Sexual Minority School Psychologists’ Perceptions of School Climate and Professional Commitment

  • Cliff Yung-Chi ChenEmail author
  • Maria M. Hernando
  • Andrea Panebianco


Research has suggested that LGBTQ individuals experience discrimination in their workplace and hostile work climate may affect their job effectiveness, satisfaction, and retention. However, research on LGBTQ educators’ and school staff’s experiences in schools is limited. This study investigated sexual minority school psychologists’ perceptions of their workplace climate and professional commitment. Eighty-eight LGBTQ school psychologists in the United States completed a school climate survey online that asked their experiences regarding homophobia/transphobia in the schools, legal protection of civil rights, school policies of bullying language, and coming out. The results indicated that discriminatory remarks against LGBTQ people are prevalent in the schools. A good number of LGBTQ school psychologists do not feel comfortable being “out” at their schools due to fear that their employment would be at risk if they did so. LGBTQ school psychologists of color, early career LGBTQ school psychologists, and those who work in the rural areas face more challenges in their workplace than their counterparts who are white and work in big or mid-sized cities. The findings highlight the importance of legal protection and school administrative support in creating positive school climate for LGBTQ individuals in schools. Implications are discussed.


LGBTQ School psychologist School climate Workplace Professional commitment 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The IRB review board at the City University of New York approved this research.

Supplementary material

13178_2019_376_MOESM1_ESM.docx (106 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 106 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Educational and Community ProgramsQueens College of the City University of New YorkFlushingUSA
  2. 2.New York City Department of EducationNew York CityUSA

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