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Natural Sciences Nonfiction Social Sciences

Suicidal ideation in transgender people: Gender minority stress and interpersonal theory factors.

By Rylan J. Testa et al., 2017

Research has revealed alarmingly high rates of suicidal ideation (SI) and suicide attempts among transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) people. This study aims to analyze the role of factors from the gender minority stress and resilience (GMSR) model (Testa, Habarth, Peta, Balsam, & Bockting, 2015), the interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide (IPTS; Joiner, 2005; Van Orden et al., 2010), and the potential integration of these factors, in explaining SI in this population. A convenience sample of 816 TGNC adults responded to measures of current SI, gender minority stressors, and IPTS factors. Path analysis was utilized to test 2 models. Model 1 evaluated the associations between external minority stressors and SI through internal minority stressors. Model 2 examined the relationships between internal minority stressors and SI through IPTS variables (perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness). All GMSR external stres- sors (rejection, nonaffirmation, victimization, and discrimination), internal stressors (internalized transphobia, negative expectations, and nondisclosure), and IPTS factors (thwarted belongingness and perceived burden- someness) were related to SI. Both models demonstrated good fit. Model 1 revealed that rejection, nonaf- firmation, and victimization were related to SI through experiences of internalized transphobia and negative expectations. Model 2 indicated that internalized transphobia and negative expectations were associated with SI through IPTS factors. The models demonstrate pathways through which GMSR and IPTS constructs relate to one another and confer risk for SI among TGNC individuals. These pathways and several recently proposed constructs examined here provide promising directions for future research and clinical interventions in this area.

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