The Mediating Role of Self-Efficacy on the Relationship between High School Teachers’ Knowledge about Homosexuality and Their Supportive Behaviours towards Homosexual Students
Keywords:homosexual orientation, knowledge about homosexuality, self-efficacy, supportive behaviours, high school teachers
AbstractThe goal of this study was to examine high school teachers’ knowledge about homosexuality and determine if there is a relationship between said knowledge, self-efficacy and the frequency in which they support homosexual students. The study was conducted online, on 267 high-school teachers. We used the Knowledge of Homosexual Orientation Scale, the Self-efficacy in Working with Homosexual Students Scale and The Supportive Behaviours towards Homosexual Students Scale. The results show that high school teachers’ knowledge about homosexual orientation is moderate. They also frequently choose the “I don’t know” option instead of the wrong one. Furthermore, teachers rarely tend to involve themselves in supportive behaviours and their self-efficacy level is only moderate. Their self-efficacy in their ability to deal with situations of peer violence based on sexual orientation is greater than their feeling of confidence in teaching about homosexuality. Knowledge and both self-efficacy factors significantly predict the frequency of teachers’ tendency to involve themselves in supportive behaviours. Teachers with better knowledge about homosexuality are also more involved in supportive behaviours towards homosexual students, but that relationship is partly mediated by their greater self-efficacy in teaching about homosexuality and not by their confidence in dealing with situations of peer violence based on sexual orientation. Results show both knowledge and self-efficacy have an important role in the display of high school teachers’ supportive behaviours for homosexual students, who are very much in need of social support.