Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 28, Issue 9, pp 2467–2476 | Cite as

Minority Stress Among Transgender Adolescents: The Role of Peer Victimization, School Belonging, and Ethnicity

  • Tyler HatchelEmail author
  • Alberto Valido
  • Kris T. De Pedro
  • Yuanhong Huang
  • Dorothy L. Espelage
Original Paper


Transgender youth peer relations is understudied when compared to lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth (LGB). Likewise, transgender youth of color (YOC) are also understudied given the difficulties associated with accessing the sample. This study examines the relations among peer victimization, school belonging, and mental health with an ethnically diverse sample of transgender adolescents (N = 4778). Invariance testing and structural equation modeling were employed to explore these relations as well as the potential moderating role of ethnic minority status. Findings demonstrate that an alarming number of transgender youth were exposed to victimization and that victimization predicted mental health issues like suicidal ideation. Furthermore, analyses showed that peer victimization was associated with diminished school belonging. School belonging was associated with better mental health and appeared to mediate the relation between victimization and mental health issues. Ethnic minority status did not moderate these associations. Implications for research are discussed.


Gender nonconformity Suicide Suicidality Depression LGBT Intersectionality 


Author Contributions

T.H. conceptualized the paper and completed analyses of the data. A.V. completed and authored the methods section. K.T.D.P. authored the introduction section. Y.H. authored the discussion section. D.L.E. offered direction and editing of the paper.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

There was no IRB approval concerning this study since the data are public and the authors completed secondary analyses (see for more information).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.College of Educational StudiesChapman UniversityOrangeUSA

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