Online Program

Transgender-Related Stigmatization (TRS) and Psychological Distress in a Diverse Sample of Transgender Women

Monday, November 2, 2015

David Manning, Department of Behavioral & Social Sciences, Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, RI
Mei-Fen Yang, Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, RI
Jacob van den Berg, Division of Infectious Diseases, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI
Don Operario, PhD, Lifespan/Tufts/Brown Center for AIDS Research, Brown University, School of Public Health, Providence, RI
background: Previous research indicates elevated risk for psychological distress in sexual and gender minority populations, with some research suggesting that stigma contributes to elevated psychological distress among members of these groups. Despite growth in sexual minority research, transgendered individuals are often missing from LGBT literature. This work examines the association between exposure to TRS and both higher levels of depression and anxiety among transgender women.

methods: We examined data from a diverse sample of 191 adult transgender women living or working in the San Francisco Bay area who were recruited using purposive sampling methods to participate in a cross-sectional survey, which included measures of TRS, depression, and anxiety. We conducted bivariate and ordinary least squares (OLS) regression models to examine the correlations between depression, anxiety, and transgender-related stigmatization. Sociodemographic and health variables were identified and entered, each as predictor variables in separate OLS regression models for depression and anxiety.

results: Higher levels of exposure to TRS were independently associated with higher levels of depression (β = 0.31, p < .001) and anxiety (β = 0.39, p < .001), adjusting for self-reported health and sociodemographic co-variates. Associations between stigmatization, depression, and anxiety were not moderated by participants’ age or race/ethnicity.

conclusions: Findings suggest a need for public health interventions to address the role of stigmatization as a factor potentially contributing to psychological distress among transgender women. This research further highlights the need to develop a stronger evidence base on effective public health approaches to improve the mental health of transgender women.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the associations between transgender-related stigma and depression and anxiety in a diverse sample of transgender women. Identify a range of public health interventions aimed to improve psychological outcomes in transgender women.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been employed under federally funded grants to examine HIV and other health disparities among sexual minority populations. My scientific interests focus on the social-cultural and interpersonal infrastructure sustaining high-risk sexual behavior among at-risk populations.
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.

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