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A comparison of mental health symptomatology and levels of social support in young treatment seeking transgender individuals who identify as binary and non-binary

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posted on 21.05.2018, 09:59 by Nat Thorne, Gemma WitcombGemma Witcomb, Timo Nieder, Elena Nixon, Jon Arcelus
Background: Previous research has consistently reported high rates of mental health symptomatology and lower social support in young treatment seeking transgender individuals. However, these studies have failed to distinguish between transgender people who identify within the gender binary and those who identify as non-binary. Aims: This study aimed to compare levels of mental health symptomatology (anxiety, depression, and non-suicidal self-injury behavior) and social support of treatment seeking non-binary transgender young individuals with those self-identified as binary transgender young individuals. All participants attended a national transgender health service in the UK during a 2-year period. Measures: Age and gender identity descriptors were collected, as well as clinical measures of anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), self-esteem (The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale), non-suicidal self-injury (Non-Suicidal Self-Injury: Treatment Related), and social support (Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support). Results: A total of 388 young people, aged 16–25 years, agreed participation; 331 (85.3%) identified as binary and 57 (14.7%) as non-binary. Analysis of the data showed the non-binary group experienced significantly more anxiety and depression and had significantly lower self-esteem than the binary group. There were no significant differences between groups in the likelihood of engaging in non-suicidal self-injury behavior or levels of social support.Conclusions: Non-binary identifying treatment seeking transgender youth are at increased risk of developing anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem compared to binary transgender youth. This may reflect the even greater barriers and feelings of discrimination that may be faced by those whose identity does not fit the notion of binary gender that is pervasive in how society views both cis- and transgender populations.

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

International Journal of Transgenderism

Volume

20

Issue

2-3

Pages

241 - 250

Citation

THORNE, N. ... et al, 2018. A comparison of mental health symptomatology and levels of social support in young treatment seeking transgender individuals who identify as binary and non-binary. International Journal of Transgenderism, 20 (2-3), pp.241-250.

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

01/04/2018

Publication date

2018-05-08

Copyright date

2018

Notes

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Transgenderism on 8 May 2018, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/15532739.2018.1452660.

ISSN

1553-2739

eISSN

1434-4599

Language

en