Predicting psychosocial consequences of homophobic victimization in middle school students

V. Paul Poteat, Dorothy L. Espelage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This investigation examined the extent to which homophobic victimization predicted multiple indicators of psychological and social distress for middle school students (n = 143) during a 1-year assessment period. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that homophobic victimization significantly predicted increased anxiety and depression, personal distress, and lower sense of school belonging in males and higher levels of withdrawal in females after controlling for previously reported levels of each variable. Results suggest that being the target of homophobic victimization has significant psychological and social consequences for students, although differentially for males and females. Although use of such content may occur within peer groups and appear to be harmless banter between friends, teachers and administrators should intervene during these occurrences, and school policies and programming should specifically address and seek to decrease this social problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-191
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Bullying
  • Homophobia
  • Middle school students
  • Victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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