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Published Online: 1 January 2018

Generational Differences in Internalized Transnegativity and Psychological Distress Among Feminine Spectrum Transgender People

Publication: LGBT Health
Volume 5, Issue Number 1


Purpose: This study examined internalized transnegativity and psychological distress in two age groups of transgender individuals who identified their gender identity on the feminine spectrum (rather than congruent with their male sex assigned at birth). Due to greater visibility and acceptance of gender diversity in the United States, we hypothesized that internalized transnegativity would be lower in the younger compared with the older group, and that the younger generation would, therefore, report lower levels of psychological distress than the older generation.
Methods: The study sample consisted of trans-feminine individuals (N = 440) who completed a online survey of the U.S. transgender population and comprised a younger group aged 18–24 years (n = 133) and an older group aged 40 years and older (n = 307). Internalized transnegativity was assessed using the Transgender Identity Survey, and psychological distress was assessed with the Brief Symptom Inventory 18. We used regression and mediation analysis to examine differences between the two groups.
Results: Contrary to our expectations, the older group reported significantly lower levels of both internalized transnegativity and psychological distress compared with the younger group. Internalized transnegativity partially mediated the relationship between age group and psychological distress.
Conclusion: Despite greater visibility of transgender people and increasing acceptance of gender diversity in the United States, the younger trans-feminine individuals reported more psychological distress than the older transfeminine individuals, which was, in part, related to internalized transnegativity. Trans-feminine individuals may benefit from culturally sensitive and clinically competent mental health services to alleviate internalized transnegativity and psychological distress.

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The data used for this secondary analysis were collected for a study conducted by WOB during his tenure at the University of Minnesota Medical School. This analysis was presented as a poster at the Eastern Nursing Research Society Annual Scientific Sessions in Washington, DC in 2015. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare.


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Published In

cover image LGBT Health
LGBT Health
Volume 5Issue Number 1January 2018
Pages: 54 - 60
PubMed: 29099335


Published in print: January 2018
Published online: 1 January 2018
Published ahead of print: 3 November 2017


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Kasey B. Jackman
School of Nursing, Program for the Study of LGBT Health, Columbia University, New York, New York.
Curtis Dolezal
Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health, New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, New York, New York.
Walter O. Bockting
School of Nursing, Program for the Study of LGBT Health, Columbia University, New York, New York.
Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health, New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University Department of Psychiatry, New York, New York.


Address correspondence to:Kasey B. Jackman, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BCSchool of NursingProgram for the Study of LGBT HealthColumbia University560 West 168th StreetNew York, NY 10032E-mail: [email protected]

Author Disclosure Statement

No competing financial interests exist.

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