Australian psychologists’ understandings in relation to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and intersex (LGBTQI) high school students’ experience of bullying, ‘inclusive’ service delivery, and the impact of ‘heteronormativity’.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Ten percent of high school students identify as LGBTQI and often experience very high rates of sexual/gender diversity bullying, negatively impacting their academic engagement and mental health outcomes. Evidence suggests these bullying rates are increasing worldwide, with the Australian experience exacerbated by recent Marriage Equality Plebiscite backlash, and regressive educational bullying intervention policy changes. In response to increased calls for psychological service support, the APS and industry experts have recommended psychologists develop their reflexivity regarding LGBTQI
clients; practice inclusively; and situate LGBTQI youth’s experience within the wider social context. Psychologists’ understandings regarding these issues and
recommendations are currently untapped. To contribute to the knowledge base, the understandings of 10 psychologists currently working with adolescents were explored, via semi-structured interviews utilising Foucauldian Discourse Analysis. Findings revealed Australian-trained psychologists lack exposure to LGBTQI inclusive educational discourses, hampering capacity to understand students’ experience, and practice inclusively. Participants were challenged to identify and theoretically explain structural drivers of LGBTQI identity based discrimination, such as heteronormativity, leaving them unable to situate students’ experience within the wider social context. Compounding these
incapacities, findings suggested psychologists are inadequately trained in reflexive practice in ways that engage them on a personal, theoretical, and professional level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-29
Number of pages24
JournalAustralian Community Psychologist: The official journal of the APS College Of Community Psychologists
Volume30
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

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