Friday, October 2, 2015

Sharing Research with Scholars at APA Convention

The American Psychological Association (APA), founded in 1892, is the oldest and largest leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the US. Each year, their annual convention attracts thousands of psychologists, researchers, and graduate students who share knowledge and engage in continuing education presentations. 

In collaboration with graduate counseling students and research faculty from University of Miami, School of Education & Human Development, YES Institute staff have been working on two manuscripts. One paper focuses on attitudes toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) adults in the workplace, while the other paper focuses on attitudes toward LGBT students in schools. Both of these papers were accepted as poster presentations at the 2015 APA Convention in Toronto, Canada. 
Joseph Zolobczuk, Daniel Sheridan, and Kiet Huynh. 
The first paper, "Discrimination Against LGBT People: Differences Across Human Service Occupations" compares survey responses across four primary groups of professionals: educators, therapists, medical personnel, and nonprofit employees. We found that education professionals were most likely to witness LGBT verbal and physical harassment, felt least prepared to respond or address these topics – yet were most likely to speak up against sexual orientation and gender identity bullying. Mental health professionals were most likely to attend talks on sexual orientation and gender identity and felt most comfortable with transgender individuals. Authors include Kiet D. Huynh, M.A., Daniel J. Sheridan, M.S.Ed., Debbiesiu L. Lee, Ph.D. (University of Miami); Joseph Zolobczuk, M.S.Ed. (YES Institute).

Workplace LGBT research is of growing interest in the US, particularly as this past summer the EEOC has ruled that workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is illegal under federal law. Identifying particular human service occupations exhibiting discriminatory LGBT environments will allow researchers and workplace equality advocates to focus on human service occupations most in need of intervention, training, and education on sexual orientation and gender identity topics. 

The second paper, "Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity-Based Bullying: Differences Across Levels of Education" compares survey responses across elementary, middle, high school, undergraduate and graduate cohorts of students. Knowledge of potential differences across education levels is important because it can allow researchers, schools, and community agencies to better target students most in need of education on gender and sexual orientation topics as a means of curtailing LGBT harassment, thereby decreasing the detrimental outcomes for LGBT youth within those settings. Authors include Ariel A. Gonzalez, M.A., Daniel J. Sheridan, M.S.Ed., Debbiesiu L. Lee, Ph.D. (University of Miami); Joseph Zolobczuk, M.S.Ed. (YES Institute). 

School bullying in general, and school LGBT-based bullying specifically, remain a persistent problem in US classrooms. Research findings collected by the CDC reveal the mental and physical health impact anti-LGBT bullying has on students

Potential student interns interested in research and community-based service learning can contact YES Institute about available opportunities at 305-663-7195 (weekdays 9am-5pm) or you can fill out an intern application online

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Written by Joseph Zolobczuk.

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