Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Brroklyn Sapozhnikov



The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) youth population is growing, and it is important that the social work field is prepared to serve this population. There is a lack of data regarding LGBTQ youth due to discriminatory practices that encouraged them to remain closeted or not share their gender identity/sexual orientation. Today youth are feeling more empowered to self-identify as LGBTQ and it is important that Master of Social Work (MSW) students going into the field be prepared to work with this population. This is an exploratory study guided by the critical theory paradigm that aims to capture how prepared MSW students are to work with LGBTQ youth. This quantitative study examines the perception, bias, knowledge, and preparedness of MSW students to work with LGBTQ youth. The researcher used an online program, Qualtrics to survey a total of 50 current MSW students at one research site. There data collected was analyzed using SPSS software. Results indicate that MSW students have a positive perception of LGBTQ youth, their level of bias is minimal, and they have a working knowledge of this population, yet they feel inadequately prepared to serve LGBTQ youth. Implications on both the micro and macro level are discussed. On the micro level MSW professors are encouraged to include more LGBTQ references and knowledge in the courses offered in the MSW program. On the macro level more research needs to be conducted to understand the specific needs and struggles of the LGBTQ youth and how to best prepare students to meet the needs of this vulnerable population.

Included in

Social Work Commons