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Comorbidity Issues in Gender Diverse Youth: The Tangled Web

A recent survey of adolescents across the United States indicated that about 2% of middle and high school students identify as transgender or gender diverse (TGD). With increased research looking at the experiences of TGD individuals separately from their sexual minority peers, we have begun to better understand cooccurring issues for this distinct population. Specifically, depression, self-injurious behaviors, substance use, disordered eating, and anxiety have been reported, as have high suicide attempt rates: at least 3 times higher than those of cisgender peers. Why are we seeing such increased rates of comorbidities with TGD individuals? Proposed by Hendricks and colleagues, the Gender Minority Stress and Resilience Model (GMSRM) is a framework through which we can understand the unique internal and external stressors that impact TGD individuals, as well as factors that contribute to resilience.

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