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Results from the Survey by Kate Romanowski, University of Canberra

Started by Cindy, January 27, 2016, 02:24:18 AM

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Dear participants of the transgender survey,
    I would like to thank you for your participation in this research project (which took place from March-May 2015) and I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with the results of the study as the project has now been completed.
Background and Aim of the research:
A large portion of the emerging research in the field of transgender identities supports the notion of gender fluidity beyond the gender binary.  There is also an increasing recognition that gender variation is a naturally occurring phenomenon, however there are many instances in which transgender identities continue to be pathologised.
According to the transgender identity theory, the development of transgender identities involves personal and social aspects of one's transgender identity.  Other research has shown that transgender individuals who face prejudice and lack of support associated with the development of a transgender identity experience higher rates of internalised psychological distress.
The social element of the transgender identity is one way in which transgender people can express the gender they identify with.  According to research, factors such as: Positive image, reflection, and expression of one's individual transgender identity is a way to develop a social transgender identity also known as the degree of congruence with own gender identity.
An individual element of the transgender identity formation is a secondary element of the transgender identity.  According to research, one way to assess an individual transgender identity formation is to look at the amount of time an individual spends deliberating or ruminating about their gender identity which can be a strong contributor to psychological distress.
Therefore, the aim of this research was to add to the existing literature in the field of transgender identity development by investigating whether transgender individuals': (1) congruence with their own gender identity and (2) rumination about their gender identity could be used to predict psychological distress.  In this context psychological distress was defined by the reported symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress.

A total of 238 participants took part in the survey from various countries around the world.

The variable 'Rumination' was made up of three separate factors which were: Rumination, reflection and preoccupation that was associated with one's transgender identity.
The variable 'Congruence' was made up of two factors: Appearance congruence and gender identity acceptance.
The variable 'Psychological distress' was made up of three factors: Reported symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress.
The results of the first hypothesis which was looking at whether rumination about individual's own gender identity could be used to predict psychological distress indicated that preoccupation defined as the need to always consider others' opinions about one's own transgender identity and rumination defined as persistent scrutiny of the negative outcomes associated with the stressor were found to be significant predictors of the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress. Reflection, which was defined as a coping strategy used to make sense of the stressor was not found to be a significant predictor of symptoms of anxiety, depression, nor stress.
In other words those individuals that reported higher levels of preoccupation and rumination associated with one's own transgender identity also reported higher levels of anxiety, depression, and stress symptoms. 
The second hypothesis was looking at whether congruence with the individual's social gender identity could be used to predict psychological distress.
The results indicated that appearance congruence and gender identity acceptance had an inverse and significant relationship with the symptoms of depression meaning that those individuals who reported higher appearance congruence and gender identity acceptance also reported less symptoms of depression.
Appearance congruence was found to be the only inverse and significant predictor of anxiety, meaning that those who reported higher appearance congruence also reported less symptoms of anxiety. Neither appearance congruence nor gender identity acceptance had any predictive relationship with stress.

In summary, the results of the current study suggest that rumination associated with the individual's transgender identity appears to play a considerable role in the extent to which transgender individuals experience symptoms of psychological distress such as anxiety, depression, and stress.  That is, the more an individual ruminates over the fact that their gender identity does not match their birth sex and is preoccupied with how others may be negatively evaluating them, the more psychological distress they would experience.  Likewise, the more comfortable a person feels in the way they present their own gender identity to the world, the less psychological distress they would experience.  These results were consistent with the transgender identity theory which implicates the personal and social aspects in the development of transgender identities, where in this instance the elements associated with the individual gender identity development had a larger impact on psychological distress than the social elements.  The findings of the study further inform potential clinical practices to address the psychological distress experienced by transgender clients.

Thank you again.
Kate Romanowski
University of Canberra

Ms Grace

I can't remember if I took part in this or not.

The results sound appropriately academic but from what I understand it sounds pretty accurate.
Transition 1.0 (Julie): HRT 1989-91
Self-denial: 1991-2013
Transition 2.0 (Grace): HRT June 24 2013
Full-time: March 24, 2014 :D