Gender Affirmation Is Associated with Transgender and Gender Nonbinary Youth Mental Health Improvement Academic Article uri icon

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  • Purpose: The present study aimed to evaluate the impact of each domain of gender affirmation (social, legal, and medical/surgical) on the mental health of transgender and gender nonbinary youth. Methods: Three hundred fifty transgender boys, transgender girls, and gender nonbinary Brazilian youth, from 16 to 24 years old, answered an online survey. Results: The final sample consisted of 350 youth who participated in this study. A total of 149 (42.64%) youth identified as transgender boys, 85 (24.28%) identified as transgender girls, and 116 (33.14%) identified as gender nonbinary youth. The mean age was 18.61 (95% confidence interval 18.34-18.88) years. Having accessed multiple steps of gender affirmation (social, legal, and medical/surgical) was associated with fewer symptoms of depression and less anxiety. Furthermore, engaging in gender affirmation processes helped youth to develop a sense of pride and positivity about their gender identity and a feeling of being socially accepted. Conclusion: Enabling transgender and gender nonbinary youth to access gender affirmation processes more easily should be considered as a strategy to reduce depression and anxiety symptoms, as well as to improve gender positivity.


  • Fontanari, Anna Martha Vaitses
  • Vilanova, Felipe
  • Schneider, Maiko
  • Chinazzo, Itala
  • Soll, Bianca Machado
  • Schwarz, Karine
  • Lobato, Maria Inês Rodrigues
  • Brandelli Costa, Angelo

publication date

  • July 1, 2020