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Mental health of transgender children who are supported in their identities

Family Support & Rejection Research
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Authors: Olson, K. R., Durwood, L., DeMeules, M., & McLaughlin, K. A.

Date of publication: 2016

Journal: Pediatrics

Summary: This US study examined the mental health (depression and anxiety levels) of 73 gender diverse children aged 3 to 12 years who had socially transitioned (i.e. were supported to live openly as the gender they identified with). The researchers compared their mental health with two other groups: Non-gender diverse children aged 3 to 12 years and the siblings of the gender diverse study participants. Their parents completed measures of anxiety and depression for all children.

The researchers found that the gender diverse children showed no difference in levels of depression and only slightly higher levels of anxiety than that of average children in the population. When they compared the gender diverse children’s mental health to that of the other groups in the study, they found again that there was no difference in depression levels and only marginally higher anxiety levels. The researchers concluded that when gender diverse children are supported to live openly, they have similar mental health outcomes to their cisgender (i.e., not gender diverse) peers.

You can read the full study here