Date Approved

9-12-2018

Embargo Period

9-12-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MA Higher Education

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Sisco, Burton R.

Second Advisor

Walpole, MaryBeth

Subject(s)

Sexual orientation; Anxiety in adolescence; College students

Disciplines

Higher Education

Abstract

The primary purpose of this study was to explore and assess student sexual identity development on college students, in particular sophomore, junior, and senior students at Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ in the spring 2018 semester. The study also investigated the impact of demographic factors and other variables such as gender, ethnicity, and social life. The instrument used to assess students' anxiety levels and attitudes toward sexual orientation was adapted from two surveys used in previous studies, one about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) and gender development, as well as student anxiety. It was assessed with survey questions created by me and influenced by the Campus Climate Survey for LGBTQ Issues (2012). Anxiety was assessed with the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item (GAD-7) scale. The 7-item anxiety scale, the GAD-7, is a useful tool with substantial validity for identifying probable cases of GAD. Data analysis suggests that selected sophomore, junior, and senior students reported being comfortable around LGBTQ individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. In regard to student experiences students reported to have a positive experience at Rowan University with policies and practices as it related to sexual orientation.

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