Martin-Storey A, Santo J, Recchia HE, Chilliak S, Caetano Nardi E, Moreira Da Cunha J. (2021) Gender minoritized students and academic engagement in Brazilian adolescents: Risk and protective factors. Journal of School Psychology. 86, 120-132.
Gender minoritized students experience unique challenges in their school environments that may have consequences for their educational outcomes, including academic engagement. The goal of the current study was to understand the association between gender identity and academic engagement among adolescents attending public high schools in Paraná, Brazil (N = 10,828). In particular, student perceptions of student-teacher relationships, school rule fairness and clarity, school-wide academic engagement, and peer victimization were examined as four facilitator/barrier factors that may account for lower levels of academic engagement for gender minoritized students as compared to their cisgender peers, and these processes were tested for differences across race/ethnicity. Public high school students (ages 12–18 years) completed an in-class survey assessing their gender identities, perceptions of the school environment, and academic engagement. Gender minoritized students reported significantly lower levels of academic engagement as compared to their cisgender peers. They also reported less clear and fair school rules, lower levels of school-wide academic engagement, and higher levels of victimization. These facilitator/barrier variables partially accounted for the lower levels of academic engagement reported by gender minoritized students. No significant differences were observed for gender identity according to race/ethnicity. These findings suggest that facilitators/barriers that account for academic engagement for students in general partially explain gender identity-related disparities, and the implications for school psychologists are discussed.