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17-02-2021 | Uitgave 2/2021

Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review 2/2021

Risk and Resilience Factors for Mental Health among Transgender and Gender Nonconforming (TGNC) Youth: A Systematic Review

Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review > Uitgave 2/2021
Amelia P. Tankersley, Erika L. Grafsky, Janey Dike, Russell T. Jones
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In recent years, there has been a proliferation of research regarding transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) people. The stigma and legal discriminations that this population faces have obvious and documented repercussions for mental health. In 2015, the American Psychological Association (APA) published Guidelines for Psychological Practice with TGNC People. The APA noted that due to the nuances of working with TGNC youth and the dearth of related literature, the guidelines focus primarily on TGNC adults. To date, there has not been a systematic review of risk and resilience factors for mental health among TGNC children, adolescents, and young adults under the age of 25. Forty-four peer-reviewed articles met inclusion criteria for this systematic review, and were evaluated for their methodological rigor and their findings. Common risk factors for negative mental health variables included physical and verbal abuse, exposure to discrimination, social isolation, poor peer relations, low self-esteem, weight dissatisfaction, and age. Across studies, older children and adolescents tended to report higher rates of psychological distress. Resilience-promoting factors for mental health were also documented, including parent connectedness, social support, school safety and belonging, and the ability to use one’s chosen name. By synthesizing the existing literature using a resilience-focused and minority stress framework, the present review provides clinicians and researchers with a coherent evidence-base to better equip them to promote psychological adaptation and wellbeing among TGNC youth.

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