Health and care utilization of transgender and gender nonconforming youth: A population-based study

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BACKGROUND: Transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) adolescents have difficulty accessing and receiving health care compared with cisgender youth, yet research is limited by a reliance on small and nonrepresentative samples. This study's purpose was to examine mental and physical health characteristics and care utilization between youth who are TGNC and cisgender and across perceived gender expressions within the TGNC sample. METHODS: Data came from the 2016 Minnesota Student Survey, which consisted of 80 929 students in ninth and 11th grade (n = 2168 TGNC, 2.7%). Students self-reported gender identity, perceived gender expression, 4 health status measures, and 3 care utilization measures. Chi-squares and multiple analysis of covariance tests (controlling for demographic covariates) were used to compare groups. RESULTS: We found that students who are TGNC reported significantly poorer health, lower rates of preventive health checkups, and more nurse office visits than cisgender youth. For example, 62.1% of youth who are TGNC reported their general health as poor, fair, or good versus very good or excellent, compared with 33.1% of cisgender youth (χ2 = 763.7, P < .001). Among the TGNC sample, those whose gender presentation was perceived as very congruent with their birth-Assigned sex were less likely to report poorer health and longterm mental health problems compared with those with other gender presentations. CONCLUSIONS: Health care utilization differs between TGNC versus cisgender youth and across gender presentations within TGNC youth. With our results, we suggest that health care providers should screen for health risks and identify barriers to care for TGNC youth while promoting and bolstering wellness within this community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20171683
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
FunDInG: Supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (award R21HD088757). The content of this article is

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