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The goal of Grossman and D'Augelli's article from 2007

The goal of Grossman and D'Augelli's article from 2007 was to provide professionals with new perspectives on transgender youths and the potentially fatal behavioral hazards they face. When necessary, it would assist specialists in delivering the most effective intervention. The essay intends to gather firsthand data that could be utilized to conduct future study; it does not contain any specific hypothesis. For instance, the study concentrated on identifying specific life-threatening behaviors to which transgender children are prone, despite the fact that there is less data available than for LGB (Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual). Additionally, social science research has not been done on the experiences of transgender people who engage in life-threatening conduct. For LGB, most of the life-threatening behavior results from conflicts arising due to their sexual orientations.

The study design of the research

The study applied an exploratory study that focused on contextual and personal factors that influence the development of life-threatening behaviors amongst transgender youths aged 15 to 21. The study design remained under the guide of four research questions, history of life-threatening behaviors, reactions by parents over their children gender non-conformity, youth's feelings about their bodies, and the difference between those who have attempted suicide and those who have not. An interview was used as an assessment procedure and sought to unravel transgender youth's experiences while a battery of standard measures assessed changes in the mental health. The protocol used in the study of LGB youths (D'Augelli & Grossman, 2006) was used in this study. However, these protocols were subject to modification based on information collected. The standard tests that assessed changes in mental health were the depended variables while the research protocol and procedure were the independent variables. Parental consent was waived since it could not have led the youths into risks to harm by exposing their gender identities. There was a youth advocate who was to provide further information regarding questions of the study. The procedures applied to the study sought approval from the institutional review board on study with human subjects from Pennsylvania State University and the New York University.

Data collection and participants

Data was to be collected on convenience samples of Female-to-Male and Male-to-Female transgender cohorts. Given that transgender youths constitute a hidden population, there was difficult coming up with a representative sample. Thus, the participants had to be acquired from programs with two recreation and social service agencies that offer support to LGBT youths in the New York City. A snowball technique of sampling was applied for the participants to refer others into the study. The technique limited the generalization of the results and that the results may not be constricted on youths aged 15to 21 years of age. The study constituted a sample of 31 male to female and 24 female to male transgender youths. For the two ages, mean ages were 17.5 and 19.5 respectively. Twenty-two were in college and 7 attending high school. The participants were assigned an interviewer, a master level clinical professional and who had experience with transgender youths. The youths were assessed based on suicidal ideation, suicidal attempts and if they had tried seeking any help from mental health professionals.

Data analysis and study findings

Analysis of the data was achieved using MANOVA (Multivariate Analysis of Variance) method that tested study results based differences between the groups that had attempted suicide. The analysis was done using seven variables of psychology, transgender-linked suicide negativity, childhood non-conformity to gender, parental physical and verbal abuse, body-esteems such as appearance, weight, and attribution. The study findings showed that five of the variables used have a linkage to suicidal attempts.

Implications of the study results

The results of the study indicate that transgender youth, whether FTM or MTF are vulnerable to suicidal attempts and ideation. Results show that approximately a half of participants in the study had attempted suicide and out of these, a half attributed suicidal thought to them being transgender. A quarter of the sample population had tried suicide while three-quarter of these had attempted suicide due to their transgender nature and the rest attributed their thoughts on subsequent life-threatening on being transgender. Thus, this fraction of sexual minority youths attempting suicide are higher compared to the portion of LGB youths that had attempted suicide in a study carried by D'Augelli, et al., (2005) and had attributed this to their sexual orientation. Given the broad nature of findings of the study, interventions applied to particular cases should be comprehensive, flexible and addresses individual needs of those affected. There was a significant difference between historical factors that led to suicidal thoughts. However, the other psychological variables did not have any significance difference.

Implications and programs

There are several key implications of results of this study. One is the fact that, nonheterosexual youths are stigmatized in many cultures. Whereas differences exist between lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders, all of them face discrimination, and negative judgments and those more susceptible do not get family and peer support. Having the knowledge of transgender youth's tendencies to engage in the life-threatening behavior, parents, mental health professionals, and communities can realize the importance of respecting sexual orientations of individuals. Programs can be created to enlighten the community about transgender being an ordinary condition. The programs include parental or guardian education programs. Psychoeducational programs to help youths deal with their nature, intervention and training programs.


D’Augelli, A. R., & Grossman, A. H. (2006). Researching lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth: Conceptual, practical and ethical considerations. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Issues in Education, 3(2), 35-56.

D’Augelli, A. R., Grossman, A. H., Salter, N. P., Vasey, J. J., Starks, M. S., & Sinclair, K. O. (2005). Predicting the suicide at-tempts of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 35, 646–660.

Grossman, A. H., & D’Augelli, A. R. (2007). Transgender Youth and Life-Threatening Behaviors. The American Association of Suicidology, 527-536.

April 13, 2023

Sociology Family



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Transgender LGBT Children

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