Supporting and Advocating for Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth and Their Families Within the Sociopolitical Context of Widespread Discriminatory Legislation and Policies

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Abstract

Objective: The aims of this commentary are to: (a) provide an overview of the current sociopolitical context experienced by transgender and gender diverse (TGD) youth and caregivers, (b) summarize the research that has been conducted about how the sociopolitical context impacts the mental health and wellbeing of TGD youth and caregivers, (c) discuss the clinical implications of these findings, and (d) identify steps mental health providers can take to be advocates for TGD youth and their families. Methods: Authors include a psychologist and adolescent medicine physician working within a multidisciplinary gender program for youth and a psychologist in independent practice who specializes in working with LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer) youth, especially TGD youth. Clinical implications and advocacy steps were informed by our synthesis of the research literature as well as our own experiences working within the field of TGD health. Results: TGD youth and families have identified a range of stressors and coping strategies associated with the sociopolitical climate. Existing guides to clinical practice with TGD people can be adapted to incorporate these findings. We propose a “menu” of advocacy steps for providers to consider. Conclusions: Awareness of the larger sociopolitical context is crucial to providing high quality care to TGD youth and their families. By participating in advocacy efforts, mental health providers can have a unique and meaningful impact on the social and structural factors that impact the mental health and wellbeing of this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-345
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Advocacy
  • Gender diverse
  • Legislation
  • Politics
  • Transgender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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