A study published in the LGBT Health Journal explores family rejection as a predictor for substance misuse in transgender and gender nonconforming adults.
Taking data from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey the study involved 3458 people who self-identified as transgender or gender nonconforming. Within this sample 42.3% reported a suicide attempt and 26% reported misusing drugs or alcohol to cope with transgender related discrimination. The study found that those who had experienced family rejection had higher odds of attempting suicide or experiencing substance misuse and that these odds increased with increasing levels of family rejection.
The study also highlights the increased risk of adverse life experiences faced by transgender and gender nonconforming people such as poverty, violence, increased risk of HIV and discrimination in housing or employment. The survey highlights the potential protective effect of family acceptance against these adverse experiences and health outcomes.
This is possibly the first study to explore the association between family rejection and negative health outcomes in transgender and gender nonconforming individual. The researchers call for further research on the risk factors and vulnerabilities within transgender populations. This study will be useful for those interested in risk and resilience and to those developing public health interventions within the LGBT+ community.