A dangerous visibility: Moderating effects of antitrans legislative efforts on trans and gender-diverse mental health.

Elliot A Tebbe, Melissa Simone, Emily Wilson, Madeline Hunsicker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present study used a minority stress theory framework to investigate the direct and indirect relations of minority stressors (transgender discrimination experiences, internalized transphobia, identity nondisclosure), sense of belonging, and hopelessness with depression and anxiety symptoms in a sample of 301 trans and gender-diverse adults living in the United States. This study also explored the moderating effect of having knowledge of antitrans legislative efforts in one’s state of residence on the overall pattern of results through a nested model comparison of the hypothesized path analysis. Participants were recruited using Internet-based forums, listservs, and social media, and survey data were collected online. Significant moderation effects were found, such that for those who reported having knowledge of antitrans legislative efforts in their state of residence reported a stronger association of external stressors (discrimination) than internal stressors (internalized transphobia, identity nondisclosure) on sense of belonging and hopelessness than their peers who did not have any knowledge of such legislative efforts. Furthermore, hopelessness emerged as a stronger predictor for those who were aware of antitrans legislative efforts. Implications of study findings for counseling, advocacy, and future research are discussed. Public Significance Statement—Antitrans legislative efforts significantly shape the effects of antitrans stigma and marginalization on mental health for trans and gender-diverse (TGD) individuals, exacerbating the relative importance of hopelessness over sense of belonging, as well as external events versus internalized processes in predicting depression and anxiety. Findings point to the need for continued advocacy for trans-affirmative policy and protections to address known TGD mental health disparities. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
DOIs
StatePublished - May 27 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Psychological Association

Keywords

  • hopelessness
  • minority stress
  • social belongingness
  • trans policy

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