Preferred Name


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Tammy Gilligan

Tiffany Hornsby

Deborah Kipps-Vaughan


LGBTQ+ students experience a myriad of difficulties associated specifically with their sexual or gender minority status. The current body of research has focused on negative outcomes of these difficulties, while there is a dearth of research into how schools can position stakeholders to support these students. Teachers often serve as consistent, direct points of contact for students in schools. As such, this study aims to explore teacher candidates’ sense of professional self-efficacy and its relationship with their confidence in supporting LGBTQ+ students in three ways: individual interventions, developing their own knowledge and skills, and systems-level advocacy. Teacher candidates were surveyed anonymously to gauge their feelings of professional self-efficacy and confidence in implementing a variety of best practices in supporting LGBTQ+ students. Results yielded a moderate positive relationship between teacher self-efficacy and confidence in supporting LGBTQ+ students, though results were nonsignificant and cannot be generalized to the population of student teachers. Post-hoc analyses resulted in a greater sense of confidence among the sample in developing their own skills and knowledge of working with LGBTQ+ students than engaging in systems-level advocacy. Implications of these findings indicate that working with new teachers to foster their sense of professional self-efficacy and empower their confidence may better position them to implement best practices with and support LGBTQ+ students. School psychologists are uniquely positioned to engage in this work through developing consultative relationships with new teachers, providing relevant and evidence-based professional developments, and collaborating with administration and other mental health staff in schools to support LGBTQ+ students from a team perspective.



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