Online Program

Strengthening Families: Parental acceptance and types of social support amongst trans*female youth

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 4:30 p.m. - 4:43 p.m.

Victory Le, San Francisco Department of Public Health, Center for Public Health Research, San Francisco, CA
Sean Arayasirikul, PhD Candidate, Center for Public Health Research, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, CA
Erin C. Wilson, DrPH, Center for Public Health Research, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, CA

Trans*female youth are an understudied and underserved population at risk for numerous poor health outcomes, most notably HIV. Social support, especially from parents, is a key protective factor against risk behaviors.


Cross sectional data collected in 2012-2013 from an epidemiologic study of HIV risk and resilience among 287 trans*female youth from the San Francisco Bay Area were analyzed. Univariate statistics, to describe parental acceptance, are presented with chi-squared tests to determine if parental acceptance is correlated to higher social support from parents compared to non-parents (i.e. chosen family, partners, friends, etc.).


Many of the participants, 237 (82.6%) reported having non-parent social support (NPSS), and 50 (17.4%) reported receiving parental social support (PSS).  Overall, among those who reported parental acceptance, there were significantly higher proportions of youth who reported PSS compared to NPSS. For example, among those who reported their parents believed they could have a happy future as a trans adult, youth were more likely to report PSS than NPSS (88% PSS vs. 51.5% NPSS, p<0.001). For participants who reported their parents expressed affection when they first talked about their gender identity, significantly (p<0.001) more participants reported PSS (66%) compared to NPSS (35.9%).


These findings suggest trans*female youth who report their parents accept their gender identity may be more likely to reach out to their parents for social support. Education for parents on ways to be supportive to their trans children are urgently needed.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe types of social support that trans*female youth receive. Demonstrate how parental social support is important with trans*youth. List 5 ways in which parental support was reported by trans*female youth in this study.

Keyword(s): Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT), Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I worked as a research associate collecting primary data to support the study which I am presenting on.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.