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Health issues for transgender students

Health issues for transgender students

Transgender students experience compromised mental health and personal safety, and have difficulty accessing health care, according to a world first study from the University of Auckland.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University’s Adolescent Health Research Group was the first to use nationally representative survey data. The results are based on the Group’s Youth ’12 survey, led by Dr Terryann Clark.

“Transgender students had compromised health and well-being relative to their peers”, says Dr Clark.

In the Youth’12 study, 8,166 secondary school students from throughout New Zealand were asked a series of questions. In response to the transgender questions, 96 students or 1.2 per cent reported being transgender.

“Transgender students are a small but important group of young people and they were diverse in terms of their background and experiences,” says Dr Clark. “About two-thirds of these students had not previously disclosed to anyone that they are transgender.”

Another 2.5 per cent of students in the study reported being not sure about their gender and 1.7 per cent did not understand the question.

“Both transgender students and those unsure about their gender, experienced compromised mental health and personal safety and they described more difficulty accessing health care,” she says.

Transgender students were less likely to report believing that a parent cared about them and that school was okay, but were more likely to report having significant depressive symptoms.

Nearly 20 per cent had attempted suicide in the previous 12 months and nearly half of the transgender students had been hit or physically harmed by another person on purpose.


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