Date of Degree

9-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Psychology

Advisor

Kevin L. Nadal

Committee Members

Chitra Raghavan

Brett Stoudt

Michelle Fine

David Rivera

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology | Multicultural Psychology | Social Psychology

Keywords

Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming, TGNC, LGBT, Minority Stress, Microaggressions

Abstract

Despite increasing endorsement of non-binary gender identities among TGNC (transgender or gender non-conforming) populations, research regarding TGNC experiences often over-emphasizes pathology relative to positive psychology and reinforces binary conceptualizations of gender (exclusively male/female). TGNC individuals face increased rates of depression, suicide risk, anxiety, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, homelessness, victimization, and negative police interactions. These disparities are exacerbated by discrimination, lack of culturally competent resources, and internalized stigma. Despite these negative experiences and increased risks, TGNC individuals hesitate to seek treatment and/or police assistance due to fears of discrimination, cultural incompetence, and/or re-victimization. To address these gaps, the present investigation utilized a mixed-methods design with a sample of 357 self-identified TGNC adults. Study 1 included individual interviews whereas Study 2 included an online survey. Both segments collected socio-demographic and mental health data. Overall, seven hypotheses were investigated: 1) Participant narratives will indicate a greater degree of heterogeneity in later phases of identity development than previously considered; 2) Narratives will reveal common themes of risk (e.g., internalized or environmental stigma) and resiliency (e.g., social support, community connectedness) within developmental processes; 3) Victimization will positively predict depression, anxiety, gender dysphoria, and grit; 4) Victimization will negatively predict flourishing; 5) Social support will mediate the relationship between victimization and psychological well-being; 6) TGNC community connectedness will mediate the relationship between victimization and psychological well-being; 7) Victimization will relate to decreased help-seeking (mental health or criminal justice services).

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