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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Foundations and Multicultural Education

First Advisor

Fred Muskal

First Committee Member

David Baral

Second Committee Member

Becky Beal

Third Committee Member

Mari Irvin

Fourth Committee Member

Marilyn Draheim


This study provides insight into the lives of stigmatized people by describing the effects of stigma on minority identity development. The stigmatization of certain groups within the school perpetuates the physical and psychological abuse outside in society. Because gay people are more at-risk for overt displays of stigmatization than most minority groups in our society, this study chose to investigate adolescent homosexual identity and the effects of stigma in their lives. This dissertation presents the findings of a qualitative study of approximately fifty, self-identified, gay male, lesbian, and bisexual youth in an urban setting. The study was conducted by the author between July 1993 and August 1994. Analysis focused on the role of stigma and stigma-management techniques on adolescent gay male, lesbian and bisexual identity. Findings revealed variations on how gay youth experience the developmental tasks of adolescence, the stages of homosexual identity development, and membership in ethnic minority communities. The participants in the study made suggestions for reforming the educational process in order to create a more tolerant school environment for gay teenagers. Within the limits imposed by a qualitative methodology employed, these findings have several implications for teaching, education policy, and the development of new theory.




9780599130722 , 0599130725

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