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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health ( R21HD088757 ). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. 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. The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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- dental care
- mental health
- primary care
- protective factors