Stigma, Mental Health, and Resilience in an Online Sample of the US Transgender Population

Continuing on the theme of the need for peer support: While proponents of “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria” might argue that exposure to other youth is what spreads the ‘social contagion’, connections to peers is a key in these youth being resilient.

Published in: American Journal of Public Health. May, 2013. Authors: Walter O. Bokting, PhD, Michael H. Miner, PhD, Rebecca E. Swinburne Romine, PhD, Autumn Hamilton, HSD, and Eli Coleman, PhD.

“… family support, peer support, and identity pride all were negatively associated with psychological distress, confirming that these assets are protective factors. Moreover, peer support significantly moderated the relationship between enacted stigma and psychological distress, thus emerging as a demonstrated factor of resilience in the face of actual experiences of discrimination.”

“Together, these results offer support for the value of transgender individuals connecting with similar others, possibly providing the opportunity to question stigma from the majority culture and reappraise their experiences in a self-affirmative way… This finding is particularly pertinent because previous research found that transgender people have higher levels of depression and lower levels of peer and family support than their gay, lesbian, and bisexual counterparts. These results support a need to promote resilience by facilitating ample peer support.”