Parental support and mental health among transgender adolescents

J Adolesc Health. 2013 Dec;53(6):791-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.07.019. Epub 2013 Sep 4.


Purpose: Family support is protective against health risks in sexual minority individuals. However, few studies have focused specifically on transgender youth, who often experience rejection, marginalization, and victimization that place them at risk for poor mental health. This study investigated the relationships among parental support, quality of life, and depression in transgender adolescents.

Methods: A total of 66 transgender youth presenting for care at Children's Hospital Los Angeles completed a survey assessing parental support (defined as help, advice, and confidante support), quality of life, and depression. Regression analyses assessed the associations between parental support and mental health outcomes.

Results: Parental support was significantly associated with higher life satisfaction, lower perceived burden of being transgender, and fewer depressive symptoms.

Conclusions: Parental support is associated with higher quality of life and is protective against depression in transgender adolescents. Interventions that promote parental support may significantly affect the mental health of transgender youth.

Keywords: Adolescents; Depression; Parental support; Quality of life; Transgender.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Depression / prevention & control
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Los Angeles
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychology, Adolescent
  • Quality of Life*
  • Social Support*
  • Transgender Persons / psychology*
  • Young Adult