Date of Degree

2-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Educational Psychology

Advisor

Yung-Chi Chen, Ph.D.

Advisor

Yung-Chi Chen, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Yung-Chi Chen, Ph.D.

Marian C. Fish, Ph.D.

Jay Verkuilen, Ph.D.

Subject Categories

School Psychology

Keywords

trans, transgender, attitudes, behaviors, region, gay-straight alliances

Abstract

For transgender adolescents in an environment consisting largely of non-transgender (cisgender) individuals, whether adults and their peers in school are rejecting or accepting of their gender identity can have a large impact on their immediate and future outcomes. As college students will go on to form the social environment for the next generation of transgender adolescents, it is important to assess their beliefs and behaviors regarding this population. The present study sought to investigate the impact of individual and community factors on cisgender college students’ attitudes and behaviors towards transgender individuals. Using a sample of 302 cisgender college students from across the United States, multiple and negative binomial regression models were used to analyze how individual and community factors are associated with attitudes and behaviors towards transgender individuals. Overall, different individual and community factors were found to be related to attitudes and behaviors. Gender role beliefs, political beliefs, experience with LGBT individuals, and attending a suburban high school predicted attitudes towards transgender individuals. Reported behaviors towards transgender people were associated with gender role beliefs, religiosity, attending a rural high school, attending a Southern high school, and not having a gay-straight alliance (GSA) in high school. Attitudes were positively associated with reported behaviors towards transgender individuals. These findings and conclusions suggested areas for future research. Educational implications were addressed.

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