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Mental health risk higher for transgender youth

By BS MediaTwitter Profile | Published: Sunday, 15 April 2018
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A new study suggests that transgendered and gender non-conforming children and adolescents may be more likely to develop depression and other mental health conditions, compared with individuals whose gender identity matches their allotted gender at birth.

Researchers have known a lesser risk of mental health conditions among youth who are transgendered and gender non-conforming.

The research was conducted at the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation in Pasadena. Study author Tracy A. Becerra-Culqui, Ph.D., and colleagues recently according their collection in the journal Pediatrics.

According to Becerra-Culqui, previous studies that investigated the mental health of transgendered and gender non-conforming individuals only looked at a small number of people, and any symptoms of mental health disorders were self-according.

For this latest study, nevertheless, the team gathered information from the electronic medical records of 1,347 children and teenagers — aged 3–17 years — who were transgendered or gender non-conforming.

Of these individuals, 44 percentage were transfeminine (their allotted gender at birth was male), and 56 percentage were transmasculine (their allotted gender at birth was female).

Between 2006 and 2014, the researchers looked at the prevalence of mental health conditions, so much as depression, anxiety, and attention deficit disorder, among these youths.

'Findings should raise awareness'

The study discovered that the risk of developing a mental health condition was three to 13 times higher for transgendered and gender non-conforming youth than youth whose gender identity corresponded with their allotted gender at birth, besides referred to as cisgender.

Diagnoses of depression and attention deficit disorder were the most common mental health conditions among children and teenagers who were transgendered and gender non-conforming, the researchers report.

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In fact, the risk of attention deficit disorder was three to seven times lesser among these individuals, compared with those who were cisgender; and, the risk of depression was four to seven times lesser.

Around 15 percentage of transfeminine and 16 percentage of transmasculine youth were diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, piece depression was diagnosed among 49 percentage of transfeminine and 62 percentage of transmasculine youth.

Becerra-Culqui and colleagues are unable to pinpoint the precise reasons behind their collection, but they believe that gender discontentment may play a role.

Gender discontentment is a condition wherein an individual experiences distress because of a disconnect between their biological sex and the gender with which they identify.

Additionally, the team notes that galore transgendered and gender non-conforming individuals are subject to prejudice and discrimination, which can cause stress and possibly lead to mental health problems.

Becerra-Culqui says that she hopes that this research "creates awareness about the pressure young people questioning their gender identity may feel, and how this may affect their mental wellbeing."

She adds that clinicians should be aware of the heightened risk of mental health conditions that transgendered and gender non-conforming youth may have.

"It is besides crucial they have the cognition necessary to provide social and educational support for their young patients who are calculation out their gender identity," Becerra-Culqui adds.

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