An Integrative Review of Experiences Parenting Transgender and Gender Diverse Children

J Fam Nurs. 2021 Nov;27(4):304-326. doi: 10.1177/10748407211001559. Epub 2021 Apr 15.


Transgender and gender diverse (TGD) children face increased behavioral health risks including suicidal behaviors and substance abuse. Parental affirmation is associated with behavioral health outcomes similar to non-TGD peers. This integrative review synthesizes and appraises evidence regarding experiences of parenting a TGD child in the United States or Canada from 2008 to 2018. Most parents across these 15 studies described affirming their child's gender at time of interview. Parents reported initial interpersonal processes (emotions, concerns, beliefs), sought education (frequently online), and described interactions with family members and professionals that were not always affirming. Parents accessed support groups but described their own well-being as a low priority relative to the child's needs. Parents' own needs for well-being may affect the process of parenting a TGD child and should be explored. Future research should address the experiences of non-parent family members and participants from more diverse backgrounds. Nursing education must consistently address gender affirming care.

Keywords: children; gender identity; parenting; transgender persons.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Parenting
  • Parents
  • Substance-Related Disorders*
  • Transgender Persons*
  • United States