Young people with features of gender dysphoria: Demographics and associated difficulties

Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2016 Jan;21(1):108-18. doi: 10.1177/1359104514558431. Epub 2014 Nov 26.


This article presents the findings from a cross-sectional study on demographic variables and associated difficulties in 218 children and adolescents (Mean age = 14 years, SD = 3.08, range = 5-17 years), with features of gender dysphoria, referred to the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) in London during a 1-year period (1 January 2012-31 December 2012). Data were extracted from patient files (i.e. referral letters, clinical notes and clinician reports). The most commonly reported associated difficulties were bullying, low mood/depression and self-harming. There was a gender difference on some of the associated difficulties with reports of self-harm being significantly more common in the natal females and autism spectrum conditions being significantly more common in the natal males. The findings also showed that many of the difficulties increased with age. Findings regarding demographic variables, gender dysphoria, sexual orientation and family features are reported, and limitations and implications of the cross-sectional study are discussed. In conclusion, young people with gender dysphoria often present with a wide range of associated difficulties which clinicians need to take into account, and our article highlights the often complex presentations of these young people.

Keywords: Gender dysphoria; associated difficulties; bullying; demographics; self-harm.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / complications
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Gender Dysphoria / complications
  • Gender Dysphoria / diagnosis
  • Gender Dysphoria / psychology*
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / complications
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / psychology*
  • Sex Factors