Advancing the Practice of Pediatric Psychology with Transgender Youth: State of the Science, Ongoing Controversies, and Future Directions

Clin Pract Pediatr Psychol. 2018 Mar;6(1):73-83. doi: 10.1037/cpp0000229.


Growing numbers of transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) youth are presenting for medical and mental health care, and increasingly, pediatric psychologists are being called upon to serve as critical members of interdisciplinary care teams. In this commentary, we present information on TGNC youth in three distinct developmental cohorts: prepubescent TGNC children, peripubertal TGNC youth, and pubertal TGNC adolescents. First, we describe the social, medical, and/or surgical treatments available to each cohort of youth. Next, we address the state of the science related to these treatments. Then, we highlight some of the ongoing controversies related to social, medical and/or surgical interventions that are most relevant to pediatric psychologists and the role they play in gender-affirming care. Finally, we conclude with a call for papers for an upcoming special issue of Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology focused on advancing the practice of pediatric psychology in transgender health care.

Keywords: gender dysphoria; transgender; gender diversity; interdisciplinary care; gender affirmative care..