The Impact of Discrimination on the Mental Health of Trans*Female Youth and the Protective Effect of Parental Support
- 1k Downloads
Significant health disparities exist for transgender female (trans*female) youth. We assessed differences in mental health outcomes based on exposure to discrimination among transgender female youth in the San Francisco Bay Area aged 16–24 years. Youth were recruited using a combination of respondent driven sampling with online and social media methods. Logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios for the mental health outcomes, comparing levels of discrimination and levels of resiliency promoting protective factors among sexually active youth in the sample (N = 216). High transgender-based discrimination was significantly associated with greater odds of PTSD (AOR, 2.6; 95 % CI 1.4–5.0), depression (AOR, 2.6; 95 % CI 1.2–5.9), and stress related to suicidal thoughts (AOR 7.7, 95 % CI 2.3–35.2). High racial discrimination was significantly associated with greater odds of psychological stress (AOR 3.6; 95 % CI 1.2–10.8), PTSD (AOR 2.1; 95 % CI 1.1–4.2) and stress related to suicidal thoughts (AOR 4.3, 95 % CI 1.5–13.3). Parental closeness was related to significantly lower odds of all four mental health outcomes measured, and intrinsic resiliency positively reduced risk for psychological stress, PTSD, and stress related to suicidal thoughts. Transgender and racial discrimination may have deleterious effects on the mental health of trans*female youth. Interventions that address individual and intersectional discrimination and build resources for resiliency and parental closeness may have success in preventing mental health disorders in this underserved population.
KeywordsTransgender Discrimination Mental health Resiliency Parental support
The grant was completed with funding from the National Institutes of Mental Health, Grant # R01MH095598. Most importantly, we want to acknowledge and thank the trans*female youth community in the San Francisco Bay Area who contributed their time and expertise to provide a better understanding of factors affecting their health.
- 5.Grant JM, Mottet LA, Tanis J, Herman JL, Harrison J, Keisling M. National Transgender Discrimination Survey Report on health and health care. National Center for Transgender Equality; 2010.Google Scholar
- 7.Bockting W. The inmpact of stigma on transgender identity development and mental health. In: Kreukels BPC, Steesma TD, Vries ALCd, editors. Gender dysphoria and disorders of sex development. New York: Springer; 2014. p. 319–30.Google Scholar
- 8.Xavier J, Honnold JA, Bradford J. The Health, health-related needs, and lifecourse experiences of transgender Virginians. Virginia Commonwealth University; 2007.Google Scholar
- 15.Rowe C, Santos GM, McFarland W, Wilson EC. Prevalence and correlates of substance use among trans*female youth ages 16–24 years in the San Francisco Bay Area. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014.Google Scholar
- 21.Wilson EC, Iverson E, Belzer M, the Adolescent Meicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions. Parental support and condom use among transgender female youth. 2010.Google Scholar
- 22.Rutter M. Psychosocial resilience and protective mechanisms. In: Cichheti D, Nuechterlien K, Weintraub S, editors. Risk and protective factors in the development of psychopathology. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press; 1991. p. 331–74.Google Scholar
- 28.Arayasirikul S, Chen YH, Jin H, Wilson E. A Web 2.0 and Epidemiology Mash-Up: Using Respondent-Driven Sampling in Combination with Social Network Site Recruitment to Reach Young Transwomen. AIDS Behav. 2015; 26.Google Scholar
- 30.Derogatis LR. BSI-18: administration, scoring and procedures manual. Minneapolis, MN: National Computer Systems; 2000.Google Scholar
- 38.Ryan C, Russell ST, Huebner D, Diaz R, Sanchez J. Family acceptance in adolescence and the health of LGBT young adults. J Child Adoles Psychiatr Nurs Off Publ Assoc Child Adoles Psychiatr Nurs 2010;23(4):205–13.Google Scholar
- 45.Poteat VP, Scheer JR, Mereish EH. Role of gender in educational contexts and outcomes. In: Liben LB, Bigler RS, editors Advances in child development and behavior, Vol 47. San Diego, CA: Elsevier Academic Press; 2014. p. 261–300.Google Scholar