Kelly Johnson

A Qualitative Exploration of Minority Stress and Psychosocial Resources among Trans, Genderqueer and Non-binary Adolescents of Color

Transgender adolescents suffer from disproportionately high rates of mental health disorders, generally attributed to social stress resulting from stigma, prejudice, and discrimination, otherwise known as gender-based minority stress. Although transgender adolescents of color likely experience even greater rates of adverse mental health outcomes than their white peers due to the combined effects of both gender and racial discrimination, scant research has focused specifically on this population. This study addresses this gap in the literature through an exploration of minority stressors and psychosocial resources among a diverse group of trans, genderqueer, and non-binary adolescents of color between the ages 16-20 residing in New York City and the Bay Area. The study uses “lifeline” narratives and photo elicitation to examine participant experiences of minority stressors, and to identify the psychosocial resources that protect against minority stressors, such as social support, community resources, and safe spaces. A better understanding of the lived experiences of trans, genderqueer, and non-binary adolescents of color, and the processes that promote resilience, will facilitate the development of interventions that reduce stigma and create more affirming environments for this population.