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Associations between negative life experiences and the mental health of trans and gender diverse young people in Australia: findings from Trans Pathways

Research Youth Mental Health & Wellbeing
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Authors: Strauss P., Cook A., Winter S., Watson V., Wright Toussaint D., Lin A.

Date of publication: 2019

Journal: Psychological Medicine

Summary: In this Australian study the researchers report on the mental health findings of Trans Pathways, the largest study ever conducted in Australia with 859 gender diverse young people. They found that gender diverse young people experience high levels of mental distress, including self-harming (79.7%), suicidal thoughts (82.4%), and suicide attempts (48.1%). Three in four participants had been diagnosed with depression (74.6%) and/or anxiety (72.2%). Many young people had been exposed to negative experiences such as peer rejection (89.0%), unstable accommodation (22.0%), bullying (74.0%), and discrimination (68.9%). Most poor mental health outcomes were associated with negative experiences.

The researchers found some particularly strong associations between poor mental health outcomes and certain life experiences such as unstable accommodation and issues within educational settings. For example, young people with a prior suicide attempt were almost six times more likely to have experienced issues with accommodation, including homelessness. They conclude that there is an urgent need for better mental health care and targeted mental health interventions for gender diverse young people.

You can read the full study here