Psychological Functioning in Families of Gender Variant Youth: A Preliminary Survey of Parents’ Experiences

by Jennifer M Birnkrant

Institution: Case Western Reserve University
Department: Psychology
Degree: MA
Year: 2015
Keywords: Clinical Psychology; Gender Studies; Psychology
Record ID: 2062150
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=case1413505086


Gender variant youth and their parents represent a highly understudied group of individuals. The current study aimed to gather further information regarding parents’ experiences surrounding their child’s gender variance and transition process. Participants (N=37) were primary caregivers of gender variant children ages 10 to 17 who were recruited online. Based on parent report, neither parents nor children were experiencing significant internalizing symptoms nor were parents experiencing significant levels of fear of negative evaluation. Parents reported moderate levels of worry regarding their child’s future functioning and high average levels of support from their general and religious communities. Parents reported a variety of positive and negative events since their child’s disclosure. Results indicate that although parents are not experiencing significant distress, they do have salient concerns about their child but are also able to identify positive changes that have occurred. Current results may inform supportive interventions for families during the transition process.