Students from sexual minorities generally describe Higher Education contexts as unwelcoming and chilly environments. Based on the Minority Stress theory, these disparities in climate perceptions may lead sexual minority students to negative health and academic outcomes. To date, research documenting the experience of sexual minority students within European Higher Education Institutions is limited. Framed within campus climate literature, the current study aimed to expand on previous knowledge by investigating the associations between sexual minority status, students’ perceptions of campus climate and psychological (i.e., anxiety–depression), and academic outcomes (i.e., intellectual and academic success and considering leaving the university) using a self-selected sample of 868 Italian university students (17.9% sexual minority students). The results showed that sexual minority status was associated with negative perceptions of campus climate, which, in turn, were associated with higher levels of anxiety–depression symptoms, lowered academic success, and a high probability of considering leaving university. Further research is needed to investigate the experience of sexual minority students within European Higher Education contexts and to explore possible actions that could contribute to fostering a greater sense of belonging to the campus community for all students, and particularly for students from sexual minority groups.

Sexual Minority Status, Anxiety–Depression, and Academic Outcomes: The Role of Campus Climate Perceptions among Italian Higher Education Students

Anna Lisa Amodeo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Dario Bacchini
2020

Abstract

Students from sexual minorities generally describe Higher Education contexts as unwelcoming and chilly environments. Based on the Minority Stress theory, these disparities in climate perceptions may lead sexual minority students to negative health and academic outcomes. To date, research documenting the experience of sexual minority students within European Higher Education Institutions is limited. Framed within campus climate literature, the current study aimed to expand on previous knowledge by investigating the associations between sexual minority status, students’ perceptions of campus climate and psychological (i.e., anxiety–depression), and academic outcomes (i.e., intellectual and academic success and considering leaving the university) using a self-selected sample of 868 Italian university students (17.9% sexual minority students). The results showed that sexual minority status was associated with negative perceptions of campus climate, which, in turn, were associated with higher levels of anxiety–depression symptoms, lowered academic success, and a high probability of considering leaving university. Further research is needed to investigate the experience of sexual minority students within European Higher Education contexts and to explore possible actions that could contribute to fostering a greater sense of belonging to the campus community for all students, and particularly for students from sexual minority groups.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/895560
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