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Mental Health Disparities Among Canadian Transgender Youth

      Abstract

      Purpose

      This study documented the prevalence of mental health problems among transgender youth in Canada and made comparisons with population-based studies. This study also compared gender identity subgroups and age subgroups (14–18 and 19–25).

      Methods

      A nonprobability sample of 923 transgender youth from Canada completed an online survey. Participants were recruited through community organizations, health care settings, social media, and researchers' networks. Mental health measures were drawn from the British Columbia Adolescent Health Survey and the Canadian Community Health Survey.

      Results

      Transgender youth had a higher risk of reporting psychological distress, self-harm, major depressive episodes, and suicide. For example, 65% of transgender 14- to 18-year olds seriously considered suicide in the past year compared with 13% in the British Columbia Adolescent Health Survey, and only a quarter of participants reported their mental health was good or excellent. Transgender boys/men and nonbinary youth were most likely to report self-harm and overall mental health remained stable across age subgroups.

      Conclusions

      Although a notable minority of transgender youth did not report negative health outcomes, this study shows the mental health disparities faced by transgender youth in Canada are considerable.

      Keywords

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