Date of Conferral







Peggy Gallaher


Paralleling recent increased public awareness of transgender issues, gender nonconforming youth are coming out at increasingly earlier ages. It is important to understand the impact that family acceptance or family rejection has on the health outcomes of transgender young people, who are at increased risk of discrimination, prejudice, harassment, victimization, violence, and possible mental health issues and who are understudied. This understanding can be framed within the minority stress model and Carl Rogers' theory of self, which provide insight into how minority groups experience negative reactions from both society and an internalized sense of congruence. The purpose of this descriptive, cross-sectional, quantitative study was to measure the levels of negative health behaviors between transgender young adults who felt they had the support of their parents for their gender identity and those who did not. Data from 96 young transgender adults, between 18 and 25 years of age recruited through LGBT and transgender community organizations, were analyzed using correlation and logistic regression. Results showed significant relationships between the perception of parental support and suicidal ideation, number of suicide attempts, and illicit drug use. Findings from this study could contribute to positive social change by informing families, schools, health care providers, mental health practitioners, and policy makers about the significance of affirmative support for transgender youth. Quantifiable data regarding the impact of parental responses to a young person's gender identity could lead to the development of programs and policies leading to improved health outcomes for transgender youth.