Homelessness experiences and gender identity in a population-based sample of adolescents

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This paper examines the prevalence of homelessness among transgender/gender diverse (TGD) youth in a population-based sample of adolescents. We used data from a statewide sample of 9th and 11th grade adolescents in Minnesota who responded to a school-based survey during 2016 (N = 80,929). Survey questions assessed adolescents' gender identity and experiences of homelessness (either with adult family members or unaccompanied) in the past 12 months. We used chi-square analyses to compare the prevalence of homelessness between gender identity groups. Overall, 2.7% of the sample reported identifying as TGD. Significantly more TGD (vs. cisgender) youth reported experiencing homelessness either with adult family members (6.7% vs. 3.5%) or unaccompanied (3.6% vs. 1.1%; p <.0001). Findings from this population-based survey suggest that TGD youth are more likely to experience homelessness, either with a family member or unaccompanied, than cisgender peers. Ensuring housing stability among this population is critical, given health risks associated with homelessness during adolescence. Data on homelessness experiences of TGD youth are needed to inform practice and policies for this distinct population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100986
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
StatePublished - Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Leadership Education in Adolescent Health training program at the University of Minnesota (HRSA # T71MC00006-39-02 ; PI: Sieving) and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health ( R21HD088757 ; PI: Eisenberg). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. Funders had no involvement in study design; collection, analysis and interpretation of data; the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the article for publication. Minnesota Student Survey data were provided by public school students in Minnesota via local public school districts and are managed by the Minnesota Student Survey Interagency Team.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019


  • Adolescence
  • Gender identity
  • Homelessness


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