Adult development and quality of life of transgender and gender nonconforming people

Walter Bockting, Eli Coleman, Madeline B. Deutsch, Antonio Guillamon, Ilan Meyer, Walter Meyer, Sari Reisner, Jae Sevelius, Randi Ettner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Purpose of review Research on the health of transgender and gender nonconforming people has been limited with most of the work focusing on transition-related care and HIV. The present review summarizes research to date on the overall development and quality of life of transgender and gender nonconforming adults, and makes recommendations for future research. Recent findings Pervasive stigma and discrimination attached to gender nonconformity affect the health of transgender people across the lifespan, particularly when it comes to mental health and well-being. Despite the related challenges, transgender and gender nonconforming people may develop resilience over time. Social support and affirmation of gender identity play herein a critical role. Although there is a growing awareness of diversity in gender identity and expression among this population, a comprehensive understanding of biopsychosocial development beyond the gender binary and beyond transition is lacking. Summary Greater visibility of transgender people in society has revealed the need to understand and promote their health and quality of life broadly, including but not limited to gender dysphoria and HIV. This means addressing their needs in context of their families and communities, sexual and reproductive health, and successful aging. Research is needed to better understand what factors are associated with resilience and how it can be effectively promoted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-197
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank all workshop participants who contributed to the discussion that informed this review. Special thanks to Renato Barucco for assistance in preparing this manuscript. This work was supported in part by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health (R13HD084267), the Endocrine Society, the Tawani Foundation, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), and the Program in Human Sexuality at the University of Minnesota Medical School. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health, the Endocrine Society, or WPATH. The research of A.G. was supported by grant PSI2014-58004-P from the Spanish Government.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Gender Identity
  • Lifespan Development
  • Quality Of Life
  • Transgender


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