (5) hands on work in a community-based youth-serving organization Executive Director/Relig ious Leader Executive Director for community-based youth-serving organization (33) master's courses such as sociology and communication 43 (2) D Board member Board member for community-based youth-serving organizations (15) University of Florida, library system (33) Religious administration (20) AntiRacism Coalition (2) hands on work as a teacher, learned youth components and development Youth Worker Community-based youth-serving organization (3.5) Food shelter (1) Government Youth Agency (.25) hands on work in a community-based youth-serving organization, sociology, culture and communication coursework Executive Director/Relig ious Leader At-risk shelter (6) Executive Director for community-based youth-serving organization (.5) Youth athletic coach (14) hands on work in a community-based youth-serving organization, social structure and business courses, coaching youth sports 40 (3) B Board member Board member for community-based youth-serving organization (10) CFO for Veterinarian (5) Education (1) not much, corporate job wanted community involvement so participant joined board

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129Table I-1. Continued. Organizational Support Score (rank, 1=most supportive) Organization Participant Oth er professional experience (# of years of experience) Other professional experience or training that prepared participant to work directly with youth Youth Worker Youth ministry (3) Government worker (3) education from standpoint of the Scriptures, on the job training in religious setting Executive Director/Relig ious Leader Pastor (12) psychology classes, administration class on how to operate youth ministry program, biblical and theological studies 39 (4) C Board member Church administration (10) Pastor (25) psychology and counseling courses, ministry from church standpoint, hands on work in religious setting Youth Worker Youth ministry (10) work with a religious-based youth group, marketing courses Executive Director/Relig ious Leader Religious leader (18) Seminary youth classes, Youth Pastor 35 (5) A Board member Board member for religious organization (2) Computers (10) none Youth Worker Community-based organization (10) Law (7) Rotary Club (5) hands on work with religiously-based community organization, working in legal system with families and youth Executive Director/Relig ious Leader Executive Director for religious-based community organizatio n (4) Teacher (4) hands on work with religiously-based community organization, military background with leadership training 32 (6) F Board member Board member for religious organization (8) Community-based organization (2) At-risk shelter (2) hands on work with religiously-based community organization, being a mom

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APPENDIX J YOUTH INVOLVEMENT OPEN-RESPONSE QUESTIONS

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131Table J-1. Youth involveme nt open-response questions. Questions (Responses that were mentioned by two or more respondents with number of mentions in parentheses) Organization (L=low level of youth involvement, H=high level) Organization al Support Score (rank, 1=most supportive) 1) Why or why not should adolescents be involved in the decision-making processes of the programs and activities of your organization? 2) Why or why not should adolescents have a forum to give feedback about the programs and activities they are involved in? E (H) 59 (1) should focus on how adolescents feel and think (2) need their input (2) adolescents should be able to voice their concerns (2) to gain adolescent perspectives (2) organizational goal is to teach leadership (2) ensures organization is doing what is right and wanted from adolescent perspective (1) arrogant if we do not do this (1) need input (2) increases retainment (1) D (H) 43 (2) gives adolescents ownership (3) more involvement means more input (3) adolescents learn more (2) better for organizational goals (2) allows organization to evaluate different viewpoints (2) increases involvement and empowerment (2) helps organization too (2) input while program is occurring is best feedback (1) B (L) 40 (3) improves self-esteem (1) to ensure they have tools to be successful (1) promotes critical thinking and leadership skills (1) ensures better organizational programs and retainment (2) not necessarily final decision-making (3) to ensure organization is meeting goals for both adolescents and parents (3) benefits all involvedyouth, adults, organization (2) organization is required to by a funder (2) C (L) 39 (4) gives them ownership (2) more involvement is better to get input (2) should only make some decisions, if it is something adolescent can do (3) important to know if programs and activities are meeting adolescent needs (3) relevance and effectiveness are key (1) to ensure ministry is focus (1) adult-youth relationships important, so parents should be involved too (1) A (L) 35 (5) saves organization time (1) helps organization plug into adolescent subculture (2) input and ideas gives adolescents ownership and a voice (2) increases dialogue (2) not necessarily final decision-making (3) to increase communicati on between adults and adolescents (3) 2-way dialogue needed to learn what adolescents need (2) to ensure adolescents feel they are represented (2) to have cultural relativity (1) F (H) 32 (6) leadership skills (2) good for organizational goals (2) ensures different perspectives (2) to shift ideas or programs (2) to get input and ensure needs are met (3) benefits adolescent, parents, and organization (2)

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APPENDIX K DIVERSITY TRAINING OPEN-RESPONSE QUESTIONS

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133Table K-1. Diversity trai ning open-response questions. Questions (Responses that were mentioned by two or more respondents with number of mentions in parentheses) Organization Organizational Support Score (rank, 1=most supportive) 22) Why or why not do you think it is important to include gender in diversity training? 25) Why or why not do you think it is important to include race in diversity training? 28) Why or why not do you think it is important to include sexual orientation in diversity training? E 59 (1) must instill respect for themselves and others (2) must help girls with self-esteem (2) organization must mirror society and community (3) includ es all aspects of life such as differen t cultures, sexual orientation (2) should support LGBT adolescents, but not advocate for them (3) leaders can and should be LGBT (2) D 43 (2) most volunteers are women, so must know how to motivate (2) women are still underpaid and face discrimination (2) must help girls with self-esteem (2) learn nuances and have a better understanding of different cultures (2) kids say negative things and have negative thought patterns (2) more understanding needed (3) more teens are coming out at earlier ages (2) we must say this is ok and support our LGBT adolescents (2) B 40 (3) need better understanding of differences (2) we are diverse culture and must address this type of diversity (2) need better understanding of differences (2) we are diverse culture and must address this type of diversity (2) this topic area is a new public awareness area (2) organization needs to be all-inclusive (2) C 39 (4) helps adults understand opposite sex (2) must know how they process information so adults can help avoid situations, such as a homosexual relationship (2) diverse cultures need understanding (2) need to focus on Latinos and Asians (2) take skin off, we are the same (2) relevant topic today (2) need to be trained to better handle this issue (2) homosexual lifestyle is not healthy or balanced, is a sin (2) A 35 (5) we need to understand differences better (2) to break down stereotypes (2) we are a culturally diverse society (3) must understand differences (3) we are a culturally diverse society (3) must understand differences even if we do not agree with or support homosexual lifestyle (3) F 32 (6) boys and girls are different developmentally (2) we want diversity in leadership with respect to gender, so must understand differences (2) color of skin does not have anything to do with leadership (2) want a more diverse membership, especially Latinos (2) trying to serve all of the community (2) because of national creed, cannot include this type of diversity (3) individuals should be "morally straight", cannot practice homosexual lifestyle (2)

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134Table K-1. Continued. Questions (Responses that were mentioned by respondents with number of mentions in parentheses) Organization Organizational Support Score (rank, 1=most supportive) 16) What were the three major themes or ideas that were addressed in the most recent diversity training? 19) What were the three major themes or ideas that were addressed in the most recent inservice training, workshop, or continuing education program? E 59 (1) respect for all people (2) understanding different cultures (2) steps to increase pluralism (2) recruitment of new, diverse leaders and children (2) steps to increase pluralism (2) understanding different cultures (2) respect for all people (2) D 43 (2) understanding cultural values and differences (2) respect for all people (2) improve program planning (1) stress reduction (1) how to approach ethnic groups, specifically Hispanic and Asian Americans (1) how to avoid procrastination (1) how to increase diversity among staff, families, adolescents (1) B 40 (3) support of homosexuality (1), racial and religious differences (1) adapting programs and services (1) kids with specials needs, need understanding of issues (1) strategic planning (1) networking with other organizations (1) financial statements and risk management (1) cpr and first aid (1) team building (1) sensitivity training (1) C 39 (4) counseling students of opposite sex (1) ministering urban adolescents and children of single parents (1) improvement of sports-oriented ministry for adolescents (1) curriculum for day-care (1) biblical education for all (1) teaching children to relate to God (1) leadership (2) staff development (1) avoiding porn addictions (1) youth ministry (1) foundation of civilization is family and children lack foundation (2) A 35 (5) 0* inter-personal relationships (1) intimacy with God (1) leadership (1) vision for organization (1) time management (1) F 32 (6) youth protection (1) belief in higher God (1) teachings about different religions (1) teachings about sexual harassment (1 ) made observations and talked about them to reduce stereotypes and dispel visual myths (1) management style (1) ethics (1) how to improve community relations (1)

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APPENDIX L ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT OP EN RESPONSE QUESTIONS

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136Table L-1. Organizational s upport open-response questions. Questions (Responses that were mentioned by two or more respondents with number of mentions in parentheses) Organization Organization al Support Score (rank, 1=most supportive) 30) A group of adolescents are engaged in a group activity. Suddenly, one adolescent yells to another, hey faggot, what are you doing?. The recipient of that remark starts to cry. What would your organization want you to do in this situation? Or, what is the policy of your organization in dealing with this type of situation? 31) A parent voices negative concern about an activity that dealt with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender information. The parent has threatened to remove their child from your organization if the activity is stopped. What would your organizati on do in this situation? Or, what is the policy of your organization in dealing with this type of situation? E 59 (1) do not discriminate (2) organization has values that recite "respect for others" (2) organization does not advocate for certain lifestyles, but would not discriminate (2) would follow-up with parent (2) D 43 (2) corrective action would be taken for both adolescentsthe one who made comment and the one who is upset (3) be supportive (2) say its not OK to discriminate (2) if program has already been approved, listen to parent, but organization ultimately serves "all youth" (2) parent can remove child (2) B 40 (3) organization would want this addressed in a positive way (2) local and national organization are supportive (2) explain to parent that this is how the program operates and they can remove child if necessary (2) C 39 (4) adolescents should not make derogatory remarks (3) you should love all people regardless of sexual orientation, as Jesus would (2) but, ultimately homosexuality is wrong (2) if training is used for learning, it is ok, but the training would be taught in an unsupportive way (3) A 35 (5) correct statement (2) do not condone homosexuality (3) Jesus loves all people, regardless of sexual orientation (3) n/a* F 32 (6) we do not discriminate, but no gays are allowed (2) do not judge others (2) n/a*

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137Table L-1. Continued. Questions (Responses that were mentioned by two or more respondents with number of mentions in parentheses) Organization Organizational Support Score (rank, 1=most supportive) 32) If any, what kinds of experiences have you had in your job dealing with LGBT adolescents or issues? 33) Do you have any suggestions about how organizations can better handle LGBT adolescents or issues? E 59 (1) policies do not ban LGBT adolescents and parents call or discuss how they are sometimes surprised by this (1) promote diversity and handle all adolescents with respect (3) D 43 (2) anti-gay language by adolescents (1) a section of the organization would not sign a statement including sexual orientation in the anti-discrimination clause, so they could not meet under bigger organization name (1) communicate better (2) promote understanding (2) promote training in this area (2) invite LGBT speakers or volunteers (2) B 40 (3) organization has gay board members (1) some parents not want an LGBT volunteer interacting with their adolescent (1) religious groups have called and complained that organization allows LGBT volunteers (1) teach tolerance (2) turn to professionals for training (3) give people tools to be more accepting (3) C 39 (4) several times has dealt with this issue in counseling setting (3) all kids wonder about sexual orientation (2) only bad if adolescents act on feelings (2) counsel them (2) show them Scripture and what God says is that it is wrong (2) find cause of homosexual feelings (2) love sinner, but hate the sin (2) A 35 (5) have had bad and good experiences in counseling setting (2) have walked hand in hand with many LGBT individuals (2) have dialogue and communication about it with staff and individual (2) but still homosexual lifestyle is not ok (2) F 32 (6) have never dealt with issue within organizational context (3) plan ahead and train people (2) our organization supports all types of diversity except for this type (2) *n/a=no response because organization would not have an activity that supported this type of diversity training, due to the organiza tions national policy

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APPENDIX M VARIABLES BY JOB POSITION

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139Table M-1. Variables by job position. Variables (the average of the to tal summed scores for the different positions within organizations) Position in organization Professional organizations (#) (PROFORG) Professional development (PROFDEV) Peer environment 1 (PEERENV1) Peer environment 2 (PEERENV2) Peer environment 3 (PEERENV3) Peer environment 4 (PEERENV4) Received training in current job on LGBT issues* Youth worker 13 2.41 70.5 61 MD MD 2 Yes Executive Director/Religious Leader 10 2.66 53.16 59 MD MD 1 Yes Board member 5 2.33 81.33 67.5 MD MD 1 Yes *All four participants received unsupportive training in current pos ition regarding LGBT adolescents Variables (the average of the to tal summed scores for the different positions within organizations) Position in organization Diversity training sum (DIVSUM) Gender diversity (GENSUM) Gender importance (GENIMP) Race diversity (RACSUM) Race importance (RACIMP) LGBT diversity (LGBTDIV) LGBT importance (LGBTIMP) Youth worker 22.8 8 3.16 23.16 4.3 6.83 3 Executive Director/Religious Leader 54.2 25.66 4 26.83 4.3 24.33 3.3 Board member 33.8 13.5 4.66 26.5 4.16 18 3.8

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140 APPENDIX N DEFINITIONS The following terms will be used throughout this study: LGBTQ a label for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (Human Rights Council, 2005) Sexual minority the status of LGBTQ indivi duals (Nesmith et al., 1999) Institutions consist of cognitive, normative, and regulative structures and activities that provide stability and meaning to social behavior; they are transported by various carrierscultures, structures, a nd routinesand they operate at multiple levels of jurisdiction (Scott, 1995, p.33) Heterosexism analogous to sexism and racism, d escribing an ideological system that denies, denigrates, and stigmatizes any nonheterosexual form of behavior, identity, relationship, or community (Herek, 2000) Isomorphism a constraining process that forc es one unit of a population to resemble other units that encounter th e same set of environmental conditions (Hawley, 1968); how groups of firms or or ganizations develop shared beliefs, structures, practices, strate gies, and networks of relations (Scott & Christensen, 1995; DiMaggio & Powell, 1983; Meyer & Rowan, 1977) Organizational support informational, emotional, or concrete help or assistance in an organizational setting Youth involvement participation or engagement of youth in a particular setting Peer/Client environments the culture that someone was educated and/or lives in, and the people and institutions with whom the person interacts with Professional developmentformal or informal training to enhance skills, knowledge, and ability to pr actice in a specific field

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167 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Christine Rose Regan was born in New Yor k, but moved to Florida with her family when she was three years old. Christine a nd her family moved to New Jersey in 1986, where she graduated from Cherry Hill High Sc hool East in 1994. Christine received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Decembe r of 1998 from the University of Florida. In August 2006 Christine will graduate with he r Master of Science and plans to work in the nonprofit field, helping adolescen ts learn about diversity issues.


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ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT FOR SEXUAL MINORITY ADOLESCENTS


By

CHRISTINE R. REGAN

















A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2006

































Copyright 2006

by

Christine R. Regan


































To the graduate students of the University of Florida and the entire lesbian, gay, bisexual,
transgender and questioning adolescents out there who need our attention, love, and
support















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would first like to express my deepest gratitude to my partner Megan, who has not

only stood by me and supported me, but more importantly encouraged me to pursue a

master's degree and complete a thesis. I am also grateful for my family and friends, who

all stood by me, supported me, and encouraged me to pursue this degree. I would also

like to thank my thesis chair, boss, and mentor Dr. Marilyn Swisher, for our numerous

discussions, her unyielding patience, guidance, and encouragement. I also give special

thanks to my other committee members, Dr. Rose Barnett, Dr. Jane Luzar, and City

Commissioner- Dr. Jeanna Mastrodicasa, for their insights, guidance, and support.

Finally, I thank the Department of Family, Youth, and Community Sciences who

supported this research without hesitation from day one.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS



A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iv

LIST OF TABLES .................................................... ....... .. .............. viii

LIST OF FIGURES ............................... ... ...... ... ................. .x

ABSTRACT .............. .......................................... xi

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND ..................................... ...............

A adolescent D ev elopm ent ................................................................... .....................2
Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development.............. ..................3
Adolescent Development of Sexual Identity ..................................................4
Ecological Framework of Adolescent Development ............................................5
Inadequate Family, School, Social, and Community Support...................................6
N eed for F further R research ...................... .. .. ............. ........................................... 10
Problem Statem ent ............. .. .... ................. .... .. .... .. .. ...... ............. .. 11
O bjectiv es .................................................................... ............ 1 1
R research Q u estion s........... .................................................................. ........ .. ... 12

2 LITERATURE REVIEW ........................................................................... 13

In stitution s ........................................................... ................. 13
Alternative Theoretical Fram works ....................................................................... 14
Analytic Framework of Institutional Theory ............................................................16
Homogenization/Isomorphic Processes ........................................... ..............17
Y south D evelopm ent .................. ..................................... .. ............ 19
O organizational C change ....................................................................... ..................24
O rg animation al D iv ersity .................................................................. .....................2 5
D diversity Training ..................................................... ............ .... .............. 26
Peer and Client Environments/Normative Beliefs ...........................................30
Social-Contact H ypothesis ............................................................................ 32
Social A w areness ............................................................. .....33
Professional/Staff D evelopm ent.................. ................................ ............... 34
H y p oth eses............................. ........................................................... ............... 3 7



v









3 M E T H O D O L O G Y ............................................................................ ................... 38

R e se arch D e sig n ................................................................................................... 3 8
Sam ple Selection ............................................ .. .. ........... .... ....... 42
Instrum entation for Indices............................................................... .....................44
Instrumentation for Structured Interviews................................ ..........................46
P ro cedu res...................... .. .. ......... .. .. ................................................ 4 8
D ata C o lle ctio n ..................................................................................................... 5 0
D ata A nalysis................................................... 50
L im stations ...................... ............... .......................................... 51

4 R E S U L T S .............................................................................5 4

Demographic Characteristics.................................. 54
H y p o th e sis 1 ............................................................................................................... 5 4
H y p o th e sis 2 ............................................................................................................... 5 7
D ata R e d u ctio n ..................................................................................................... 5 9
M multiple Regression.............................................60
LGBT Training and Importance .................................................................. ...... 70

5 D IS C U S S IO N ...............................................................................................7 3

H y p o th e sis 1 ............................................................................................................... 7 3
H y p o th e sis 2 ............................................................................................................... 7 7
H y p o th e sis 3 ............................................................................................................... 8 2
H y p o th e sis 4 ............................................................................................................... 8 3
H y p o th e sis 5 ............................................................................................................... 8 7
H y p o th e sis 6 ............................................................................................................... 8 9
Summary ............... ..................................................90

6 C O N C L U SIO N S ................................................................93

Recommendations for Organizations and Practitioners ....................................... 93
Need for Further Research .... ............ ......... ...... ........97

APPENDIX

A OPERALIZATION OF VARIABLES ......... ......................... 102

B SUMMATIVE ORGANIZATION SCORES FOR LEVEL OF YOUTH
IN V O L V E M E N T ..........................................................................................103

C LEVEL OF YOUTH INVOLVEMENT ...................................................... 105

D PEER AND CLIENT ENVIRONMENT .................................... ...............107

E ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPPORTIVE ACTIONS INDEX ...................................110









F STRUCTURED INTERVIEW/QUESTIONNAIRE..................... ....................111

G VARIABLES BY ORGANIZATION ..... .................... ...............123

H E D U C A T IO N L E V E L .................................................................. .....................125

I OTHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT EXPERIENCE.............................127

J YOUTH INVOLVEMENT OPEN-RESPONSE QUESTIONS ............................130

K DIVERSITY TRAINING OPEN-RESPONSE QUESTIONS..............................132

L ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT OPEN RESPONSE QUESTIONS ..................135

M VARIABLES BY JOB POSITION ................................ ....................138

N D EFIN ITION S .......................... ...................... .. .... ............. ......... 140

L IST O F R E FE R E N C E S ........................................................................ ................... 14 1

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................................. ............... 167
















LIST OF TABLES

Table page

3-1 Organizations with Highest and Lowest Levels of Youth Involvement Scores.......44

4-1 Kruskal-Wallis test for median differences...........................................................55

4-2 M ann W hitney U 2-sam ple test........................................ ............................ 55

4-3 M ann W hitney U 2-sam ple test........................................ ............................ 56

4-4 M ann W hitney U 2-sam ple test........................................ ............................ 56

4-5 M ann W hitney U 2-sam ple test......................................... ........................... 58

4-6 One-Sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov test ...................................... ............... 61

4-7 M multiple regression m odel one........................................................................ .. ...62

4-8 Regression summ ary for m odel one................................ ................................. 63

4-9 M multiple regression m odel tw o..................................................................... ...... 63

4-10 Regression summ ary for m odel two..................................... ........................ 64

4-11 M multiple regression m odel three..................................... ............................ ........ 65

4-12 Regression sum m ary for m odel three................................... ........................ 65

4-13 M multiple regression m odel four.................................................................... ...... 66

4-14 Regression summ ary for m odel four ............................................ ............... 67

4-15 Correlations among independent variables ................................... .................67

4-16 M multiple regression m odel five ........................................... ......................... 68

4-17 Regression summ ary for m odel five ............................................. ............... 69

4-18 M multiple regression m odel six ............................................................................ 69

4-19 Regression summary for model six.................................. ............................ 70









A -i O peralization of variables ............................................. ............................ 102

B-1 Summative organization scores for level of youth involvement...........................104

D-l Part one of peer and client environment index................................................... 107

D-2 Part two of peer and client environment index .......... ..................................... 108

E-l Organizational supportive actions index........................ ....................110

F-l Peer environm ent groups................................................. .............................. 114

G V ariables by organization............................................... ............. ............... 124

H -1 E education level ........... ........ .......... ............. ................ 126

I-1 Other professional development experience............................................. 128

J-1 Youth involved ent open-response questions ........................................ ..............131

K-l Diversity training open-response questions..................................................133

K-2 Open-response questions to diversity and in-service training ............. ...............134

L-l Organizational support open-response questions................. ...............136

M -1 V ariables by job position ...................... .... .................................. ............... 139
















LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

2-1 O organizational change.................................... ............................... ............... 24

4-1 Distribution of organizational support scores .................................. ............... 57

4-2 Correlation between youth involvement and organizational support.....................58

4-3 Diversity training and LGBT issues................................. ...............71

4-4 Importantance of sexual orientation in diversity training .....................................71

4-5 Specific training on LGBT issues in current job.................................................72















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science

ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT FOR SEXUAL MINORITY ADOLESCENTS

By

Christine R. Regan

August 2006

Chair: Mickie Swisher
Major Department: Family, Youth, and Community Sciences

This research tested what factors within youth-serving organizations contribute to

organizational support for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) or sexual

minority adolescents in Alachua County, Florida. A two-phase, cross-section and case

study design examined the level of youth involvement in the decision-making processes

of youth-serving organizations. The effects of professional development, membership in

professional organizations, peer and client environments and diversity training on

organizational support for LGBT adolescents were tested. Results indicate youth-serving

organizations differ with respect to levels of youth involvement in their decision-making

processes. Youth-serving organizations in this study did not significantly differ with

respect to organizational support for LGBT adolescents, but more in-depth analysis to

open-response questions indicated organizational support is extremely varied. Multiple

regression analysis indicates that peer environments (peers and board members) and

racial diversity training contributed most significantly to organizational support for

LGBT adolescents. In depth- analysis of open-response questions indicated organizations









support diversity, but not necessarily in reference to sexual minority adolescents. The

type and content of professional development, professional membership and diversity

training on LGBT issues were important factors in explaining the findings of the

research. Finally, some religious ideas or beliefs negatively affect the environment in

youth-serving organizations in regard to support for LGBT adolescents. Therefore, youth-

serving organizations should provide supportive diversity training on LGBT issues,

dispel myths and stereotypes and develop a consistent message in regard to support for

LGBT adolescents.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) people form an important

segment of the American population.' In 1948, Kinsey estimated that 10% of the

population identified themselves as predominantly gay or lesbian (Kinsey et al., 1948).

However, most contemporary researchers agree that 6 to 10% of the U.S. population, or

between seven and fifteen million Americans, consider themselves to be gay or lesbian

(Patterson, 1995a; Fay et al., 1989; Schneider, 1988; Tievsky, 1988; Dillon, 1986;

Gramick, 1983; Dulaney & Kelly, 1982; Marmor, 1980). Prevalence rates are probably

under-reported because of the stigmatization and discrimination associated with being

LGBT. Further, the network of people who are potentially affected by an individual's

status as a member of a sexual minority includes family and friends. Based on current

estimates of prevalence, at least 50 million Americans are themselves LGBT, or have a

friend or family member who is. There is little research about the developmental

concerns of lesbian and gay individuals and their families, even though a fifth of the U.S.

population is affected (Patterson, 1995a, 1995b).

The adolescent population affected by the social stigma often forced upon members

of this sexual minority in the U.S. population includes both youth who are lesbian or gay

themselves, and those who are affected through family or friends.2 Historically, some


1 For the purposes of simplicity, the terms LGBT and LGBTQ will be used synonymously, to describe
lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning individuals alike.

2 Sexual minority refers to the status of LGBT individuals









researchers argued that LGBT youth did not exist. They presumed that youth were

sexually neutral and that their sexual orientation did not form until late adolescence

(Rofes, 1995). In the early 1990s, sexual minority youth started to develop a language to

articulate their identities and were more likely to come out to others at earlier ages

(Buckel, 2000; Savin-Williams, 1990, 1995). D'Augelli (1998) and Buckel (2000) note

that the increasing social acceptance of lesbians and gay men has allowed more sexual

minority youth to become aware of their sexual orientation at an earlier age, and has

allowed these youth to develop in a context of lesbian and gay pride. Although the

majority of adolescents are heterosexual, there are more than two million school-aged

LGBT youth (National Mental Health Association, 2005; Human Rights Watch, 2005).

This does not include youth who are questioning their sexuality, unsure about it, or not

yet open about their sexual orientation.

It is difficult to estimate accurately the number of LGBT youth and individuals who

are affected through social ties with these individuals, but the number is undoubtedly

high. For example, estimates of the number of lesbian or gay parents in the U.S. range

from two to eight million (Casper & Schultz, 1999; HRW, 2001; Patterson, 1995b). The

wide range in these estimates makes it difficult to accurately count the number of

children who have one or more LGBT parents. Research has shown that adolescents with

gay or lesbian parents are also ridiculed or treated poorly (D'Augelli & Patterson, 1995;

HRW, 2001).

Adolescent Development

All adolescents experience the same physical, cognitive, psychological and social

processes of development. One of the major psychological tasks of adolescence is to form

self-identity and sexual identity. LGBT adolescents face challenges that the heterosexual









adolescent does not. Research shows that adolescent sexual minority youth are at an

increased risk for a number of problematic behaviors, including drug abuse (D'Augelli et

al., 2001; Grossman & Kerner, 1998), homelessness (Kruks, 1991), low-self esteem

(Grossman & Kemer, 1998; Unks, 1994), victimization (Cato, 2003; Cochran, 2001;

Hetrick & Martin, 1987; Mufioz-Plaza et al., 2002; Remafedi, G., 1987), and depression

and suicide (D'Augelli et al., 2001; D'Augelli et al., 2002; Garafalo et al., 1999;

Hershberger et al., 1997; McDaniel et al., 2001; Rivers, 2000; Rotheram-Borus &

Fernandez, 1995; Safren and Heimberg, 1999). LGBT teens are about twice as likely as

their heterosexual counterparts to attempt suicide (Hetrick-Martin Institute, 2004; Cato et

al., 2003; D'Augelli et al., 2001; McDaniel et al., 2001; Russell & Joyner, 2001; Safren

& Heimberg, 1999; Kruks, 1991). The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network

reports that approximately 42% of homeless youth self-identify as gay or lesbian (Gay,

Lesbian, Straight Education Network, 2004). Forty-five percent of gay males, and 20% of

lesbians report having experienced verbal harassment and/or physical violence because of

their sexual orientation during high school (GLSEN, 2004). Not only are LGBT youth at

risk for these behaviors, they must also deal with the web of discrimination and violence

associated with heterosexism, homophobia and "coming out" to others.

Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development

According to Erik Erikson (1968), adolescence is a time when young people are at

a crucial stage in the development of their self-identity. Erikson (1968) believes the

central task of adolescence is to incorporate new sexual drives into the familial and

societal expectations and norms placed on them to form an integrated, healthy

personality. The result of this integration is identity, which Erikson (1968) defines as a

"sense of personal sameness and historical continuity" (p. 17). Successful resolution of









this identity crisis provides adolescents and young adults with a clear sense of

themselves, their personal beliefs and values, and their place in their community.

Unsuccessful resolution leaves adolescents with a diffuse sense of identity, lack of self-

esteem, confusion about social roles, and uncertainty about internal feelings according to

Erikson (1968) and Kroger (1989).

Identity versus identity confusion is a central issue in adolescence. Erikson (1968)

viewed the emergence of a healthy personality through successive developmental crises

as a continual progression toward self-acceptance and well-being: "...the vital personality

weathers [internal and external conflicts], re-emerging from each crisis with an increased

sense of inner unity, with an increase of good judgment, and in increase in the capacity to

'to do well"' (p.92). A healthy path to constructing an identity in adolescence involves

searching for and establishing a clear and definite sense of who you are and how you fit

into the world around you. This often requires reconciliation between social identity,

what adult and societal norms prescribe, and individual identity. Identity confusion leads

to social deviance and conflict. Christiansen & Palkovitz's (1998) study gives support to

the conclusion that development in previous psychosocial stages (i.e., identity and

intimacy in adolescence) is extremely important to later stages of psychosocial

development, and therefore, the overall well-being of an individual. An individual's

perception of high familial conflict significantly affected identity formation in a negative

way (Markland & Nelson, 1993).

Adolescent Development of Sexual Identity

A major component of one's personal identity is one's sexual identity. Reaching

this identity is often more confusing for LGBT youth than their heterosexual peers in a

homophobic society (Herek, 1986). Adolescence is a time for sexual experimentation, but









sexual intercourse is only one facet of that experimentation. Many will engage in

behaviors such as petting, hugging, kissing or fondling. Many LGBT youth feel unsafe or

uncomfortable engaging in such behaviors for fear of rejection or being teased by peers

(Cobb, 2004).

An important concept in the development of a LGBT sexual identity formation is

the immersion of these youth into social networks. Research (Cass, 1979, 1996;

D'Augelli, 1996; Fox, 1995; Herdt & Boxer, 1993; Savin-Williams, 1995; Troiden, 1989)

has consistently indicated that social contacts with other LGBT's help the individual to

come to terms with a self-definition of sexual orientation, as well as provide support to

cope with the stigma and feelings of alienation and isolation from the heterosexual world.

LGBT adolescents rarely have full access to the lesbian and gay community, which are

typically more adult-oriented (Kourany, 1987). The supportive contacts and interaction

within these networks contribute to the overall well-being of the adolescent. Hence, it is

critical to examine the relationships adolescents experience within familial, school,

community and organizational settings.

Ecological Framework of Adolescent Development

As adolescents develop their identities, they tend to move away from their families

and towards their peers and community. The ecological model of adolescent development

provides a framework for understanding adolescent development in its context. The

model examines: "1) how key settings such as family, school, and community affect the

adolescent; 2) the interactions among each of these contexts; 3) the role of the larger

environment; and 4) dynamic changes across time in all these interrelationships" (Crain,

2005, p.125). According to this model, children live in a dynamic flow with their









microsystem, which includes family, school, peers and community. Community

organizations therefore play a key role in adolescent development (Roffman et al., 2003).

Inadequate Family, School, Social, and Community Support

Sexual minority adolescents are increasingly at the center of the gay rights

movement in a variety of settings. These include schools, places of employment, religious

and secular organizations, and community-based organizations and programs. In schools,

legal issues are rising, curriculum is being disputed, and numerous counties are

challenging the formation of gay-straight alliances as after-school clubs (American Civil

Liberties Union, 2005). Anti-discrimination laws are being enacted or revoked in

workplaces, housing and schools (Human Rights Council, 2005). Many sexual minority

adolescents learn that their lifestyle is sinful and/or unhealthy in religious organizations

or religiously-affiliated youth programs. LGBT or sexual minority adolescents are

increasingly the target of anti-gay legislation, attitudes and behaviors from many parts of

society. LGBT youth are on the front lines of these battles, often in isolation and without

organizational support. For example, until the 1990s, there was very little action in the

courts regarding abuse of LGBT students in the nation's public schools (Lambda Legal,

2005; National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 2005; Buckel, 2000).

Individual components of the community may fail to provide adequate support for

this adolescent population. Adolescence is a difficult time for all people, but researchers

have discovered that sexual minority youth often lack the support structures that most

heterosexual teens use (Gonsiorek, 1998). Whether it is stigmatization from society,

marginalization of their status or identity from teachers, or exclusion from peer groups or

other organizations, LGBT teens rarely have the resources of other teens to overcome the

struggles of adolescence. Furthermore, compared to LGBT adults, LGBT adolescents









tend to have inadequate psychological, social and economic resources (Cato & Canetto,

2003; McDaniel et al., 2001; Rotheram-Borus & Fernandez, 1995). Young people who

have developed connections to organized lesbian/gay communities that have a positive

identity and supportive networks have a greater ability to buffer anti-gay victimization

(Rivers 1999a, 1999b).

There is room for improvement in the ways schools, local health officials, families,

peers, and community and religious organizations treat, view, and interact with sexual

minority adolescents. There seems to be a systematic exclusion of LGBT youth in

schools (Macgillivray, 2000). Parents have a hard time with LGBTQ children's "coming

out" process (D'Augelli et al., 2005; Saltzburg, 2004). Community organizations are not

always supportive or inclusive of gay and lesbian issues (Nesmith et al., 1999). In the late

1990s, increased pride and assertiveness within LGBT adolescents often puts them in

direct conflict with many of the people and institutions they traditionally turn to for

support, such as family and peers, organized religion, community organizations, and

schools (Rofes, 1994).

Sexual minority adolescents are stressed and anxious in schools because of the

negative feelings projected by their peers, teachers and school administrators. One would

think that schools would be an ideal place to offer support and counseling services to

LGBTQ youth. However, according to Mufioz-Plaza et al. (2002), Elia (1993) and

Remafedi (1987), social support systems for lesbian and gay youth are lacking in our

schools and the classroom can be the most homophobic of all social settings. The

majority of current educational policies, both locally and nationally, do not allow for

inclusion of sexual orientation in sexual education materials (Daria & Campbell, 2004;









Hetrick-Martin Institute, 2004; Gold & Nash, 2001). According to GLSEN (2004), anti-

gay language is rampant in schools. Two-thirds of students report using homophobic

language, such as "that's so gay" to describe something that is wrong, bad or stupid.

Eighty-one percent report hearing homophobic language in their schools frequently or

often. Over half of the students reported hearing homophobic comments made by school

staff and two-thirds of guidance counselors harbor negative feelings toward gay and

lesbian people (GLSEN, 2004). According to the Hetrick-Martin Institute (2004), 41.7%

of LGBTQ youth do not feel safe in their school, 28% of LGBTQ teens drop out of

school annually (three times the national average), and 69% of LGBTQ youth reported

experiencing some form of harassment or violence in school. D'Augelli et al. (2002)

suggest that LGBTQ youth are often the victims of attacks ranging from verbal

harassment to physical assault. Much of this occurs in a school setting.

Furthermore, Jenness (1995) suggests that homophobia is the most frequent,

visible, violent and culturally legitimate type of bias-motivated conduct. In other words,

individuals' sexual orientation causes them to be victims of violence. Finally, Rivers

(2000) points out that for many years, gay and lesbian youth have been participants in an

educational system that has done very little to tackle the violence, harassment and social

exclusion they have experienced as a result of their sexual orientation. The education al

system has excluded this population even though nearly three-fourths of high school

students know a gay or lesbian person, almost 50% of students know a lesbian or gay

classmate, 30% have a close lesbian or gay friend, and 11% know a lesbian or gay

teacher.









Merier & Berger (1989) point to the lack of readily available support systems- at

home, in the community, and in the educational system- as the cause for social isolation

for LGBTQ youth. "Disclosure or discovery of a youth's homosexual orientation often

disrupts supportive relationships with family and peers, and has a deleterious effect on

the development of intimate relationships with others" (Anderson, 1993, 1994;

Rotheram-Borus et al., 1994). Allan (1999) suggests local gay community centers and

bookstores are excellent resources to reduce these negative attitudes and behaviors.

Finally, Muifoz-Plaza et al. (2002) point out that one of the crucial variables in

identifying why some gay male and lesbian youth prosper in spite of risk appears to be

the presence of supportive and understanding peers and adults in their lives.

Many parents have a hard time with LGBTQ children's "coming out" process

(D'Augelli et al., 2005; Saltzburg, 2004). The literature discussing family response to

learning that an offspring is gay or lesbian largely consists of anecdotal accounts, a small

body of retrospective studies with parents of adults, and selected studies with gay and

lesbian adults and adolescents using self-reports. Feelings of loss (Collins & Zimmerman,

1983; De Vine, 1984; Mattison & McWhirter, 1995; Robinson et al., 1989), shame (Ben-

Ari, 1995; Bernstein, 1990; Hammersmith, 1987; Herdt & Koff, 2000), cognitive and

emotional dissonance (Boxer et al., 1991), and guilt (Bernstein, 1990; Boxer et al., 2000)

emerge in the literature as dominant cognitive forces regulating the lives of parents and

influencing adjustment. Finally, gay and lesbian youths have recounted stories of ejection

from the home, emotional rejection, and family violence as a result of parents learning of

their sexual orientation (Hammelman, 1993; Hunter & Schaecher, 1987; Savin-Williams,

1989, 1994).









This abuse occurs not only in schools, but also in a variety of community settings

(D'Augelli & Hershberger, 1993). Community organizations are not always supportive or

inclusive of gay and lesbian issues. Hate crimes against gay or lesbian adolescents occur

in local communities across the country. In 2003, 1,479 hate crimes were committed with

sexual orientation as the motivation for the crime (FBI, 2003). The widely publicized

murder of Matthew Sheppard, a teenager in Laramie, Wyoming, was committed by two

adult males merely because of Matthew's sexual orientation. On a smaller scale, damage

can also occur when adult leaders make homophobic remarks. This creates an atmosphere

of intolerance and inhibits positive youth development. Educating youth peers and adults

who work with youth to have an attitude of tolerance and acceptance is crucial.

Need for Further Research

Research shows youth prefer to attend settings that are youth-oriented (Villarruel et

al., 2003). Sometimes community centers that serve a variety of youth do not provide a

welcoming environment for sexual minority youth (Stanley, 2003). Many researchers

agree that outlets for social support and creating opportunities for connection are critical

for LGBT individuals (Hollander, 2000; Tharinger & Wells, 2000; Oswald, 2000;

Nesmith et al., 1999; Hershberger & D'Augelli, 1995; Savin- Williams, 1995; Robinson,

1994; Morrow, 1993). Programs in community settings need to expand to include LGBT

adolescent issues (Greely, 1994; Singerline, 1994; Gerstel et al., 1989).

Much of the research about sexual minorities focuses on adults, some including

retrospective studies in which adults reflect on their adolescent experiences. Not until the

1980s did researchers begin to publish empirical articles about gay youth (D'Augelli,

1996). This might explain why there is little research in the area of sexual minority youth

issues. It cannot be assumed that all information applicable to sexual minority adults is









also applicable to sexual minority youth, because youth do not have the same access to

resources, have not yet matured physically or psychologically, and do not have the same

foundation of knowledge from which they may base decisions (Nesmith et al., 1999).

Additionally, there is little research in the area of organizational support for sexual

minority youth and the factors that affect organizational support for the LGBT

community as a whole.

Problem Statement

Research shows that compared to their heterosexual peers, adolescent sexual

minority adolescents, or lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) adolescents are

at an increased risk for a number of problematic behaviors. Increased organizational

support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) adolescents is needed,

including support from families, schools, nonprofit and religious organizations, and local

community centers. Institutional change is necessary in many of these settings to improve

the level of organizational support of LGBT adolescents. Identifying the underlying

mechanisms or processes by which such change can occur is crucial.

Objectives

The objectives of this research are as follows:

* To determine the factors that affect organizational support for LGBTQ adolescents

* To add to the theoretical body of knowledge of the institutional theory of
organizational behavior in regards to support for sexual minority youth

* To identify the processes and structures that are likely to enhance institutional
support for LGBTQ adolescents

* To provide policy and program recommendations to youth-serving organizations in
regard to LGBTQ adolescents









Research Questions

This research will address the following questions:

* Are there differences among youth-serving organizations with respect to level of
youth involvement within the organization?

* Are there differences among youth-serving organizations with respect to
organizational, supportive actions for LGBT adolescents?

* Is there a relationship between level of youth involvement and support for LGBT
adolescents?

* How does professional development affect organizational support for LGBT youth?

* What kinds of processes and structures are likely to enhance institutional change to
support LGBT adolescents?

This study examines why organizations differ in terms of support of sexual

minority adolescents, in the community of Alachua County, Florida. Independent

variables include professional development, peer and client environments and level of

youth involvement within youth-serving organizations. The dependent variable is

organizational, supportive actions in reference to LGBT adolescents.














CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

In the following chapter, I will examine several bodies of literature. I will discuss

theories in the field of organizational behavior and youth development. I will provide a

brief synopsis of agency theory and resource dependency theory to show I am aware

these theories exist and understand they may affect the outcome variable in my research.

Institutional theory will be explained more thoroughly because this is the major

theoretical framework I will use in my study. Specifically, I will discuss criticisms of the

theory in terms of inability to explain institutional change and the lack of research in that

area. Furthermore, I will give an overview of youth-serving organizations and youth

development with regards to youth-adult partnerships as an avenue for change. I will

discuss professional development of staff, diversity training, the social-contact

hypothesis, diversity within organizations and the affect of these concepts on outcomes

within organizations, and the normative beliefs of heterosexism in society. Links will be

made about how the institutional perspective of organizational behavior and the concept

of youth-adult partnerships will guide my research on youth-serving organizations. Also,

links will be made about how the role of professional development, diversity training,

and level of youth involvement can create institutional change regarding support for

sexual minority adolescents.

Institutions

In sociological terms, institutions are an organized, established, procedure

(MacIver, 1931). These procedures are usually subject to the rules of society. According









to Scott (1995, p.33), institutions consist of "cognitive, normative, and regulative

structures and activities that provide stability and meaning to social behavior. They are

transported by various carriers, cultures, structures, and routines, and they operate at

multiple levels of jurisdiction." Institutions can take the form of significant practices,

relationships, or organizations in a society or culture. They are created by people, either

intentionally or unintentionally (often both), and tend to persist over time. Institutions

serve as mechanisms of social cooperation or social structure and usually govern the

behavior of two or more individuals. Institutions are manifested in both, real formal

organizations such as the Roman Catholic Church and the U.S. Congress, and also

informal organizations, such as a group of friends or informal community associations,

reflecting human psychology, habits, behaviors, social norms and customs. Institutions

are powerful external forces that help determine how people understand the world around

them and how they should act in it. Finally, institutions deal with and regulate conflict to

ensure consistency and stability in society.

Organizations are prominent forms of institutions in today's society. They reflect

and help shape societal beliefs and norms. Organizations structure the daily activities for

many people, including adolescents. These qualities of organizations have endured over

time (Aldrich & Pfeffer, 1976; Etzioni, 1964; Zucker, 1983). A variety of organizations

are found everywhere in our society, from grocery stores and manufacturing firms to

schools and churches. They have direct effects on people's lives, including their well-

being.

Alternative Theoretical Frameworks

For decades, organizational behavior theorists have known that organizations act,

and have been trying to figure out "what determines how and when they will act?"









(Thompson, p.1). There are several frameworks that can be used to explain organizational

behavior. Agency theory generally looks at the power relationships between people who

control organizations and those who work for the organization. It involves the costs of

resolving conflicts between the principals and agents and aligning the interests of the two

groups. These two groups are part of an organization that "consists of formal and

informal contracts between the owners of factors of production and customers" (Fama

and Jensen, 1983). Organizational survival requires that a business organization deliver a

product or service that is demanded by its customers at the lowest price, while covering

costs (Alchian, 1950; Jensen, 1983).

Agency theory has been used to explain the importance of separation of ownership

and control within an organization (Fama, 1980; Fama & Jensen, 1983; Fligstein &

Freeland, 1995; Jensen & Meckling, 1976) and how to best organize relationships in

which one party (the principal) determines the work, which another party (the agent)

undertakes (Eisenhardt, 1985). The central issue of this theory is to define and control

who is the principal and who is the agent within an organization. The ownership of an

organizations' assets is vested in the shareholders of the corporation or organization and

control over these assets lies in the hands of the board of directors and employees. This

theory assumes that the interests of the owners and Board members (managers) are not

aligned (Jensen & Meckling, 1976). Organizations must keep the control (ratification and

monitoring processes) of decisions separate from the management (initiation and

monitoring) of decisions in order to control problems that arise (Fama & Jensen, 1983;

Miller-Millesen, 2003). Within youth-serving organizations, decisions to support or not









support sexual minority adolescents may be affected by this struggle for control of the

organization.

Resource dependency theory holds that organizations are "externally constrained in

their actions, but that they nonetheless engage in political decision-making processes and

seek to manage and strategically adapt to their environments" (Pfeffer, 1992, p. 192).

Organizations obtain resources from their environments, and usually become

interdependent with other organizations. Generally, organizations respond most readily to

the demands of organizations that control critical resources. Organizations compete for

and exchange resources in the environment in order to survive (Fligstein & Freeland,

1995; Pfeffer, 1981; Pfeffer & Salancik, 1978). This need to acquire resources creates

dependencies between organizations (Pfeffer & Salancik, 1978).Within this framework,

the concepts of organizational survival and performance are both linked to the ability to

acquire and maintain resources efficiently (Pfeffer & Salancik, 1978). This perspective

asserts that organizations have the ability to adapt to their environments and affect their

own survival chances by decreasing the number of dependencies. According to this

theory, organizations that have fewer dependencies will survive longer than those who

have more because they control more of their resources. From this perspective, in terms

of support for sexual minority adolescents, it is possible organizations may not be

supportive because they do not want to lose funding sources.

Analytic Framework of Institutional Theory

Institutional theory posits that organizations behave as social units. Early theorists

such as Zucker (1977) and Meyer and Rowan (1977), drew from the work of Berger and

Luckmann (1967) who argued that institutions are socially constructed templates for

action and are generated and maintained through ongoing interactions. An institutional









perspective claims that organizational behavior is shaped by the institutional environment

(DiMaggio & Powell, 1983; Meyer & Rowan, 1977; Zucker, 1987, 1983). Organizations

exist in fields with other similar organizations that influence each other's behavior

(DiMaggio & Powell, 1983; Meyer & Rowan, 1977). When these organizational fields

become well defined and mature, or "structurated", these fields exert powerful influences

on the behavior of the organizations within them. As these fields become more

structured, the organizations tend to become increasingly homogeneous. From this

perspective, in order to survive and maintain legitimacy, organizations embrace the

norms, values, beliefs and expectations that conform to societal traditions or customs,

even when these social pressures may negatively affect organizational performance

(D'Aunno & others, 1991).

Homogenization/Isomorphic Processes

Institutional environments can be conceptualized in terms of understandings and

expectations of appropriate organizational form and behavior that are shared by members

of society (Tolbert, 1985; Zucker, 1987; 1983). These "normative" understandings

compose the institutional environments of organizations. Organizations are constantly

pressured to adapt their structures, processes, and behaviors to be consistent with the

institutional environment in order to guarantee their legitimacy, and therefore chances for

survival (DiMaggio & Powell, 1983; Meyer & Rowan, 1977).

A fundamental assumption of institutional theory is that organizations of similar

types and environments become increasingly similar, or isomorphic, over time. It has

been used to explain the concept of isomorphism within organizational fields and the

establishment of institutional norms (DiMaggio, 1988). Institutional theorists argue that









coercive, mimetic, and normative processes affect the isomorphism of strategies,

structures and processes within organizations (DiMaggio & Powell, 1983).

Institutional isomorphism occurs via coercive, mimetic, and normative processes.

Mimetic processes of organizations are that they tend to imitate the behaviors of similar,

successful organizations. These processes are known as mimetic isomorphism (DiMaggio

& Powell, 1983). Imitation is only one source of homogeneity within organizational

behavior. Coercive processes include structural and regulatory aspects of an organization.

Coercive isomorphism results from both formal and informal pressures exerted on

organizations by other organizations upon which they are dependent and cultural

expectations in the society within which organizations function (DiMaggio & Powell,

1991). These forces serve to legitimize an organization. For example, nonprofit

organizations that have a national board of directors must adhere to their rules and

regulations. This is an example of a coercive process.

Normative isomorphism occurs when an organization adopts forms or structures

because professionals in the organization claim they are superior. Organizations might

adopt certain structures and processes in order to improve the normative approval or

moral legitimacy organizations receive (Meyer & Rowen, 1977; Scott, 1995; Suchman,

1995). Normative aspects of institutions emphasize moral beliefs and internalized

obligations as the basis for social meaning and social order. Normative processes explain

organizational behavior as an awareness of one's role in a social situation and a concern

to behave appropriately, in agreement with other's expectations and internalized

standards of conduct, versus acting primarily in one's self-interest and expedience (Scott









& Christensen, 1995). In other words, organizations tend to act in a way that is socially

acceptable, rather than venture into unfamiliar territory.

It was originally and still is difficult to empirically distinguish between these three

different types of processes (DiMaggio& Powell, 1983; Mizruchi & Fein, 1999).

Primarily, normative process have occurred because professionals who work in

organizations are also involved in networks other than their place of employment, such as

national, professional organizations (DiMaggio & Powell, 1983; Galaskiewicz, 1985).

The values, norms and knowledge of professionals are greatly influenced by their

professional ties to their peers and by professional associational memberships (DiMaggio

& Powell, 1983; Galaskiewicz, 1985; Galaskiewicz & Burt, 1991). In terms of sexual

minority adolescents, leaders of youth-serving organizations may be involved with

professional, youth-oriented associations who are also unsupportive of this population.

This helps shape their ideas and decision-making within their own organizational

structure.

Youth Development

There are over 17,000 youth-serving organizations in the United States (National

Center for Charitable Statistics, 2005). Youth-serving organizations and programs that

work with adolescents can have a tremendous, positive impact on the development of all

adolescents. These organizations have the potential to provide opportunities for

adolescents to acquire personal and social assets and experience features of positive

developmental settings, such as teamwork, diversity, citizenship, leadership, character

development, opportunities to belong, support for efficacy and mattering, and a sense of

well-being (Benson, 1997; Damon & Lerner, 2001; Eccles & Gootman, 2002).

Specifically, youth-based organizations and programs have an opportunity to reach









sexual minority or LGBT adolescents. Organizations can model openness and teach both

adolescent peers and mentors how to respect and appreciate differences, as well as

similarities, rather than neglect and/or stigmatize these adolescents.

Roth and Brooks-Gunn (2003) performed a meta-analysis of youth development

programs shown to have successful outcomes for youth. These researchers extended the

five C's of youth development, competence, confidence, connections, character, and

caring that were proposed a few years ago by Pittman, Irby, and Ferber (2000). Roth and

Brooks-Gunn (2003) concluded that the organizational environment must provide youth

with support and empowerment. This type of environment allows for a successful youth-

serving organization to reach its goal of supporting the adolescents within their

organization.

The structures and processes of youth-serving organizations allow these five C's to

be played out. Civic engagement includes giving youth a voice and allowing them to be

agents of their own development by exhibiting confidence and competence (Camino,

2002). Competence grows when youth are able to help determine activities and programs

are planned. This is similar to Montessori schools where youth are able to choose which

activity they want to do, which in turn produces a sense of self-efficacy (NAMTA, 2005;

Montessori, 1977). Youth should have a voice in defining goals for the programs in

which they are involved. At an individual level, the inclusion of youth voices allows

youth to experience respect and be accepted by adults. This is especially significant for at

risk or invisible youth, such as LGBT youth, who are left behind or ignored by societal

institutions (Diversi & Mecham, 2005; Krueger, 2005; Zeldin et al., 2005a). At a program

level, youth voice in group decision-making is crucial because it ensures programs are









focused on and include a diverse array of interests, experiences, and concerns of

adolescents (Denner, et al., 2005; Libby, et al., 2005; Zeldin, et al., 2005a)

The focus of much research about adolescents deals with the negative aspects of

development and identification of problematic behaviors and how to correct them. It is

also key to understanding what enables them to develop in a positive ways. Recent

research has focused on assets of youth and how they can positively affect not only their

own well-being, but also the well-being of other youth and adults (Zeldin, 2004). One

example of this is to allow youth be involved in leadership positions. Burt (1998) found

that many youth-serving organizations involve youth in responsible leadership positions

around program activities, such as tutors, peer counselors, and event organizers. These

leadership positions allow youth to become "active agents" in their own development

(Zeldin et al., 2005b). Emerging literature supports the logic of this argument,

demonstrating that youth involvement in decision-making and actions with adults

promotes both youth, adult and organizational development (Kirshner et al., 2002;

National Research Council and Institute for Medicine, 2002; Zeldin, 2004b; Zeldin et al.,

2005).

Youth-adult partnerships are important as they provide an opportunity for youth

civic engagement and adult learning. Allowing youth to participate in the decision-

making processes within youth-serving organizations will allow them to feel this sense of

belonging or mattering, or a connection to others. It also allows them to develop a sense

of personal efficacy (Bandura, 1994). Neighborhood organizations are increasingly

encouraging youth to participate in service and program planning activities in order to

encourage civic engagement and attachment to their community (Delgado, 1999; Fogel,









2004; Parker and Franco, 1999). Support for youth voices provides the groundwork for

the development of strong, long-term adult-youth partnerships (Zeldin et al., 2005a).

Youth must feel that their beliefs and feelings are valued by their adult mentors.

Therefore, adults must be able to demonstrate respect for youth voices by making time to

listen to their opinions and feelings and respond in a non-judgmental way.

These partnerships are either youth-driven or adult-driven. The rationale for the

adult-driven model is that adults "know best" and they have greater knowledge and

experience. This knowledge and experience creates "better" program activities (Larson,

et al., 2005). The developmental rationale for the youth-driven model is that young

people become active participants and learners when they are able to make decisions. The

goal of this model is empowerment and the promotion of leadership skills (Camino,

2000; Larson, et al., 2005; Zeldin, 2004).This model often is used in programs where a

primary goal is not just youth development, but community change (Ginwright & James,

2002). It is possible this model could also be used to create institutional change.

However, a frequent concern of adults is that youth do not have sufficient leadership and

organizational experience to keep program activities on track and functioning effectively

(Camino, 2000; Larson, et al., 2005; Zeldin, 2004). Furthermore, research on youth-adult

partnerships on community boards found that misunderstanding and conflict between

youth and adults occurred often (Camino & Zeldin, 2002). For example, this occurred if

adults had hidden assumptions about youth's inability to make good decisions or exerted

covert control because youth veered away from organizational agreements and

responsibilities (Camino, 2000; Zeldin, et al., 2001). Organizations need to be able to find

the "middle ground" between adult and youth-driven models.









Organizations are currently putting an emphasis on youth being more involved in

the decision-making processes of organizational programming, even though there is still a

struggle between youth and adults in terms of decision-making power (Zeldin et al.,

2005a). Changes to the structures should include allowing youth to be engaged in

organizational governance. Zeldin (2004) found that engaging youth in decision-making

secured the commitment of young people to their organizational communities and

contributed to positive youth development. Specifically, young people became committed

to participation because their organizations created a positive sense of belonging within

the organization, established respect between adults and youth in terms of

communication, and established a balance of power between supporting and empowering

the youth (Zeldin, 2004). Similar to work done by Yates and Youniss (1999), Zeldin

(2004) found the experience of youth governance was a positive channel for identity

exploration among youth.

The key point is that youth involvement is tied to organizational support for sexual

minority adolescents. Therefore, as seen in Figure 2-1, youth involvement is the first

concept used to measure organizational support for sexual minority adolescents. There

are approximately two million LGBT adolescents (HRW, 2005; NMHA, 2005). There are

at least 10% LGBT adolescents and/or their friends involved in a youth-serving

organization. Therefore, there is a greater probability this population would be

represented and given a voice if allowed to participate in the governance of the

organization. This is just one way to produce organizational change within youth-serving

organizations.


















Professional
Development of Staff and
Administration


Organizational support of
sexual minority
adolescents


I.


External peer/client
environments


Level of Youth
Involvement
in Decision-Making

Figure 2-1. Organizational change for organizational support of sexual minority
adolescents.

Organizational Change

Institutional theory has primarily focused on the creation and maintenance of

isomorphic, institutional environments, by means of coercive, mimetic, and normative

processes (DiMaggio, 1988; DiMaggio & Powell, 1983; DiMaggio & Powell, 1991;

Scott, 1987). However, little attention has been given to what structures or processes

change institutional environments (Greenwood & Hinings, 1996; Kondra & Hinings,

1998; Ledford et al., 1989; Powell, 1991). Researchers and practitioners need an

"enhanced understanding of both the sources of heterogeneity in institutional

environments and the processes that generate institutional change", according to Powell

(1991, p.183). There must be variation or diversity within organizations in order to

change institutional norms. Institutional theory has tended to ignore this (Kondra &

Higgins, 1998). Researchers need to know what processes or structures need to be altered

to help create this change in regards to institutional support for sexual minority









adolescents. One key to this is the formation of youth-adult partnerships to get youth

involved in the decision-making processes within organizations. As a social scientist, I

hypothesize that professional development of staff and administration is essential for the

support of sexual minority adolescents (Figure 2-1).

Organizational survival requires quality leadership and governance and

organizational change must be implemented from the top-down. Therefore, it is

appropriate to examine the characteristics of the governing body of youth-serving

organizations for more information about how to create change in regards to support for

sexual minority adolescents.

Organizational Diversity

Organizational culture can be defined as in integrated system of shared beliefs,

ideas, behaviors, and objects of an organization (Jordan, 1995; Linnehan et al., 2003).

This culture is formed through organizations' leaders, employees, volunteers, and

members. Organizations in the United States must increasingly operate within a culturally

diverse context (Milliken and Martins, 1996; van Knippenberg et al., 2004) as the

population of the United States continues to become more diverse (United States Census,

2000). Explicit value for diversity among members, openness to alternative approaches to

learning, and tolerance for ambiguity are elements of organizational settings that are

important for promoting diversity (Bond, 1999, 1995; Cox, 1993).

The term diversity has several dictionary definitions. According to Merriam-

Webster, diversity is the condition of being "composed of distinct or unlike elements or

qualities" (Merriam-Webster, 2005). For purposes of this research and its uses in

previous research, it refers to personal attributes among independent members of a work

unit (Jackson et al., 2003). It is important to understand how diversity affects outcomes of









organizations such as employee job satisfaction or turnover, organizational performance,

job morale, et al.. Institutional theorists (Greenwood & Hinings, 1996) have begun to

look at diversity within leadership positions and its effect on radical change within

organizations. Researchers in several disciplines, such as business management,

psychology, and social psychology, have sought to understand the effects of different

types of diversity, or heterogeneity, on performance outcomes (Milliken & Martins,

1996; Pitts, 2005; Willoughby & O'Reilly, 1998; Wise and Tschirhart, 2002, 2000; Wise

et al., 1997). Specifically, board diversity has shown strong links to organizational social

performance (Siciliano, 1996). Increasing board diversity is becoming more common

within nonprofit organizations and corporate America (Council on Foundations; 2005;

Gardyn, 2003). Board membership must be diverse in order for boards to be responsive to

and inclusive of a diverse society. Increasing racial equity on boards has shown an

improvement in group work performance (Siciliano, 1996). Perhaps including LGBT

individuals on boards would increase support for sexual minority adolescents.

Diversity Training

Diversity training programs increased dramatically in the late 1980s and early

1990s. This trend continues today as the need for diversity training in the United States

continues to increase. This need will continue for a long time due to a variety of factors,

including changing workforce demographics, increasing globalization, and continuing

conflict and litigation within organizational environments in regards to diversity (Bendick

et al., 2001; Buckel, 2000; Nemetz, 1996).

By 1997, most government agencies and 60% of Fortune 500 companies provided

some kind of diversity training for their employees (Hemphill & Haynes, 1997). Further

evidence of an increase in diversity training is revealed in a 2003 Human Resources









Institute report of findings from a 2001 survey of Fortune 100 companies (Human

Resources Institute, 2003). This report found that 96% of respondents said they provide

diversity training about race, 88% about gender, 85% about ethnicity, 65% about age,

64% about disability, 57% about sexual orientation, and 54% about religion.

There was very little research performed about the outcomes of the effectiveness of

such training during the early 1980s and 1990s (Rynes & Benson, 1995). Over the past

decade, several researchers have also documented the lack of empirical research

evaluating the positive outcomes or effects of diversity training, specifically the effect on

interpersonal behavior (Karjetm 1996; Nemetz & Christensin, 1996; Roberson et al.,

2001; Sanchez & Medkick, 2004). Some studies show that backlash or negative

reinforcement of stereotypes has occurred as a result of diversity or awareness training

(Galen & Palmer, 1994; Hanover & Cellar, 1998; MacDonald, 1993; Rynes & Rosen,

1995). However, several researchers have found positive changes in racial attitudes as the

result of diversity training (Cox, 1991; Hanover and Cellar, 1998; Sanchez & Mendick,

2004). Also, clinical psychology training programs have been more successful in

addressing issues of race and ethnicity than of sexual orientation (Allison et al., 2006).

However, much of the work on diversity stems from a normative view that any

diversity leads to positive consequences (Wise & Tschirhart 2002). Research has not

attempted to assess the genuine value of diversity, with few exceptions (Wise &

Tschirhart 2000). Research also suggests that the messages and actions of management

must convey strong support for the programs. Rynes and Rosen (1995) concluded that the

factor that was most strongly related to successful diversity training was the perception

that top management supported the diversity training. Perhaps the most powerful way of









conveying this support is by having a top management team that is diverse. Organizations

could purposefully look to the LGBT community for new board members. Richard

(2000) offers support that diversity training has a positive impact on firm performance,

but it cautions us to remember this benefit appears to emerge only in certain contexts.

Therefore, when looking to diversity training for LGBT adolescents, we must keep in

mind this training needs to be positive to have beneficial results.

In order to increase the effectiveness of these training, more systematic

evaluations must be developed as empirical findings are scarce (Ellis and Sonnenfeld,

1994; Roberson et al., 2001; Rynes and Rosen, 1995). Some programs have been

evaluated, but the method for obtaining feedback has come form the trainee rather than

the individuals involved in the training (Roberson et al., 2001; Bhawuk and Triandis,

1996).

Diversity training primarily have three objectives: 1) to increase knowledge and

awareness about diversity issues; 2) to reduce biases and stereotypes; and 3) to change

behaviors of individuals (Cox, 1993; Hanover et al., 1998; Roberson et al., 2001; Sanchez

and Medkick, 2004). Furthermore, Fowler (2006) states that according to Ferdman and

Brody (1996), a hallmark of much diversity training is its connection to organizational

needs and objectives. Specifically, Ferdman and Brody (1996) state, "at a minimum

diversity training implies a concern for the impact of differences among people on their

interactions and on the organization including issues related to working in and with a

heterogeneous workforce. More broadly, it can address issues related to the implications

of diversity for organizational change..." (p. 285).









For example, the Safe Zone Project, a predominantly university-based diversity-

training program, was designed to increase awareness and knowledge of, and sensitivity

to, important issues affecting LGBT students, faculty, and staff. The results of this project

were that it helped create a more open, supportive environment for LGBT individuals and

increase the visibility of LGBT people and issues on a college campus (Evans, 2002;

Finkel et al., 2003). Also, faculty and staff hung "Safe Zone" cards on their walls and

doors, as well as throughout the entire department and training areas (Finkel et al., 2003).

Therefore, I propose that diversity awareness training about LGBT issues would not only

increase people's knowledge, but also provide the stimulus for organizational behavioral

change in regards to support for sexual minority adolescents.

A step towards opening up a group or organization to include diverse members,

such as sexual minority adolescents, includes creating settings where trainers who are

LGBT are able to share their experiences (Bond, 1998; Reinharz, 1994). In the past,

researchers have advocated using mixed race trainee groups for racial diversity training to

increase the educational benefits of the training because they have produced beneficial

results (Kirkland and Regan, 1997).

On the other hand, sometimes training about sexual orientation is portrayed in a

negative way. Conversion therapies, known in the mental health profession as religious

and therapeutic approaches which attempt to change an individual's sexual orientation,

use practices like electric shock therapy, hypnosis, medication, and psychoanalysis

(Evans and Wall, 1993; Morrow, 2004; Tozer and McClanahan, 1999) to try to "convert

homosexuals" back to be heterosexual. Although conversion therapies still have

proponents (Byrd, 2004; Nicolosi, 1991; Throckmorton, 2002), their critics believe this









therapy promotes both internal and external homophobia (Stein, 1999; Tozer and

McClanahan, 1999) and ignores the historic and scientific record showing that LGBT

orientations are normal and healthy (APA, 2005). Research also shows results of such

therapy should be examined carefully because these studies tend to have major

methodological issues (Haldeman, 2002, 1994; Stein, 1999). Recent research also

highlights the controversies, benefits, and harms experienced by clients who have sought

such interventions (Bieschke et al., 2000; Haldeman, 2002, 1994). Currently, these

conversion therapies stand in opposition to policies enacted by national mental health

organizations, such as the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling

Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, the National Association

of Social Workers, and the National Education Association (APA, 1999). Moreover, the

training and education among mental health practitioners that does exist, is frequently

inaccurate and sometimes pathologizing (Allison et al., 1994; Evans and Wall, 1991).

Therefore, it is important to note that training or education that exists about LGBT issues

it is not always supportive or beneficial to that population.

Peer and Client Environments/Normative Beliefs

Prejudice against lesbians and gay men was first studied methodically by

psychologists in the early 1970s. Researchers have used the term "homophobia" to

describe "an irrational persistent fear or dread of homosexuals" or "an irrational fear or

intolerance of homosexuality" (Lehne, 1976; MacDonald, 1976). Different terminologies

have been introduced over the last 30 years, such as "lesbophobia", "homonegativity",

and "psychological heterosexism" (Herek, 1995; Kitzinger and Peel, 2005). Even with

new terminology, the underlying concept persists. Some individuals hold negative, biased









and prejudiced attitudes towards LGBT individuals that result in discriminatory behaviors

from verbal gay bashing to other more violent hate crimes.

Normative beliefs in society about LGBT individuals are those of homophobia and

are experienced within a variety of institutions, such as schools, homes, and communities

(Buckel, 2000; Pratte, 1993; Rothblum and Bond, 1997). Furthermore, there is evidence

that mental health professionals, child welfare workers, and physicians are homophobic

(Herek 2000; Herek and Capitanio, 1999; Quinn, 2002). This homophobic abuse occurs

not only in schools and within families, but is also reflected in a variety of community

settings. Community organizations are not always supportive or inclusive of gay and

lesbian issues (Keefer and Reene, 2002). Homophobic creates an atmosphere of

intolerance and inhibits positive youth development.

Heterosexual men tend to show higher levels of prejudice towards LGBT

individuals than heterosexual women in both survey and laboratory studies (Herek, 2000;

Herek and Capitanio, 1999; Kite and Whitley, 1998; Yang, 1998). Many adults in the

United States hold negative attitudes toward homosexual behavior (Herek, 2002; 2000;

Herek and Capitanio, 1996; Yang, 1997), but attitudes are slowly changing. Research has

shown that younger people have more favorable attitudes towards LGBT individuals and

are more supportive (CIRCLE, 2004; Cloud, 2005; Herek, 2002; Kaiser Family

Foundation, 2001; Savin-Williams, 2005; SIECUS, 2001). These attitudes are reflected in

beliefs about same-sex marriage, non-discrimination clauses, and gay-straight alliances.

There is an inconsistency between having a focus on positive youth development

and excluding a certain percentage of that youth (sexual minority adolescents) through

unsupportive actions. Today, homophobia and racism are decreasing because public









institutions have been forced to deal with the issue of diversity (Buckel, 2000; Russell,

2002; Wald et al., 1996). For example, affirmative action has created more jobs for ethnic

minorities and in turn has brought new ideas, values, and beliefs to institutional settings.

Many national organizations have recently taken public stances against homophobia and

inclusion of sexual orientation in safety and anti-discrimination clauses such as the

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Psychological

Association, American School Counselor Association, National Association of School

Psychologists, National Education Association, and the National Mental Health

Association (APA, 2005).

Social-Contact Hypothesis

The original contact hypothesis (Allport, 1954) and more recent conceptualizations

of it (e.g., Stephan, 1987) have proposed that under the correct circumstances, contact

will facilitate interactions between members of different groups and reduce hostility,

prejudice, and stereotypes. The contact hypothesis is a general model of intergroup

contact, which assumes similar responses for both members of stigmatized groups as well

as members of non-stigmatized groups. A number of studies have exposed the positive

effects of inter-group contact, (Ellison and Powers, 1994; Pettigrew and Tropp, 2000;

Pettigrew, 1997; Sigelman and Welch, 1993; Wood and Sonleitner, 1996). However,

these researchers are careful to point out that context places a key role in findings and

consistent operationalization of variables is important for theoretical validity. Finally,

simple contact may not completely change one's attitude, but it does alter pre-existing

beliefs. This theory has been used in many disciplines and applied to many pressing

social issues, reaching from desegregation of schools (Stephan and Rosenfield, 1978) and

educational mainstreaming of disabled children (Harper and Wacker, 1985; Shafer et al.,









1989) to reducing prejudice of LGBT individuals (Herek, 2002) and the resolution of

ethnopolitical disagreements (Chirot and Seligman, 2001; Hewstone et al., 2002).

The contact hypothesis has received only moderate support from research

concerning inter-ethnic interactions (Stephan, 1987). Powers and Ellison (1996) found

that contact had an independent effect of tending to reduce racial prejudice. However,

more promising effects of contact have been established in heterosexuals' attitudes

towards gays and lesbians (Herek, 2002; Herek and Glunt, 1993; Herek and Capitanio,

1996; Sakalli and Uurlu, 2002). Specifically, among heterosexual individuals, contact

with LGB individuals and content has been found to be a correlate of stereotype

reduction and more positive attitudes toward LGBT individuals in college (Bowen and

Bourgeois, 2001; Geller, 1991; Herek, 2002, 1998; Herek and Glunt, 1993). Furthermore,

recent studies have used this hypothesis to examine intergenerational attitudes between

the elderly and adolescents. Results show an increase in positive attitudes between the

two groups (Kite and Johnson, 1988, Meshel and McGlynn, 2004).

Perhaps using this social-contact hypothesis in combination with diversity training

is an effective way to promote support for sexual minority adolescents. For example,

many LGBT diversity training include a panel of LGBT individuals. These individuals

share stories about their lives and try to put a face with the issue. As discussed

previously, the Safe Zone project proved to be successful using this strategy.

Social Awareness

Some believe the term "social awareness" has it roots in the second wave of the

feminist movement (Bickford and Reynolds, 2002). For many researchers, awareness

about issues affecting the community or raising social consciousness has always been a

precursor to social movement (Steinem, 1983; Swift, 1990). The internal and external









survival of organizations, particularly higher education institutions, requires that they

engage their members and encourage them to develop a social awareness that will enable

them to reach out to the broader community on these issues. More recent research has

also explored the theoretical connections between interaction with diverse peers and

dimensions of social awareness. Springer et al. (1995) found that students who interacted

with diverse peers reported more frequent discussion of complex social issues, including

such things as the economy, peace, human rights equality, and justice. Awareness brings

social change via community-level actions, whether they occur at the institutional,

organizational, or individual level. Individuals who are more aware of LGBT issues and

concerns are more likely to have positive attitudes towards this population.

Professional/Staff Development

Professional development has no single definition. Its meaning may not always be

clear or shared across disciplines. A literature review by Elman et al. (2005) revealed

neither efforts to achieve consensus on the meaning of it nor definitions in standard or

psychiatric dictionaries. Professional development may relate to diverse tasks associated

with completing professional degrees, pursuing postdoctoral activities (Kaslow et al.,

1992), preparing for licensure, beginning a career, functioning during the midcareer

years, or nearing retirement (Ronnestad and Skovholdt, 2001). Also, the attainment of

professionalism may involve internal processes (e.g., growth, differentiation, emergence

of fuller understanding, crystallizing of attitudes) that include ongoing consideration of

and reflection on personal and professional experiences (Ronnestad and Skovholdt,

2001). It has also been defined as workshop participation, in terms of either the number

of sessions attended or hours completed (Fischer and Eheart, 1991; Kontos et al., 1995;









Rouse, 2004). For the purposes of this study, it refers to formal or informal training to

enhance skills, knowledge, and ability to practice in the field of youth development.

In the field of youth development, common educational prerequisites and pre-

service training for youth workers seem to be inadequate (Huebner et al., 2003). Borden

(2002) performed a comprehensive literature review of staff development training for

youth development professionals and concluded that the lack of comprehensive

educational opportunities leaves the field of youth development devoid of professionals

and volunteers who are thoroughly grounded in its theory, research, and standard best

practices. Furthermore, Halpern, Barker, and Mollard (2000) found that youth workers

tend to rely on their own experiences rather than on formal training to determine day-to-

day activities and programming priorities. Adult mentors must develop an understanding

of youth development features or the essential elements of positive youth development

work in order to improve the quality of youth development programs and in turn

strengthen professional practice. Staff development is a logical point from which to begin

to change the process of youth development. Other researchers agree that practitioners

who master and apply professional paradigms and science-based programs and standards

can be effective change agents with youth and significant contributors to theory and

practice improvements in youth development (Eccles and Gootman, 2002; Villarruel et

al., 2003).

In disciplines such as family child care, levels of formal education and training are

factors in providers' lives that uniquely contributed to higher levels of quality care

(Weaver, 2000). Also, quality of family child care has been associated with belonging to

professional organizations and associations and participating in other professional









development opportunities (DeBord and Sawyers, 1996; Kontos, Howes, Shinn, and

Galinsky, 1995). The empirical link between staff development and quality youth

programs has been established by the literature about early childcare and adolescent care

(Ghazvini and Mullis, 2002; Norris, 2001; Phillips et al., 2001; Weaver, 2002). However,

as of 2006, there is little evidence that directly links staff development to improved,

quality programs for adolescents (Huebner et al., 2003). The reasons for this are unclear.

Grossman et al. (2002) performed a study of program quality that involved middle

school-aged youth and found that the key to having high quality activities was the ability

of the staff leading those activities. This ability is directly linked to knowledge about

youth development. Therefore, I hypothesize that the more knowledge a staff person is

about youth development issues, the more likely they are to be inclusive they should be

of all youth. This inclusion would include sexual minority adolescents.

In summary, youth-serving organizations are one of the critical structures that help

shape the identity and well-being of adolescents. The institutional environment within

many of the youth-serving organizations in the United States is unsupportive of sexual

minority adolescents. High levels of youth involvement within the processes and

structures of organizations have shown positive results for youth, adults, and

organizations. The concept of professional development has been studied in many

disciplines and has been effective in promoting positive outcomes for children. Diversity

training has been used to explain outcomes such as organizational performance, group

relations, and employee turnover. Specifically, professional development and educational

attainment are crucial concepts for promoting positive youth development. Furthermore,

peer environments can affect work-related decisions. Examining levels of youth









involvement, peer environments, and professional development among youth workers

will be useful in understanding why organizations do or do not support sexual minority

adolescents.

Hypotheses

The following are the hypotheses for the research:

* There are differences among youth-serving organizations with respect to level of
youth involvement within organizations.

* There are differences among youth-serving organizations with respect to
organizational, supportive actions for LGBT adolescents.

* High levels of professional development are positively correlated with support for
LGBT adolescents.

* Diversity training about LGBT issues will be positively correlated with support for
LGBT adolescents.

* Peer environments, professional peers and board members, will be positively
correlated with respect to supportive actions for LGBT adolescents.

* Client environments, parents of or the adolescents themselves, will have a positive
correlation with organizational support LGBT adolescents














CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

This chapter discusses the research design used in this study and its limitations. It

will describe the development of test instruments, data collection, and data analysis. The

following discussion of the research design applies to all hypotheses tested.

Research Design

I used a two phase design. In phase one, I employed a cross-sectional design. In

phase two, I used an explanatory, theory building case study design. The case study

design allows investigators to retain the holistic and meaningful characteristics of real-

life events, such as individual life cycles or neighborhood change (Yin, 2003), and

permits the researcher to examine several variables and their interaction simultaneously

(de Vaus, 2001; Yin, 2003). The stage of theory development regarding this subject

implies that research should have a descriptive and explanatory role (de Vaus 2001;

Fowler 1993). The limited amount of research in the area of organizational support for

LGBT adolescents stresses the importance of research that begins to build theories about

this issue. Furthermore, in the case study design, researchers are able to select cases

based on the outcome variable. Researchers know apriori the cases are different with

respect to this outcome variable and then try to determine why they are different.

Researchers must be able to distinguish the different levels of analysis within each

case. A unit of analysis is the 'thing' about which we collect information and form which

we draw conclusions (de Vaus, p. 18). A case is the 'object' of study (de Vaus, 2001). As

per Yin (2003), "your tentative definition of the unit of analysis (and therefore the case)









is related to the way you have defined your initial research questions." As cited in de

Vaus (2001), Yin (1989) makes the distinction between cases as a whole and cases that

consist of various levels or components by using the terms 'holistic' or 'embedded' to

refer to this distinction. In this study, the organizations will serve as the units of analysis.

I interviewed three participants in each organization. The executive directors/religious

leaders, youth workers, and board members or policy-makers serve as the embedded units

of analysis in the study.

Internal validity refers to the degree to which the research design eliminates other

explanations than the ones proposed in the hypotheses and illustrates casual direction

between the predictor and outcome variables. Case studies sometimes have low internal

validity because they, unlike experimental designs, they do not create interventions to

create control and treatment groups (de Vaus, 2001). However, I took certain measures to

increase internal validity. I addressed the issue of internal validity by evaluating multiple

cases (six total), evaluating relationships between variables through several measurement

sources (indices and open-response questions), and using an idiographic approach to

examine cases. I reduced the number of possible alternative causal explanations by

comparing multiple cases. I created comparison groups based on the outcome variable,

using the maximum variation sampling approach, and compared the groups of high and

low level of youth involvement to each other, based on the predictor variables. The use of

these comparison groups and their contribution to internal validity is comparable to the

control group in an experimental design. However, case study designs allow the groups to

be created post hoc. I examined how different predictor variables affect multiple cases

within each comparison group, which in turn infers causality.









According to de Vaus (2001), "idiographic explanations focus on particular events,

or cases, and seeks to develop a complete explanation of each case....by developing a

full, well-rounded causal account, case studies can achieve high internal validity." The

idiographic approach decreases the possibility of alternative explanations and offers a

fuller explanation of each case. I assessed the relationship between the variables by

measuring numerous predictor variables in combination with each other (de Vaus, 2001).

External validity refers to the extent to which results of a study can be generalized

beyond the study itself (de Vaus, 2001). One must differentiate between two types of

generalizability in case studies. Researchers sometimes refer to statistical generalizability

when discussing external validity. Statistical generalizability is the ability to generalize

the findings of the research to a broader population than the sample and can be increased

by using probability or random sampling. Case studies sometimes do not aim to achieve

statistical generalizability, as the findings from them do not always offer explanations of

phenomena to a population outside of those who are studied. Rather, case studies focus

on achieving theoretical generalizability. Theoretical generalization entails generalizing

from a study to a theory, rather than what the study tells us about the wider population

(statistical generalization). The cases tell the researcher about how effective the theory is

in explaining the phenomena under study. If cases are selected using a sound theoretical

framework, using a priori reasoning, theoretical generalizability for a case study design is

high (de Vaus, 2001). In this study, the six cases were selected using a sound theoretical

framework. I can make theoretical generalizations because I selected multiple cases using

a sound theoretical framework and because I assigned cases to groups based on an

appropriate outcome variable. I compared multiple (three) cases within each group









(high/low levels of youth involvement). Explanatory breadth was achieved by examining

the complex interactions between numerous variables. I always intended to achieve

theoretical generalizability, not statistical generalizability because I wanted to be able to

explain how the constructs affect the outcome variable for the cases in this study, not all

youth-serving organizations.

Reliability refers to how consistently the instrument will produce the same

measurements (Bryman, 2004). I am confident of the reliability of indices because of the

process I used to develop them. I utilized my expert panel as outlined above to address

low construct validity and therefore, reliability. The instruments used have high internal

consistency and are replicable. I enhanced the reliability of the results by addressing

issues of internal consistency, or construct validity. Internal consistency is the degree to

which items in a scale or index actually measures the construct it is intended to measure.

Operationalization of the concepts into more than one measurable variable increases the

internal consistency of the research (Appendix A). I improved the replicability, and

therefore reliability, of this study by developing clear operational definitions of the

variables and constructs (see the end of this section for definitions). Also, I developed

multiple measures of the same construct, such as indices and open-response questions

answered through structured interviews. This increased concurrent validity and the

overall validity of the instruments. Overall, the indicators appear to measure the concepts.

In this study, the outcome variable is organizational support for LGBT adolescents.

The independent variables are youth involvement, peer/client environments, and

professional development (Figure 2-1).









Sample Selection

The theoretical population for this study would be all youth-serving organizations

in the United States. The accessible population was youth-serving organizations in

Alachua County, Florida. As of 2005, Alachua County's population is approximately

223,852, with a median income of $33,056 (Census, 2006). The population demographics

are 73.8% Caucasian, 20.2% black, 6.2% Hispanic or Latino, 4.2% Asian, and 0.3%

American-Indian. Furthermore, Alachua County is one of the only Democratic counties

in the state of Florida and tends to be one of the most liberal. In the 2004 election, 56% of

the County voted for the Democratic Presidential candidate, while 43% voted for the

Republican candidate. Alachua County is also a University town, as the University of

Florida resides here. University towns tend to have more resources for LGBT

adolescents, such as student groups and local gay-straight alliances. Alachua County and

its liberal politics may skew the results because youth-serving organizations in this area

may tend to be more supportive of LGBT adolescents than a more conservative County in

the state of Florida. However, I intended to pick an area of this nature to ensure I would

end up with organizations that were supportive of this population.

I defined a youth-serving organization as an organization that primarily serves

youth and that has year-round program or services that focus on youth development. A

youth is an individual ages seven to eighteen in this study (Arnett, 2003). I received a list

of community organizations in the Alachua County, Florida area from the Office of

Community Service on the University of Florida campus. I cross-referenced that list with

several websites and other resources, including The Gainesville Chamber of Commerce

website and The United Way's organization resource book. The total number of

organizations on the list was two hundred and twenty. The organizations in this









population may or may not be representative of U.S. youth-serving organizations as a

whole, but they are representative of youth-serving organizations in University towns, or

Counties similar to Alachua County.

In phase one, I censused the population of 240 youth-serving organizations in

Alachua County, Florida to determine the level of youth involvement in decision-making

within these organizations. Level of youth involvement in decision-making was used as a

dummy variable, in place of the outcome variable, because there was no way to know a

priori which organizations were supportive or not supportive of LGBT adolescents. For a

detailed argument of why level of youth involvement in decision-making was used, see

chapter 2.

In phase two, I used maximum variation sampling. A maximum variation sample is

one type of a purposive sample. This sampling approach aims at capturing and describing

the central themes or principal outcomes that cut across many participant or program

variations (Patton, 1987). This approach is commonly used when a researcher believes

that large differences between cases will provide the best opportunity for understanding

the phenomena under study. This approach allows one to identify extremes in the

predictive variables. It is also valuable when the literature review suggests there may be

many possible factors for explaining behavior. For purposes of this study, I felt

organizations at the extremes would be most beneficial to determining what factors

contribute to organizational support for LGBT adolescents.

In order to select organizations or cases for phase two, I created a summative score

for the level of youth involvement for decision-making within all of the youth-serving

organizations that responded to phase one of the research (Appendix B). The initial goal









was to select ten cases total. Each of two groups, high and low levels of youth

involvement in decision-making, should have possessed five cases each. I could not

reach this goal due to time and resource constraints. Overall, I examined six cases by

taking the organizations with the three highest and lowest scores (See Table 3-1). The

actual lowest score was from an organization which was eliminated since it did not meet

the criteria for this study.

Table 3-1. Organizations with Highest and Lowest Levels of Youth Involvement Scores
in Alachua County, Florida, 2006.


Ranges of scores for level youth involvement
High (61-100) Medium (31-60) Low (0-30)
Organization A 28
Organization B 19
Organization C 18
Organization D 91
Organization E 79
Organization F 72

Instrumentation for Indices

Indices are often used to measure multi-dimensional variables such as attitudes or

professional development. Indices are a combination of measures that generate responses

to a set of inter-related items and they create a single data point, even though they are

made up of multiple statements or questions. Indices require a researcher to establish

construct validity of the related items before using the instrument (Swisher, 2006). I used

the Delphi method as explained below to establish construct validity of my indices.

I used a two-dimensional index in order to measure several variables. Two-

dimensional indices are more precise than a one-dimensional index (Swisher, 2006).

Two-dimensional indices are a set of related items that are used to provide more precise

measures of a multidimensional variable (Swisher, 2006). This precision is reached









because each item in the index has a weight associated with its importance, as determined

by my expert panel. Organizational support for LGBT adolescents and peer/client

environments were measured using this two-dimensional index and therefore are precise

measurements.

I used the Delphi method, or an expert panel, to create an index for the independent

variables level of youth involvement (See Appendix C for complete youth involvement

index), the peer/client environment index (See Appendix D for complete peer/client

environment index) and the outcome variable organizational support for LGBT

adolescents (See Appendix E for complete organizational support index). According to

Linstone and Turoff (1975, p.3), the Delphi method "may be characterized as a method

for structuring a group communication process, so that the process is effective in

allowing a group of individuals, as a whole, to deal with complex problems." The Delphi

method is a technique aimed at building an agreement, or consensus among a group of

panel experts in the relevant field of study (Adler and Ziglio, 1996; Linstone and Turoff,

1975). This procedure is a forecasting methodology for generating expert opinion on any

given subject matter via a series of questionnaires with controlled opinion feedback

(Adler and Ziglio, 1996; Miller and Salkind, 2002).

In order to implement the Delphi method, I first compiled a list of approximately

fifteen experts in the field of adolescent development. I created my own list of items that

reflected levels of youth involvement, peer/client environments, and supportive, concrete

actions that organizations could serve as indicators for support for LGBT adolescents. I

asked my panel of experts to list 7-10 items that reflected levels of youth involvement

within a youth-serving organization and actions that were supportive of LGBT









adolescents. I compared this list to the one I had created based on current research. The

review and help of experts ensured relevance to the domain of interest and maximized

item appropriateness (DeVellis, 2003). Furthermore, the panel of experts discussed how

relevant they though the items were in terms of what I am trying to measure, evaluated

the items' clarity and conciseness, and offered other ways to measure the concept

(DeVellis, 2003). Next, I created a rule to determine which items to keep on the list. I

kept the items that 80% of respondents said were important. This completed the first

dimension of the index. Once I compiled the final list, I sent it back to the panel and had

each person rank the items for importance (on a 1-5 scale). Then I took the mode for each

item and kept the top 7-10 answers. This completed the second dimension of the index.

In order to measure peer/client environments, I utilized the same procedure as

outlined above. The difference with this variable was that the second dimension

(intensity) occurred on the organization side of the design. I had individuals within the

organizations rank how important four groups of people were to them and then answer

six questions in relation to each group. The resulting instruments' content validity is

based on the judgment, logic, and reasoning of the researcher with validation from an

expert panel of judges who have expertise in the content area (Wynd, et al, 2003).

Instrumentation for Structured Interviews

The interview included questions that addressed the variables from four main

concepts, professional development, peer/organizational environment and organizational

supportive actions (See Appendix F for a complete questionnaire). I took the essential

procedural steps to ensure that the interview instruments were valid measurements of the

four main conceptual constructs and that they provide accurate information. I began by

stating my research hypotheses, explicitly including the related sub-questions. I then









listed the appropriate interview topics for each hypothesis. I developed several questions

for each topic with varied wording choice and different response formats. I reviewed

these questions extensively to eliminate the unnecessary ones. I reviewed the remaining

questions with an expert panel and colleagues. I also had a panel of experts review the

interview questions for their content and face validity. The experts included University of

Florida professors and researchers in the fields of psychology, community development,

youth development, research design and methods, community board members, youth

workers, and executive directors from local nonprofit organizations, and two local

religious leaders. They reviewed the construction and wording of the questions along

with the logical flow of the instrument. They also rated each question as vital, important,

or nice, but not critical.

The self-completion questionnaire includes two indices that measure

organizational supportive actions and importance and perceptions of peer environments.

Respondents were asked to answer these questions on their own instead of verbally in an

interview setting because this research dealt with a sensitive topic, sexual orientation.

This technique may produce less social desirability bias for these items (Fowler 1993).

Also, the respondents may feel answers of this type are more anonymous because there

are no identifying marks on the questionnaire itself (Fowler 1993).

I asked community members from my sampling frame that did not participate in the

first round of data collection if they were willing to pilot test the instrument. Furthermore,

I pre-tested the interview questions and self-completion questionnaire with six

individuals. I asked for feedback on the wording of questions and about the comfort of

the participants. The key issues for the researcher when pre-testing an instrument are to









check for misunderstandings, incomplete concept coverage, inconsistent interpretations,

politically correct responses, and context effects (Collins, 2003).

The instructions for the interview were written on the actual interview instrument

to ensure the same information was communicated to all participants. This increased the

reliability of the actual interview data (Fowler, 1993). Also, the instructions for the self-

completion questionnaire were exactly the same for all participants. This increased the

reliability of the actual questionnaire (Fowler, 1993). The interview questions and self-

completion questionnaire address all the variables in the study. I am confident of the

reliability of my indices because of the process I used to develop them. These instruments

have high internal consistency and are replicable.

Procedures

In phase one, I mailed out a questionnaire to executive directors and religious

leaders. I received 46 total questionnaires out of 220 after the first round of data

collection which took three weeks to complete, yielding a 20.9% initial response rate. In

phase two, I administered a self-completion questionnaire and a structured oral interview

designed specifically for this study. I conducted 18 total interviews in six youth-serving

organizations to collect data about the variables needed to test the research hypotheses. I

administered the interviews at some of the organizations and at participants' offices that

were not on-site.

Structured interviews allow for open communication with the participants (Fowler,

1993). A structured interview involves asking interviewees the same questions each time

and then scoring their responses the same way. The benefits of structured interviews

include better reliability, validity, and legal defensibility than semi-structured or

unstructured interviews (Bartels et al., 2006). I increased the reliability by providing









written instructions to develop consistency in how the interview was administered and

that all participants received the same information (Fowler, 1993). Further, I was the lone

researcher and administered all of the interviews, which contributes to the consistent

delivery of the interview questions. I also wrote the instructions on the self-administered

interview questions to ensure they were read exactly the same to each participant. There

was no test for reliability of the open-response format questions, but this allows for a

more in-depth look at the responses.

Participants were provided with an informed consent sheet to sign prior to starting

the interview (Appendix F). Once they signed this sheet, I provided them with

information about the first phase of the research. I told them the second half of the

research dealt with organizational diversity and professional development. Some

participants wanted to know ahead of time if the diversity part of the research dealt with

lesbian and gay issues. I told participants that some of the questions would deal with this

issue, but that their organization was not singled out and that we were looking for a

variety of viewpoints. I advised the participants about the length of the interview and how

the fourth part would be a self-completion questionnaire. I made sure to ask once more if

participants had any questions before we began. I began the structured oral interview,

which usually lasted approximately 20 minutes. At the fourth part of the interview, the

participants were given the self-completion questionnaire to complete. I explained to

them verbally that they were to answer based upon their role within the organization.

This information was in the instructions as well. After collecting the questionnaire, I

asked several open-ended questions. At the end of the interview, I asked if the

participants had any questions and we processed those together. Finally, I told









participants the results of the research will be made available to them if their organization

had requested a copy.

As outlined in the informed consent sheet, this standard protocol involved no more

than minimal risk ordinarily encountered in daily life. The information obtained in the

interviews will remain confidential. The only direct benefit for the participants is that

they will receive a copy of the research report when it is finished. Finally, as stated

before, the response rate for the initial phase was 20.9%. The response rate for the

embedded units within the six cases was 100%. All participants were willing to

participate in the study.

Data Collection

I collected the first round of my data in early spring 2006 and finished the second

round in the beginning of May 2006. I transcribed the data before analyzing it, as

researchers suggest doing so when using in-depth interviews (Borman et al., 1986;

Tashakori &Teddlie, 1998). The procedure for recording and transcribing interviews has

many advantages. It allows for a more thorough examination of what people say, permits

repeated examinations of the interviewees' answers, and helps alleviate the limitations of

human memory or what we "thought" people said or meant in an interview (Bryman,

2004; Heritage 1984). I transcribed the open-ended questions of my interviews and

recorded meaningful themes, statements, and quotes. I also created tables to compare

cases to one another (Appendix G).

Data Analysis

I ran three Mann-Whitney U tests to determine if the 44 organizations who

responded from the initial census were significantly different in terms of level of youth

involvement, low, medium, and high. Next, I ran a Kruskal-Wallis Test, the









nonparametric alternative to one-way ANOVA, to determine if the medians differed

among the three groups, high, medium, and low levels of youth involvement. I also ran

the Mann-Whitney U test to determine if the organizations are significantly different in

terms of organizational support for LGBT adolescents. I provide the results of three

regression models used to explore the association between independent variables, and

between the independent and dependent variables. The models used examined the

variables at both the individual and organizational level. I recorded themes that emerged

from using the data from my open-response questions. Finally, I created several tables to

gain a holistic look at all of the cases and then used them to compare across cases.

The n in the study was small (n=18). These participants were from organizations

that were selected on the basis of the surrogate measure (level of youth involvement) of

organizational support for LGBT adolescents. This small sample size inhibited my ability

to make a more complete evaluation of differences between groups. I was limited in the

statistical analysis I could use to evaluate the differences.

I created comparison groups based on the outcome variable, using the maximum

variation sampling approach, and compared the groups of high and low level of youth

involvement to each other, based on the predictor variables. This approach left out

organizations that may have scored in the middle level of youth involvement and did not

provide me with any information about the shape of the regression lines used in the

analysis. This was done intentionally because I wanted to know more in-depth

information about the extreme cases.

Limitations

The final instrument used to measure level of youth involvement in decision-

making was not a complete index. The majority of questions used were yes/no questions









that included content from the expert panel. This decreased the precision for this

instrument. Finally, there was no test for reliability of the open-response format

questions. Therefore, these types of questions reduce the precision of the measurements

in exchange for allowing for more in-depth responses. Finally, I recorded and transcribed

all eighteen interviews to reduce measurement error.

In addition, sexual orientation among adolescents is a sensitive issue. I am unsure if

participants responded honestly or simply to be politically correct. In order to remedy this

issue, most of the questions related to this sensitive topic were addressed in a self-

completion questionnaire instead of verbally in the structured interview. On the other

hand, some of them may have felt as if they wanted to talk about this subject because it

has come up frequently in their job. I assured confidentiality and gained trust because

prior to the start of the interview, I introduced myself and explained I was trying to better

serve youth. I believe I received more truthful information because I took this step.

Also, I only talked to three individuals in each organization. This may have biased

the results because the results may have been different if I spoke with three additional

people or three different people within the organization. Also, the individuals may not

have responded based on their role within the organization, rather from a personal

standpoint. In order to limit this, I reminded them several times during the interview to

answer questions based on their role within the organization. These instructions were also

on the questionnaire they were given. Furthermore, I had to interview the leader of each

organization, so in that case, there was no one else to interview.

Finally, it became clear during the interview process that the self-completion

questionnaire people filled out may have needed some additional pre-testing because the






53


pre-tests were only conducted on participants who had a positive reaction to the questions

being asked. If I had pre-tested the instrument on someone who had a negative reaction,

perhaps some of the wording could have been adjusted. I did try to recruit people who

had negative opinions, but it was difficult to get them to help in the development of the

instrumentation. The instruments would more reliably measure the constructs under study

if I pilot tested the instruments with cases representing all user groups.














CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

In this chapter I first provide some demographic information about the participants.

I then present the results of the statistical tests that I conducted in order to test for

differences in central tendency. Finally, I provide the results of three regression models

that I developed in order to explore the association between independent variables, and

between the independent and dependent variables.

Demographic Characteristics

The research participants were half male and half female. The mean age was 47

years, the median was 46, and the range was 26-67. Three participants were single, 13

married, one divorced, and one separated. Seventeen participants were

European/Caucasian and one was African-American. The education achievement of the

18 participants can be seen in Appendix H. Appendix I describes the aspects of

participants' lives that have prepared them to work with adolescents. Approximately 25%

of the participants have education backgrounds related to youth development, while 25%

of them have divinity degrees. The other 50% have degrees in other areas, such as library

science, zoology, and history.

Hypothesis 1

HI: There are differences among youth-serving organizations with respect to levels

of youth involvement. Appendix B shows the level of youth involvement in decision-

making scores for all organizations in the study. Refer to table 3:1 for the scores of the

six case study organizations.










There are differences among youth-serving organizations with respect to level of

youth involvement. I ran a Kruskal-Wallis Test, the nonparametric alternative to one-way

ANOVA, to determine if the medians differed among the three groups, high, medium,

and low levels of youth involvement. There were differences among the three groups (p-

value < 0.0001). Table 4-1 shows these results.

Table 4-1. Kruskal-Wallis test for median differences among high, medium, low levels
of youth involvement, Alachua County, Florida, 2006.

Test Statisticsa,b

Score on
youth
involvement
Chi-Square 33.290
df 2
Asymp. Sig. .000
a. Kruskal Wallis Test
b. Grouping Variable: LowMediumHigh level of Y


Next, I ran three Mann-Whitney U tests to determine if the initial 44 organizations

in the sample were significantly different in terms of level of youth involvement, low,

medium, and high. The results of the comparison between organizations with low and

medium levels of youth involvement can be seen in Table 4-2 below.

Table 4-2. Mann Whitney U 2-sample test to compare organizations with low and
medium levels of youth involvement, Alachua County, Florida, 2006.
Test Statisticsb

Score on
youth
involvement
Mann-Whitney U .000
Wilcoxon W 66.000
Z -4.660
Asymp. Sig. (2-tailed) .000
Exact Sig. [2*(1-tailed a
Sig.)] .
a. Not corrected for ties.
b. Grouping Variable: Level of YI










The p-value was < .001 and is therefore significant. The results of the comparison

between organizations with medium and high levels of youth involvement can be seen in

Table 4-3. The p-value for this test was < .001 and is therefore significant.

Table 4-3. Mann Whitney U 2-sample test to compare organizations with medium and
high levels of youth involvement, Alachua County, Florida, 2006.

Test Statisticsb

Score on
youth
involvement
Mann-Whitney U .000
Wilcoxon W 276.000
Z -4.157
Asymp. Sig. (2-tailed) .000
Exact Sig. [2*(1-tailed a
Sig.)] .
a. Not corrected for ties.
b. Grouping Variable: Level of YI


The results of the comparison between organizations with low and high levels of

youth involvement can be seen in Table 4-4 below. The p-value for this test was < .0001

and is therefore significant.

Table 4-4. Mann Whitney U 2-sample test to compare organizations with low and high
levels of youth involvement, Alachua County, Florida, 2006.

Test Statisticsb

Score on
youth
involvement
Mann-Whitney U .000
Wilcoxon W 66.000
Z -3.636
Asymp. Sig. (2-tailed) .000
Exact Sig. [2*(1-tailed a
Sig.)] 0
a. Not corrected for ties.
b. Grouping Variable: Level of YI










Hypothesis 2

H2: There is a positive correlation between level of youth involvement and

organizational support for LGBT adolescent. There is no apparent relationship between

level of youth involvement and organizational support for LGBT adolescents. I first

examined the distribution of scores for support of LGBT adolescents. I expected those

organizations selected from the group of organizations with high youth involvement to

exhibit the highest LGBT support scores, but they do not (Figure 4-1).





2.0-




1.5-

U 0 0


(D 1.0-
L-
LL


0 0
0.5-


Mean =41.3333
Std. Dev. =
0.0- 9.4798
30.00 35.00 40.00 45.00 50.00 55.00 60.00 N =6

Organizational support scores


Figure 4-1. Distribution of organizational support scores for youth-serving organizations
in Alachua County, Florida, 2006.

Also, I created a scatterplot to determine if there was a relationship between the

two variables (Figure 4:2). No obvious pattern emerges.















100.00-
(D 0
E
> 80.00 -

> o

60.00-
0
4-
O 40.00 -

0
-IJ
20.00 00


I I I I I I
30.00 35.00 40.00 45.00 50.00 55.00 60.00
Organizational Support for LGBT Adolescents

Figure 4-2. Correlation between youth involvement and organizational support among
youth-serving organizations in Alachua County, Florida, 2006.

I also ran the Mann-Whitney U test to determine if the organizations are

significantly different in terms of organizational support for LGBT adolescents (Table 4-

1). A Mann-Whitney test is designed to test a hypothesis about the location (median) of a

population description. It often involves the use of matched pairs, for example, before

and after data, in which case it tests for a median difference of zero.

Table 4-5. Mann Whitney U 2-sample test (normal approximation) to compare
organizations with high (n=3) and low levels of youth involvement (n=3) with
the outcome variable of organizational support for LGBT adolescents,
Alachua County, Florida, 2006.
Organizational
Support
Mann-Whitney U 3.000
Wilcoxon W 9.000
Z -.655
Asymp. Sig. (2-tailed) .513
Exact Sig. [2*(1-tailed .700(a)
Sig.)]
a Not corrected forties. b Grouping Variable: YI









The p-value for the Mann-Whitney test was .70, which is greater than .05.

Therefore, the two case study groups (high and low levels of youth involvement) do not

significantly differ in terms of organizational support for LGBT adolescents.

Data Reduction

I needed to perform data reduction before proceeding with statistical data analysis

for my other hypotheses. Data reduction allows researchers to reduce responses to a

number of questions to a single score or number (Blaikie, 2003). Answers to related

questions can be analyzed as one variable, instead of having to analyze multiple

responses to multiple questions (Blaikie, 2003).

An assumption of multiple regression is that data is interval or near-interval data

(Sheskin, 2004). Therefore, I had to convert some of my data from ordinal to interval.

First, in order to measure professional development, I assigned values to the level of

education for each participant, where 1.0=no college, 1.5=A.A. degree, 2.0=B.S., and

2.5=M.S. or Ph.D. Next, I assigned a 1 to a non-related youth development degree and a

2 to participants who did have a degree related to youth development. I then multiplied

these to numbers to obtain one interval score for professional development.

In order to better measure diversity training, I did two things. First, I took the total

number of training and multiplied it by the scalar response given for how much of the

most recent training dealt with gender, race, and sexual orientation. I summed these totals

for a summative score and included it in the first model (Table 4-7).

Secondly, after I ran the first multiple regression model, I wanted to examine the

differences between the responses to the separate components of the diversity training

(gender, race, sexual orientation). I took the total number of training a participant had

received and multiplied that total number by the scalar response given for how much of









the most recent training dealt with gender, race, and sexual orientation. The resulting

number was interval data for all three of those measures. I was left with three variables

for diversity training, gender (GENSUM), race (RACESUM), and sexual orientation

(LGBTSUM) instead of one summative score.

Multiple Regression

One of the assumptions of multiple regression is normality of distribution. One way

to test for normality is to run the one-sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov test. This procedure

compares the observed cumulative distribution function for a variable with a specified

theoretical distribution, which may be normal, uniform, Poisson, or exponential. The

Kolmogorov-Smimov Z is computed from the largest difference (in absolute value)

between the observed and theoretical cumulative distribution functions. This goodness-

of-fit tests whether the observations could reasonably have come from the specified

distribution (Sheskin, 2004). Furthermore, large significant values (i.e.= values >.05)

indicate that the observed distribution of variables corresponds to the theoretical

distribution. Therefore, if all p-values are > .05, procedures assuming normality, such as

multiple regression, can be employed.

Statistical generalizability is the ability to generalize the findings of the research to

a broader population, but the use of regression in this study was to perform numerical

comparisons on the data. I always intended to achieve theoretical generalizability, not

statistical generalizability because I wanted to be able to explain how the constructs

affect the outcome variable for the cases in this study, not all youth-serving

organizations.










I ran a one-sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, shown in Table 4-6. All p-values

were > .05, except for the professional development total variable (PROVDEVTOT).

This p-value was .046, which rounds up to .05.

Table 4-6. One-Sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov test to determine if normality exists the
variables professional memberships, professional development, peer
environment, client environment, gender diversity score, racial diversity score,
and LGBT diversity score, Alachua County, Florida, 2006.
PROF PROFDEV PROFENV CLIENTENV GEN RACE LGBT
ORGS TOT SUM SUM SUM SUM SUM
N 18 18 18 17 18 18 18
Normal Mean 1.6 2.5 130.8 92.5 15.7 25.5 16.4
Parameters Std. 1.1 1.1 51.2 46.4 19.1 33.8 21.8
(a,b) Deviation
Most Positive .24 .32 .15 .12 .27 .25 .23
extreme Negative -.15 -.12 -.10 -.08 -.21 -.23 -.23
differences
Asymp. Sig. (2-tailed) or .246 .046** .807 .971 .139 .198 .300
p-value*
a. Test distribution is Normal.
b. Calculated from data.
** Compare to an alpha value of .05
* This p-value was .046, which rounds up to .05

I used multiple regression models to analyze the contribution of the variables in

predicting organizational support for LGBT adolescents and the contribution of the

variables in predicting individual scores of support for LGBT adolescents. It is assumed

in multiple regression that the residuals (predicted minus observed values) are distributed

normally or follow the normal distribution of a bell curve (Sheskin, 2004). Multiple

regression also shares all the assumptions of correlation, linearity of relationships, the

same level of relationship throughout the range of the independent variable

("homoscedasticity"), interval or near-interval data, absence of outliers, and data whose

range is not truncated. I used mean substitution multiple regression, or replacement of all

missing instances of a given variable with the mean value for that variable. Mean

substitution is a good solution when data is both randomly missing and normally









distributed. It is also more advantageous than pairwise deletion because it produces a

more internally consistent set of correlation matrix (Sheskin, 2004).

The first mean replacement multiple regression resulted in a model with a multiple

correlation coefficient ofR2 = .85 and a p-value =0.002 (See Table 4-3). The model

indicated that peer environment one and peer environment two are both significantly

contributing to the overall R2 value, and therefore, the organizational-level outcome

variable (p= 0.09 and 0.05, respectively). Also, the model showed that the overall

diversity training score was a significant contributing factor (p= 0.02) and that the

number of memberships in professional organizations was a significant contributing

factor (p=0.04). Peer environment three and peer environment four were not significant

contributing factors (p= 0.44 and 0.78, respectively).

Table 4-7. Multiple regression model one; the relationship between peer environment
one, peer environment two, peer environment three, peer environment four,
diversity training, and professional organizations with organizational support
for LGBT adolescents, Alachua County, Florida, 2006.
MODEL SUMMARY 1
Model R R Adjusted Std. Error of the Estimate Significance
Square R Square
1 .924a .853 .756 4.33 p=0.003
a. Predictors: Peer environment one, peer environment two, peer environment three, peer environment
four, diversity training, and professional organizations










Table 4-8. Regression summary for model one; the relationship between peer
environment one, peer environment two, peer environment three, peer
environment four, diversity training, and professional organizations with
organizational support for LGBT adolescents at the organizational level,
Alachua County, Florida, 2006.
COEFFICIENTS a


Model Variable
(Constant)
PEERENV1
PEERENV2
PEERENV3
PEERENV4
DIVTR
PROFORG


Unstandardized
Coefficients
Std. Error


.384
.487
.206
-.065
.394
.347


.200
.216
.252
.229
.132
.144


Standardized
Coefficients
Beta t
14.763 3.35
.110 1.92
.166 2.25
.056 .816
-.026 -.284
.524 2.99
2.52 2.42


Sig. (p-value)
.008
.087*
.051*
.435
.783
.015*
.039*


a. Dependent variable: Organizational support for LGBT adolescents
*compare to alpha < .10

The multiple regression model for individual-level responses indicated that none of

the variables contributed significantly to the overall R2 value of .39, and therefore, the

individual-level measure of the outcome variable (See Table 4-9). Peer environments one

(p =0.60), two (p =0.41), three (p =0.65) and four (p =0.95), diversity training (p =0.40),

and number of professional organizations (p =0.80), were not significant with respect to

the individual-level score of organizational support (See Table 4-10).

Table 4-9. Multiple regression model two; the relationship between peer environment
one, peer environment two, peer environment three, peer environment four,
diversity training, and professional organizations with organizational support
for LGBT adolescents at the individual level.
MODEL SUMMARY 1
Model R R Adjusted Std. Error of the Estimate Significance


Square
.625a .391


R Square
-.015 4.42


p =0.50


a. Predictors: Peer environment one, peer environment two, peer environment three, peer environment
four, diversity training, and professional organizations


*-'









Table 4-10. Regression summary for model two; the relationship between peer
environment one, peer environment two, peer environment three, peer
environment four, diversity training, and professional organizations with
organizational support for LGBT adolescents at the individual level, Alachua
County, Florida, 2006.
COEFFICIENTS a
Unstandardized Standardized
Coefficients Coefficients
Model Variable B Std. Error Beta t Sig. (p-value)
(Constant) 8.07 1.80 .106
2 PEERENV1 .224 .407 .032 .551 .595
PEERENV2 .381 .442 .065 .864 .410
PEERENV3 -.245 .515 -.033 -.476 .646
PEERENV4 .032 .469 .006 .069 .947
DIVTR .235 .269 .156 .876 .404
PROFORG .076 .293 .275 .259 .801
a. Dependent variable: Individual organizational support for LGBT adolescents
*compare to alpha < .10

I collapsed the data for peer environment one and two and created the professional

peer variable (PROFPEER) because they were both significant for the organizational

level model. I also collapsed the data for peer environment three and four scores and

created the client peer variable (CLIPEER) because they were both not significant

contributing factors to the overall R2 value of .85 at the organizational-level of analysis

(Refer to Table 4-8). Also, the constructs of peer environment one and two both deal with

peers and peer environments three and four also both deal with client environments.

The third model I ran used the specific diversity training variables for race, gender,

and sexual orientation (GENSUM, RACESUM, and LGBTSUM), as well as the

collapsed data from the previous model for peer environments (PROFPEER and

CLIPEER). A mean replacement multiple regression resulted in a model with a multiple

correlation coefficient of R2 = .88 and a p-value of 0.001 (See Table 4-11). The model

indicated that the summed racial diversity training score (RACESUM) and professional

peer environment (PROFPEER) both contribute significantly to the overall R2 value, and









therefore, the organizational-level outcome variable of support for LGBT adolescents (p=

0.015 and 0.009, respectively). Also, the model indicated that the professional

development variable (p= 0.10), the gender diversity training score (p=0.19), the sexual

orientation diversity training score (p=. 12), and the client peer environment variable

(p=0.86) did not significantly contribute to the overall R2 value, and therefore, the

organizational-level outcome variable of support for LGBT adolescents (See Table 4-12).

Table 4-11. Multiple regression model three; the relationship between peer environment,
client environment, professional development, gender diversity training, race
diversity training, and sexual orientation diversity training with organizational
support for LGBT adolescents at the organizational level, Alachua County,
Florida, 2006.
MODEL SUMMARY 1
Model R R Adjusted Std. Error of the Estimate Significance


Square
3 .939a .88


R Square
.80 3.88


p =.001


a. Predictors: Peer environment, client environment, professional development, gender diversity training,
race diversity training, and sexual orientation diversity training

Table 4-12. Regression summary for model three; the relationship peer environment,
client environment, professional development, gender diversity training, race
diversity training, and sexual orientation diversity training with organizational
support for LGBT adolescents at the individual level, Alachua County,


Florida, 2006.
COEFFICIENTS a


Model Variable
(Constant)
3 PROFDEV
GENSUM
RACESUM
LGBTSUM
PROFPEER
CLIPEER


Unstandardized
Coefficients
B Std. Error

.229 .126
.558 .397
.626 .210
-.607 .351
.554 .168
-.028 .154


Standardized
Coefficients
Beta t
20.68 3.59
1.75 1.82
.245 1.41
.155 2.98
-.232 -1.72
.098 3.29
-.005 -.191


Sig. (p-value)
.006
.101
.193
.015
.118
.009
.855


a. Dependent variable: Individual organizational support for LGBT adolescents
*compare to alpha < .05

Next, the individual-level model I ran used the specific diversity training variables

for race, gender, and sexual orientation (GENSUM, RACESUM, and LGBTSUM), as









well as the collapsed data from the previous model for peer environments (PROFPEER

and CLIPEER). A mean replacement multiple regression resulted in a model with a

multiple correlation coefficient ofR2 = .72 and a p-value =0.03 (See Table 4-13). The

model indicated that the summed gender diversity training score (p=0.01), sexual

orientation diversity training score (p=0.03), and professional peer environment (p=0.01)

all significantly contributed to the overall R2 value, and therefore, the individual-level

outcome variable. Also, the model indicated that the professional development variable

(p=0.17), the summed race diversity training score (p=0.50), and the client peer

environment variable (p=0.98) did not significantly contribute to the overall R2 value, and

therefore, the individual-level outcome variable.

Table 4-13. Multiple regression model four; the relationship between peer environment,
client environment, professional development, gender diversity training, race
diversity training, and sexual orientation diversity training with organizational
support for LGBT adolescents at the individual level, Alachua County,
Florida, 2006.
MODEL SUMMARY 1
Model R R Adjusted Std. Error of the Estimate Significance
Square R Square
4 .851a .72 .54 2.98 p = .033
a. Predictors: Peer environment, client environment, professional development, gender diversity training,
race diversity training, and sexual orientation diversity training









Table 4-14. Regression summary for model four; the relationship peer environment,
client environment, professional development, gender diversity training, race
diversity training, and sexual orientation diversity training with organizational
support for LGBT adolescents at the individual level.
COEFFICIENTS a
Unstandardized Standardized
Coefficients Coefficients
Model Variable B Std. Error Beta t Sig. (p-value)
(Constant) .311 .071 .945
4 PROFDEV .283 .192 1.09 1.47 .174
GENSUM 1.91 .607 .420 3.14 .012
RACESUM -.230 .322 -.028 -.710 .496
LGBTSUM -1.35 .537 -.258 -2.51 .033
PROFPEER .814 .258 .072 3.16 .012
CLIPEER -.007 .236 -.001 -.030 .977
a. Dependent variable: Individual organizational support for LGBT adolescents
*compare to alpha < .05

Table 4-15. Correlations among independent variables to test for multicollinearity,
Alachua County, Florida, 2006.
Correlation matrix among independent variables in relation to organizational support for
LGBT adolescents
Variable PROVDEV GENSUM RACESUM LGBT PROFPEER CLIPEER ORGS
SUM UP
PROVDEV 1.0 -.116 -.211 -.077 .230 -.180 .211
GENSUM -.116 1.0 .513 .940 -.324 -.302 .111
RACESUM -.211 .513 1.0 .507 .272 .276 .699
LGBTSUM -.077 .940 .507 1.0 -.220 -.320 .104
PROFPEER .230 -.324 .271 -.220 1.0 .103 .727
CLIPEER -.180 -.302 .276 -.320 .103 1.0 .185
ORGSUP .211 .111 .699 .105 .727 .185 1.0

I tested for multicollinearity (See Table 4-15). The summed gender diversity

training score (GENSUM) and the sexual orientation diversity training score

(LGBTSUM) were highly correlated with each other (r2=0.94). Multicollinearity refers to

linear inter-correlation among variables (Sheskin, 2004). If nominally "different"

measures actually quantify the same phenomenon to a significant degree (i.e.= when the

variables have different names and perhaps employ different numeric measurement scales

but correlate highly with each other), they are redundant. The redundancy produces an

"overfit" in regression analysis models. The best regression models are those in which the









predictor variables each correlate highly with the dependent (outcome) variable, but

correlate minimally with each other. Therefore, from this point forward, I collapsed these

two variables into one (GENLGBT) to eliminate multicollinearity.

The penultimate model I ran used the specific diversity training variables for race,

the combined variable for gender and sexual orientation (GENLGBT, RACESUM),

professional development variable (PRDEVTO), the number of professional

organizations participants belong to (PROFORG), as well as the collapsed data from the

previous model for peer environments (PROFPEER and CLIPEER). A mean replacement

multiple regression resulted in a model with a multiple correlation coefficient of R2 = .89

and a p-value =0.001 (See Table 4-16). The model indicated that the summed racial

diversity training score (p=0.03 and professional peer environment (p=0.01) are both

significantly contributing to the overall R2 value, and therefore, the organizational-level

outcome variable. Also, the model indicated that the professional development variable

(p=0.07) and the number of professional organizations (p=0.09) were not significantly

contributing to the overall R2 value, but were close and still worth discussing. The

summed gender and sexual orientation diversity training score (p=0.88) and the client

peer environment variable (p=0.94) did not significantly contribute to the overall R2

value, and therefore, the organizational-level outcome variable (See Table 4-17).

Table 4-16. Multiple regression model five; the relationship between professional
organizations, professional development, race diversity training, peer
environment, client environment, and gender/sexual orientation diversity
training with organizational support for LGBT adolescents at the
organizational level, Alachua County, Florida, 2006.
MODEL SUMMARY 1
Model R R Adjusted R Std. Error of the Significance
Square Square Estimate
5 .947a .90 .83 3.61 p =.001
a. Predictors: Professional organizations, professional development, race diversity training, peer environment, client
environment, and gender/sexual orientation diversity training









Table 4-17. Regression summary for model five; the relationship between professional
organizations, professional development, race diversity training, peer
environment, client environment, and gender/sexual orientation diversity
training with organizational support for LGBT adolescents at the
organizational level, Alachua County, Florida, 2006.
COEFFICIENTS a
Unstandardized Standardized
Coefficients Coefficients
Model Variable B Std. Error Beta t Sig. (p-value)
(Constant) 19.25 3.50 .007
5 PROFORG .246 .118 1.78 2.08 .067
PROFDEV .220 .118 1.69 1.88 .092
RACESUM .534 .208 .132 2.57 .030
PROFPEER .515 .148 .091 3.47 .007
CLIPEER .011 .146 .002 .078 .940
GENLGBT -.030 .193 -.006 -.157 .878
a. Dependent variable: Organizational support for LGBT adolescents
*compare to alpha < .05

The last model I ran used the specific diversity training variables for race, the

combined variable for gender and sexual orientation (GENLGBT, RACESUM),

professional development variable (PRDEVTO), the number of professional

organizations (PROFORG), as well as the collapsed data from the previous model for

peer environments (PROFPEER and CLIPEER). A mean replacement multiple regression

resulted in a model with a multiple correlation coefficient ofR2 = .45 and a p-value=0.37

(See Table 4-18). The model indicated that none of the variables in the model

significantly contributed to the outcome variable (See Table 4-19).

Table 4-18. Multiple regression model six; the relationship between professional
organizations, professional development, race diversity training, peer
environment, client environment, and gender/sexual orientation diversity
training with organizational support for LGBT adolescents at the individual
level, Alachua County, Florida, 2006.
MODEL SUMMARY 1
Model R R Adjusted Std. Error of the Estimate Significance
Square R Square
6 .672a .45 .08 6.38 p =.370
a. Predictors: Professional organizations, professional development, race diversity training, peer
environment, client environment, and gender/sexual orientation diversity training









Table 4-19. Regression summary for model six; the relationship between professional
organizations, professional development, race diversity training, peer
environment, client environment, and gender/sexual orientation diversity
training with organizational support for LGBT adolescents at the individual
level, Alachua County, Florida, 2006.
COEFFICIENTS a
Unstandardized Standardized
Coefficients Coefficients
Model Variable B Std. Error Beta t Sig. (p-value)
(Constant) 4.66 .730 .483
6 PROFORG .026 .273 .095 .096 .926
PROFDEV .300 .271 1.15 1.10 .298
RACESUM -.012 .481 -.001 -.025 .980
PROFPEER .527 .343 .047 1.54 .159
CLIPEER -.076 .339 -.007 -.224 .827
GENLGBT .329 .447 .034 .735 .481
a. Dependent variable: Individual organizational support for LGBT adolescents
*compare to alpha < .05

The number of professional organizations (p=0.93), the professional development

variable (p=0.30), the summed racial diversity training score (p=0.98), the professional

peer environment (p=0.16), the summed gender and sexual orientation diversity training

score (p=0.48) and the client peer environment variable (p=0.83) did not significantly

contribute to the overall R2 value, and therefore, the individual-level outcome variable.

LGBT Training and Importance

Lastly, I wanted to specifically present the raw data for the diversity training

section on sexual orientation, as it presents more genuine information than the regression

models. I discuss the implications of these figures in chapter 5.











# of
Participants


1 2 3


45


Scalar Responses

1 =none/5=allI
Figure 4-3. How much of the content of the most recent diversity training for participants
dealt with LGBT issues.


# of Participants


1 2 3 4 5


Scalar Responses

S1=not very importantl5=very important

Figure 4-4. How important participants felt the issue of sexual orientation was in
diversity training.


_II __


n











16
114
14

a 12
M 10



44
4


0
2-


Specific training on LGBT issues

no training m training

Figure 4-5. How many participants received specific training on LGBT issues in current
job.

*All four participants received training that is unsupportive of LGBT adolescents

In summary, I ran three Mann-Whitney U tests and determined the 44 organizations

who responded from the initial census were significantly different in terms of level of

youth involvement, low, medium, and high. Next, I ran a Kruskal-Wallis Test, the

nonparametric alternative to one-way ANOVA, and determined the medians differed

among the three groups, high, medium, and low levels of youth involvement. I also ran

the Mann-Whitney U test and determined the organizations are not significantly different

in terms of organizational support for LGBT adolescents. Three regression models were

used to explore the association between independent variables, and between the

independent and dependent variables. The models used examined the variables at both

the individual and organizational level. The last model was significant, with peer

environment and the racial diversity score as the most significant contributing factors to

the model.














CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION

The ultimate goal of this study is to understand how to create institutional change

to better support LGBT adolescents by identifying the underlying mechanisms or

processes by which this change can occur. This study examined youth-serving

organizations in Alachua County, Florida, to determine if these organizations differ in

terms of support of sexual minority adolescents. Independent variables include level of

youth involvement, peer and client environments, and professional development of staff

and administration in youth-serving organizations. The dependent variable is

organizational, supportive actions in reference to LGBT adolescents.

Hypothesis 1

HI: There are differences among youth-serving organizations with respect to levels

of youth involvement.

In the first phase of the research, I found significant differences between all forty-

four youth-serving organizations with respect to low, medium, and high levels of youth

involvement. I also found differences among the six cases, or organizations in the second

phase of the research. This finding is consistent with research findings that many

community-based organizations do not involve youth in decision-making and interaction

with adults, even though research shows this promotes youth and organizational

development (Camino & Zeldin, 2002; Flanagan & Faison, 2000; Zeldin, 2004a). Youth

involvement is challenging and perhaps threatening. Implementation usually requires a









shift in traditional roles among adults and youth and significant policy and programmatic

changes within youth-serving organizations (Camino, 2000; Larson, et al., 2005).

I asked two open-response questions about level of youth involvement in the

second phase of the research, questions 1 (Why or why not should adolescents be

involved in the decision-making processes of the programs and activities of your

organization?) and 2 (Why or why not should adolescents have a forum to give feedback

about the programs and activities they are involved in?). Organizations 1, 2, and 3, or the

low group, were in the low level of youth involvement category and all of the responses

from these organizations to the open-response questions about youth involvement

reflected the low scores. Participants in organization 1 gave responses such as "this helps

the organization get into the adolescent mind" and "it gives youth a voice and

ownership." Some also stated that adolescents "should not necessarily have final

decision-making authority, but input is good to have" and "too many voices ruin

decision-making." Participants in organization 2 stated that that "giving youth a voice

allows the organization to better meet its goals", but added that "this voice should be

limited" and "decision-making should only be allowed if it is something the youth can

do." All participants in organization 3 stated that "it is important to know if programs and

activities are meeting adolescent needs," but also said that "adolescents should only be

involved in decision-making if it is something adolescents can do," "adolescents should

not make decisions about how to spend money," and "it is hard to trust adolescents'

thoughts on issues." Participants from this low group organization had reservations about

allowing youth to make decisions because they felt the adolescents may not have the

ability to make successful decisions or follow through properly. Consistent with research









findings, participants suggested organizations must be careful about allowing youth to

make decisions because it could ruin the organization's credibility (Camino, 2000;

Zeldin, et al., 2005a). The organizations in the low group seem to think it is a good idea

to have youth involvement, but ultimately do not implement the practice fully. These

hesitations are consistent with research findings about youth-adult partnerships which

shows many organizations believe adults make "better" decisions and have more

knowledge about how programs should be designed and implemented (Larsen, et al.,

2005; Zeldin, 2004). Also, responses from organizations in the low group are consistent

with prior research findings about youth involvement which assert youth must trust adults

and vice versa to make partnerships work (Denner, et al., 2005; Zeldin, 2004).

Organizations 4, 5, and 6, or the high group, were in the high level of youth

involvement category. They all scored high on level of youth involvement, and the

responses reflect the numerical scores. All three participants from organization 4 stated

that "adolescents' need ownership" and "more involvement means more input." Two of

the three stated that that "feedback helps the organization, too." Two of the three

participants from organization 5 stated that that "it is important to gain adolescent

perspectives" and "it is an organizational goal to teach leadership and develop decision-

making skills." Participants from organization 5 also stated "we must recognize adults

and adolescents have different perspectives." Consistent with research findings,

organization 5 appears to recognize the beneficial effects of allowing youth to participate

in programming and activities (Dworkin, et al., 2003). Also, two of the three participants

from organization 6 stated that that "feedback helps the organization, too." Two of the

three participants from organization 6 stated that that "feedback helps to get input and









ensure needs are met" and "giving adolescents decision-making ability allows the

organization to gain different cultural perspectives." The organizations in the high group

of youth involvement seemed to concur that allowing youth to be involved in decision-

making is beneficial for identity development and self-esteem. This finding is consistent

with Erikson's research (1968) which demonstrates that a healthy path to constructing a

positive self-identity in adolescence involves searching for and establishing a clear and

definite sense of who you are. Adolescents who are given a chance to govern and lead

can use this exploration to formulate a positive identity. Furthermore, these findings are

consistent with research which posits youth are successful and feel confident about

making decisions when adults believe in their abilities (Camino & Zeldin, 2002; Zeldin,

2004). For a complete summary of the responses to the open-response questions about

level of youth involvement in decision-making, see Appendix J.

Responses to the two follow-up open-response questions about youth involvement

reflect a different picture than the initial breakdown of organizations into three groups,

low, medium, and high levels of youth involvement. The organizations with low levels of

youth involvement, based on the initial instrument, may have responded in a positive way

about youth involvement because this concept is at the forefront of positive youth

development strategies. Responses given by participants from organizations 1, 2, and 3

imply that the organization supports youth involvement. Consistent with current research,

there may be obstacles or unwillingness on the part of the organization to actually allow

youth to be involved in the decision-making processes of their organizations (Camino and

Zeldin, 2002; Flanagan and Faison, 2000; Zeldin, 2004a), even though participants from

all three organizations felt this was important.









Responses of the participants from the organizations with high levels of youth

involvement, based on the initial instrument, were consistent in the first and second

phases. Participants from these organizations demonstrated that they not only say that this

is important, but that youth involvement is actually high within these organizations. It

appears as if the organizations in the high group understand the benefits of youth

involvement and are not afraid to implement this as a strategy.

Hypothesis 2

H2: There are differences among youth-serving organizations with respect to

organizational support for LGBT adolescents.

There were no significant statistical differences between youth-serving

organizations with respect to organizational supportive actions for LGBT adolescents

(p=.05). This is consistent with research that shows that youth-serving organizations tend

to exhibit a range of support to sexual minority youths (Philips and Curtis, 1997;

Schneider and Owens, 2000). Some agencies openly discriminate against them, while

others support them and advocate on their behalf. Many organizations and schools initiate

well-intentioned efforts to increase sensitivity and support, but are unable to sustain their

efforts due to competing demands, legal issues, and resistance from staff members,

clients, administrators, and the community (Mallon, 1992; Philips & Curtis, 1997;

Talburt, 2004; Underwood, 2004).

The responses to the open-response questions provided a much clearer picture of

the organizational culture with regard to sexual minority adolescents within these youth-

serving organizations. Responses to open-response format questions 30 (A group of

adolescents are engaged in a group activity. Suddenly, one adolescent yells to another,

'hey faggot, what are you doing? The recipient of that remark starts to cry. What would









your organization want you to do in this situation? Or, what is the policy of your

organization in dealing with this type of situation?), 31 (A parent voices negative concern

about an activity that dealt with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender information. The

parent has threatened to remove their child from your organization if the activity is

stopped. What would your organization do in this situation? Or, what is the policy of

your organization in dealing with this type of situation?), and 32 (If any, what kinds of

experiences have you had in your job dealing with LGBT adolescents or issues?) indicate

that the most supportive organizations (E, D, and B, respectively) gave similar responses

about why the organization is supportive of LGBT adolescents. Two of the three

participants from organization E stated that "we do not discriminate," "our organization

has values that recite 'respect for others,"' and "our organization does not advocate for

certain lifestyles, but would not discriminate either." Also, all three participants from

organization E stated that "we promote diversity and handle all adolescents with respect."

Finally, all three participants stated that "we promote diversity and handle all adolescents

with respect" in reference to how organizations can better handle LGBT adolescent

issues. More importantly, participants from organization E stated they have a national

anti-discrimination policy that includes sexual orientation.

All three participants from organization D stated that "corrective action would be

taken for both adolescents- the one who made comment and the one who is upset about

the anti-gay remark." Two of the three participants also stated that "we would be

supportive" and "it's not ok to discriminate." Finally, all three participants stated that "we

should promote understanding" and two stated that "we should train our staff and

community" in reference to how organizations can better handle LGBT adolescent issues.









Two of the three participants from organization B stated that "our organization

would want this addressed in a positive way" and "both this local and our national

organization are supportive of the LGBT population." Also, two of the three participants

stated that "we would explain to parents that this is how the program operates and they

can remove the child if necessary." Finally, all three participants stated that "we should

turn to professionals for training" and "give people tools to be more accepting," and two

stated that "we should teach tolerance" in reference to how organizations can better

handle LGBT adolescent issues.

On the other hand, responses to the same questions from the least supportive

organizations (C, A, and F respectively) were also similar. It is important to note here

these organizations were religious-based organizations. All three participants from

organization C stated that "adolescents should not make derogatory remarks," "you

should love all people regardless of sexual orientation, as Jesus would, but homosexuality

is ultimately wrong" and "if training is used for learning, it is ok, but the training would

be taught in an unsupportive way." I asked for further clarification of this point and the

participants stated "learning" meant learning the way of God and Scriptures. Participants

continued to express negative statements about homosexuality and that any education

about the topic would be taught in an unsupportive way. Finally, all three participants

stated that "we should counsel them" and "show them Scripture and what God says- that

homosexuality is wrong" and two stated that "we should find the cause of homosexual

feelings" and "love the sinner, but hate the sin" in reference to how organizations can

better handle LGBT adolescent issues. This stance sounds like a mixed message because

on the one hand the organization would counsel an LGBT person, but would ultimately









tell them what they are doing is wrong and not an acceptable way to live their life. In

reference to LGBT adolescents, this type of message could be devastating and disrupt

positive youth development.

All three participants from organization A stated that "we would correct the

statement, but we do not condone homosexuality" and "Jesus loves all people, regardless

of sexual orientation." None of the three participants commented on question 31 because

this organization would not implement an activity that supported this type of diversity

training, due to the organization's national policy. Two of the three participants stated

that "have dialogue and communication about it with staff and individual, but the

homosexual lifestyle is still not ok" in reference to how organizations can better handle

LGBT adolescent issues. Finally, participants from organization A felt there is much

violence and hatred in society towards homosexuals, but clearly stated no one from this

religious-based organization hates homosexuals, just their behavior. This stance could be

construed as a mixed message in relation to whether or not they support LGBT

adolescents. It is clear that organization A does not support this population.

Two of the three participants from organization F stated that "we do not

discriminate, but no gays are allowed" and "we do not judge others." None of the three

participants commented on question 31 because this organization would not implement

an activity that supported this type of diversity training due to the organization's national

policy. Finally, two of the three participants stated that "we should plan ahead and train

people" and "our organization supports all types of diversity except for this type" in

reference to how organizations can better handle LGBT adolescent issues. These

statements seem to promote discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Again, this









policy stands in contradiction to positive youth development. How can a youth-serving

organization promote leadership and character-building skills, while simultaneously

discriminating against a segment of the population? For a complete summary of the

responses to the open-response questions in regard to support for LGBT adolescents, see

Appendix L.

Finally, the individual-level model (the individual responses about support for

LGBT adolescents) showed no significant values for any variables in the model. This

makes sense because it shows that the individual responses did not predict individual

scores for the outcome variable. This is consistent with the premise of the research and

gives the organizational-level model more validity in that participants were wearing their

organizational hat and should have been answering on behalf of the organization.

In summary, responses to open-response format questions 30, 31, and 32 indicate

that the most supportive organizations (E, D, and B respectively) had similar responses

about why the organization is supportive of LGBT adolescents, while the least supportive

organizations (C, A, and F respectively) also had similar reasons for not supporting

LGBT adolescents. Even though these distinctions can be made, participants from all

organizations indicated "this topic is relevant to today and there is more awareness about

it now than there has been," "adolescents should not make derogatory remarks," "more

and more adolescents have friends who are LGBT" and "people should not discriminate."

The organizations differed with respect to what supporting these adolescents meant. The

religious-based organizations, or ones with a religious undertone, believe they are being

supportive of LGBT adolescents simply because they are willing to counsel and listen to

an adolescent in crisis. The conclusive message given to LGBT adolescents from these









organizations is that being LGBT is not okay or healthy. This failure to support LGBT

adolescents has also been the result of political or religious pressures within many child

welfare agencies (Mallon 1992). This seems to be the case within the youth-serving

organizations that scored on the low end of the supportive action index. Furthermore,

through the use of open-response questions, it is obvious that some religious ideas or

beliefs negatively affect the environment in youth-serving organizations in regard to

support for LGBT adolescents. These beliefs translate into discriminatory practices and

ultimately leave adolescents with low self-esteem and unhealthy resolution to their

identity development (Erikson, 1968).

Hypothesis 3

H3: High levels of professional development are positively correlated with support

for LGBT adolescents.

The level of professional development among participants and the number of

professional memberships merit discussion. Existing literature shows that professional

development has been linked to positive outcomes in many settings that involve children

and their families (DeBord & Sawyers, 1996; Ghazvini & Mullis, 2002; Grossman et al.,

2002; Norris, 2001; Phillips et al., 2001; Weaver, 2002). However, there is little evidence

that directly links staff development to improved, quality programs for adolescents

(Huebner, et al., 2003). In this study, a higher level of professional development was

found among the most supportive organizations (E and D respectively). Among the

individuals in these three organizations, five degrees were obtained in the areas of child

education, education, counseling, and youth agency administration. Organization B had

the same professional development score as organization C, but the participants in this

organization have experience working in a government youth agency and have all taken









sensitivity courses that deal with diversity, including sexual orientation. The professional

backgrounds of the participants also have an effect on their decisions and views about

LGBT adolescents. For example, in the three most supportive organizations (E, D, and B,

respectively), the combined professional experiences were within community-based

youth-serving organizations that held a commitment to diversity that included sexual

orientation (50, 57, and 21, years respectively). One could purport that professional

experience with youth development programs and agencies, coupled with an educational

background that dealt with youth development theory, leads to support for LGBT

adolescents.

The participants in the other three organizations did have some professional

development. However, within organizations C, A, and F, the professional development

was predominantly based on religion. Among the individuals in these three organizations,

ten degrees were obtained in the areas of religion, theology, or divinity. The content of

the programs studied by these individuals taught people to be unsupportive of LGBT

adolescents (See Appendix H for a complete list of degrees). Furthermore, the

professional backgrounds of the participants have an effect on their decisions and views

about LGBT adolescents. For example, in the three most unsupportive organizations (C,

A, and F), the combined professional experiences were in religious-based environments

that were unsupportive of LGBT adolescents (50, 20, and 22 years, respectively). There

seems to be a correlation between religious-based environments and lack of support for

this population.

Hypothesis 4

H4: Diversity training about LGBT issues will be positively correlated with support

for LGBT adolescents.









The results of the first regression model show that the overall diversity score is

related to support for LGBT adolescents (p=.02). However, the second model that

examined specific diversity training variables for race, gender, and sexual orientation

showed that the LGBT score was not a significant factor in the overall model, although

the race score was. I never intended for race diversity training to be a predictor in my

overall model. It was measured in conjunction with the other diversity training topics,

gender and sexual orientation.

In answering the open-response questions about reasons why diversity training

should include the different aspects of race, gender, and sexual orientation, all

organizations in the study talked about the importance of "being all-inclusive,"

"understanding cultural values and differences," and "breaking down myths and

stereotypes." All organizations mentioned they strive to serve the needs of the entire

community. Specifically, five out of six organizations stressed the importance of reaching

both the African-American and Latino/Hispanic communities. Consistent with research

findings (Bendick, et al., 2001; Buckel, 2000; Nemetz, 1996), these organizations felt that

this kind of diversity training is needed because of the changing demographic landscape

of the country.

The three most supportive organizations (E, D, and B, respectively) all stated that

including sexual orientation in diversity training is important because, as an organization,

they must serve all youth. The least supportive organizations (C, A, and F, respectively)

all agreed that LGBT issues are a relevant topic today and that they must understand

these differences. However, all three organizations do not support the homosexual

lifestyle and view it negatively. For example, participants from organization C believe









this type of lifestyle is "not healthy or balanced, and is a sin," while participants from

organization F believe everyone should "be morally straight" and should not practice this

lifestyle. For a complete list of answers to open-response questions, see Appendix K.

Analysis of the raw data at the organizational level regarding how important LGBT

issues are in diversity training illustrates a mixed picture. Intuitively, the most supportive

organizations would believe including LGBT issues in diversity training was very

important. However, this is not the case. The second and third most supportive

organizations (D and B) held the highest average for importance of including LGBT

issues in diversity training, while the third highest average was held by the second to least

supportive organization (A). The open-response questions indicate all organizations,

regardless of whether they were very or not very supportive of LGBT adolescents, feel

this training is important, but for different reasons. Again, the most supportive

organizations felt including sexual orientation as a topic is important because "we need to

support our LGBT adolescents" and "our organization needs to be all-inclusive." The less

supportive organizations felt training on this topic is important because, even if an

organization it disagrees with this lifestyle, individually people seemed to want more

information and want to be able to understand LGBT adolescents.

The analysis performed at the individual job-function level merits discussion. The

raw data for how important LGBT issues are in diversity training shows that, compared

to the other positions, board members felt these issues were most important, followed by

the executive directors/religious leaders and then youth workers, respectively (See

Appendix L for entire results table). Rynes and Rosen (1995) concluded that the factor

that was most strongly related to successful diversity training was the perception that top









management supported the diversity training. In this study, organization B, the third most

supportive organization, has openly gay and lesbian board members. Perhaps one way of

conveying support for LGBT issues in diversity training is to have a top management

team or a board that is diverse, specifically including LGBT individuals who are open

about their sexual orientation.

In addition, analysis of the raw data for questions 26 (How much of this most

recent diversity training dealt with sexual orientation issues?), 27 (How important do you

think it is to include sexual orientation in these types of diversity trainings?, and 28

(Why or why not do you think it is important to include sexual orientation in these types

of trainings) indicate that there is a discrepancy between what people want in terms of

diversity training about LGBT issues and what they actually receive. For example, as

shown in figure 4-4, more than half of the participants felt this type of training was either

"very important" or "somewhat important." Yet, as shown in figure 4-3, the majority of

participants responded that none of the content in their most recent diversity training

dealt with issues about sexual orientation. Finally, as shown in figure 4-5, only four

participants received specific training about LGBT issues in their current job. All four of

these participants come from an organization that is not only less supportive of LGBT

adolescents (C and A respectively), but also trained them to be unsupportive of this

population in that training session.

Upon further analysis, it seems as if the definition of diversity does not include

sexual orientation or LGBT individuals within the three least supportive organizations (C,

A, and F, respectively). On the surface, diversity means "all-inclusive," but responses to

the open-response questions revealed conflicting evidence. Furthermore, the results show









that the content of the diversity training is important to understanding outcomes. All

organizations had diversity training of some kind that includes LGBT issues, but not all

organizations presented this type of diversity in a positive light. Some organizations

misuse diversity training to reinforce existing prejudicial attitudes and behaviors in

regard to sexual minority adolescents. The fundamental objective of awareness training is

not to obtain knowledge of the biases that influence one's social perception or belief.

Rather, this knowledge is supposed to be translated to positive action or positive change

in the trainees' behavior related to how they treat others (Cox, 1993; Hanover, et al.,

1998; Rasumussen, 1996; Roberson, et al., 2001; Sanchez and Medkick, 2004).

Hypothesis 5

H5: Peer environments (professional peers and board members) will be positively

correlated with respect to supportive actions for sexual minority adolescents.

The results show that there is a relationship between peer environments and

organizational support for LGBT adolescents. Our peer environments affect our work-

related decisions. This is true with respect to support for LGBT adolescents. In this study,

organizations seem to make decisions based on their perception of how peers and board

members feel about support for LGBT adolescents. This finding is consistent with the

normative processes of institutional theory which asserts that organizations may adopt

certain structures and processes in order to improve the normative approval, or moral

legitimacy organizations receive (Meyer and Rowen, 1977; Scott, 1995; Suchman, 1995).

Also, participants from all organizations mentioned that they must follow the

policies and procedures set forth by their national organizations. This qualitative

information supports the coercive isomorphic process dimension within institutional

theory. This type of process results from both formal and informal pressures exerted on









organizations by other organizations upon which they are dependent and cultural

expectations in the society within which organizations function (DiMaggio and Powell,

1991). These forces serve to legitimize an organization.

Another finding that addresses institutional theory was that participants from

several organizations did mention the issue of funding in regard to why they would or

would not support LGBT adolescents openly. For example, on paper, organization D was

the second-most supportive organization. However, participants from this organization

also stated funding sources are an issue to think about, whether it was in reference to

federal funds, foundation money, or parents. They stated that if enough parents called,

complained and pulled an adolescent from their program because their children had

participated in a diversity exercise that included LGBT issues, the organization might

rethink including that aspect of the program. Participants from the most supportive

organization (E) actually said they received more funding from outside sources because

they were supportive of this population. This may be a sign that things are starting to

change and that funding sources will continue to support organizations that support

LGBT adolescents.

A few results merit discussion after analyzing the raw data about peer

environments from a job-function perspective. Compared to the youth workers and

executive directors/religious leaders, board members on average scored highest in regards

to peer environments one and two (peers and other board members). This is worth noting

because it implies that board members' perceptions of how their peers and other board

members feel about support for LGBT adolescents affects the organizational-level policy

and program decisions they make about LGBT adolescents. It is evident that