Social Connectedness Factors that Facilitate Use of Healthcare Services: Comparison of Transgender and Gender Nonconforming and Cisgender Adolescents

Lindsay A. Taliaferro, Brittany M. Harder, Nik M. Lampe, Shannon K. Carter, Nic Rider, Marla E Eisenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare social connectedness factors that facilitate use of primary, dental, and mental healthcare services among transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) and cisgender adolescents. Methods: Data from the cross-sectional 2016 Minnesota Student Survey were used to examine protective social connectedness factors associated with use of different healthcare services among matched samples of 1916 TGNC and 1916 cisgender youth. Stratified, logistic regression analyses were used to examine background characteristics and social connectedness factors (parent connectedness, connections to other nonparental adults, teacher–student relationships, and friend connections) associated with use of each healthcare service within the last year. Results: For TGNC youth, but not for cisgender youth, higher levels of parent connectedness were associated with receipt of primary (OR, 2.26; 95% CI, 1.40-3.66) and dental (OR, 3.01; 95% CI, 1.78-5.08) care services, and lower levels of connectedness to nonparental adults was associated with receipt of mental healthcare (OR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.33-0.93). Among cisgender youth, no protective factors were significantly associated with receipt of primary care services, higher levels of friend connections were associated with receipt of dental services (OR, 1.85; 95% CI, 1.10-3.09), and lower levels of parent connectedness were associated with receipt of mental healthcare (OR, 0.20; 95% CI, 0.10-0.40). Conclusions: To promote the health of TGNC youth, clinicians should understand the distinct factors associated with obtaining healthcare among this population such as the need for tailored efforts focused on strengthening connectedness between TGNC youth and their parents to facilitate receipt of needed care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-178
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
StatePublished - Aug 2019



  • TGNC
  • dental care
  • mental health
  • primary care
  • protective factors
  • youth

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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