Born Brave Experiences Study

September 25, 2014


Born Brave Experiences Research: Overview


Some Initial Results from the Born Brave Experiences Research

BBEBorn This Way Involvement

  • We created a variable called BTWF involvement, which assessed the level of involvement in Born Brave Experiences: Born Brave Bus, Born This Way Ball, Planned to attend the Born This Way Ball that was cancelled, Born This Way Foundation website, member of a Born Brave Nation, and BWTF volunteer.
  • Individuals who only participated in one BTWF event had significantly lower Kindness and Bravery total scores compared to those who participated in 2, 3, or 4 activities (F(4, 1287) = 8.19, p = .000)
  • Respondents who participated in two, three, or four Born Brave Experiences (Born This Way Ball, Born Brave Bus, Born Brave Nation, and Born This Way Foundation website) had significantly higher kinder and braver scores than respondents who only participated in one activity.
  • So, there is an additive effect from participating in Born Brave Experiences on kindness and bravery.


Impact of the Born Brave Bus

  • Individuals who attended the Born Brave Bus were more likely to state that they would take the values of kindness (F(2342) = 20.36, p = .000) and bravery (F(2342 = 44.39, p = .000) to their homes, schools and communities
  • Individuals who went to the Born Brave Bus had higher opinions of the partners than individuals who were familiar with the Foundation’s work but who did not attend the BBBT (p = .000)
  • Individuals who went to the Born Brave bus had significantly higher knowledge of the partners than individuals who were familiar with the Foundation’s work but who did not attend the BBBT (p = .000)


Seeking Mental Health Treatment

  • Talking on the phone is the least-preferred form of help-seeking regardless of gender, grade, sexual orientation, anxiety or depression scores. While telephone hotlines are important, they may not meet the needs of all individuals who want to seek help. Providing alternative forms of seeking help is critical to serving the mental health needs of all
  • Junior high and high school students prefer electronic communication compared to college or post-college individuals, who prefer to talk face-to-face. Individuals who identify as a gender other than male/female prefer online or text messaging over phone or talking in person.
  • Males who are depressed and females who experience mild depression prefer to talk in-person while highly depressed females prefer electronic communication; and other genders who are highly depressed prefer electronic communication.


Sexual Orientation and Body Image Perceptions

  • Youth (ages of 13 – 25) who question their sexual orientation had lower body image satisfaction scores than participants who identified as heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual/queer; particularly when compared to heterosexual participants.
  • While several factors impact body image dissatisfaction, the Born Brave Experiences Survey Version 2.0 – Youth and Young Adult, (ages 13 – 25, n = 5,095) found that sexual orientation, particularly for individuals identifying as questioning, had a significant impact on body image, with questioning individuals reporting lower body image perceptions. Interventions that address body image are important to consider when working with individuals who are questioning their sexual orientation.


School Climate and Positive Support

  • Positive school climate is related to mental wellness. The Born Brave Experiences Survey Version 2.0 – Youth, 2014 (ages 13-18, n = 817), found that as a students’ perceptions of their school climate increased, their levels of depression decreased.
  • Students who selected ‘I prefer not to disclose’ when asked about their sexual orientation displayed lower perceptions of school climate, suggesting that a supportive school climate is critical for students’ sense of safety and comfort.


Sexual Orientation and Bullying/Victimization

  • Sexual orientation alone does not account for involvement in bullying and victimization and negative outcomes associated with these experiences. A cluster analysis from the Born Brave Experiences Version 2.0 Young Adult survey (ages 19 – 25, n= 1,076) revealed that sexual orientation was the most important predictor for determining group membership


Problem Solving and Depression

  • Both youth, ages 13 – 18, and young adults, ages 19 – 25, who demonstrated a high ability to problem solve displayed lower levels of depression. Effective problem-solving skills can help reduce depressive symptoms.


Online Behavior and Victimization

  • Youth and young adults who spent an increased amount of time using online and social media services reported higher amounts of verbal victimization. Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram are the top three most used social media sites among our participants, ages 13-25.


What do Youth Need in Order to Build a Kinder/Bravery World?

Data from the Born Brave Experiences research suggest that youth need:

  • Opportunities for involvement in activities,
  • Access to mental health supports,
  • Access to inspirational events,
  • Support to use difficult experiences for positive change (aka, the “Gaga Effect”),
  • Hope,
  • Self-esteem,
  • Social-emotional skills, and
  • Encouragement of self-expression.


Some qualitative comments

  • Born Brave Experiences has put a face on the bullied, and it really opened my eyes.
  • Born Brave Experience and Lady Gaga has shown me that I am not the only one and there are many others going through the similar struggles, which made me feel more inspired and brave.
  • Born This Way Foundation is giving me courage that I can be myself
  • Born Brave gives me hope. Hope that I can believe myself worthy of things.
  • Lady Gaga and the Born This Way Foundation give me the support I need and make believe in myself.
  • Lady Gaga and the whole Born This Way experience always taught me to be brave even though sometimes I just can’t find the bravery to get through some situations but I’m trying my best EVERYDAY so I will always be thankful to Lady Gaga for that. I mean, I wasn’t brave at all. I couldn’t make a phone call. Today, I can say I am braver than I used to be.
  • The last few months have been even more stressful and hard than I was expecting. Thanks to Gaga and the BTWF I have really started to become the person that I want to be. I try to find inspiration to love myself more and become brave enough to step out of my comfort zone and do what I really want to do.
  • Now, I’m not afraid to speak up for those who can’t speak and am fully committed to build a better generation. I speak up for those who are getting bullied.
  • I learned that there are more people like me. I am not alone and feel like there is a community which has my back. If people don’t accept the way I am or express myself, I always can rely on that community
  • The Born Brave Experience definitely helped me be brave enough to open up more to my friends and family members — I have told my parents and a handful of my closest friends over the course of the past year or so that I’m bisexual… something I was terrified to even admit to myself for a while, because of thinking about how others would react to it. The Born This Way Foundation and the Born Brave Experience has really reminded me that it’s okay to be honest and open with others about who we are, including ourselves. We need brave people in this world or we would never make progress. And I know how difficult it is to live with a secret like that for so long and just not be able to tell anyone; it eats away at you. It made me anxious and possibly made me slightly depressed. I felt suppressed in my own skin… like I wasn’t free to be myself. And now that the people closest to me know more about me, and they’re just as supportive and understanding and loving as ever, I’m able to feel more confident about other aspects of myself too. Bravery is a wonderful thing!


Learn More About the Study:

The Born Brave Experiences Research is a series of studies focused on improving our understanding of the factors that influence youth engagement, mental health, and emotional well-being. Grounded in existing psychological research, the studies are designed to identify the conditions that empower young people to live their best lives and to improve the services and resources available to them online and offline. Working with partners around the country and with youth themselves, the research is used promote kindness and bravery in schools, homes, and communities.


Be Part of The Study! Take the 2016 Survey!

Your voice is crucial to making this research a success. Join us by taking the 2016 Born Brave Experiences survey here.

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