, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 1415-1428
Date: 25 Nov 2009

Correlates of Gender Dysphoria in Taiwanese University Students

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Abstract

There have been no published reports regarding the epidemiological and psychiatric features of gender dysphoria in non-clinical young adults. The current study aimed to investigate the demographics, co-occurring psychiatric symptoms, and perceived parenting style and family support in Taiwanese young adults with gender dysphoria. The sample consisted of 5010 university freshmen (male, 51.6%) with a mean age of 19.6 years (SD = 2.7) from a national university in Taiwan. The questionnaires used for this university-based survey included the Adult Self Report Inventory-4 for psychopathology (including gender dysphoria), the Parental Bonding Instrument for parenting style, and the Family APGAR for perceived family support. Results showed that gender dysphoria was more prevalent in females (7.3%) than males (1.9%). Young adults with gender dysphoria were more likely to meet a wide but specific range of co-occurring psychiatric symptoms. The most significantly associated symptoms for males were agoraphobia, hypochondriasis, manic episode, and pathological gambling, and for females dissociative disorder, hypochondriasis, and body dysmorphic disorder. Both males and females with gender dysphoria perceived significantly less support from their families and less affection/care from both parents. Findings suggest that gender dysphoria, associated with a specific range of psychopathology and family/parenting dissatisfaction (with both similar and dissimilar patterns between sexes), is not uncommon in Taiwanese university students, particularly in females. This implies the importance of attention and specific measures to offset psychiatric conditions and to promote mental well-being of this population.