Session: Exploring Patterns of Risk Behaviors in Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Populations (Society for Prevention Research 27th Annual Meeting)

4-035 Exploring Patterns of Risk Behaviors in Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Populations

Friday, May 31, 2019: 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
Bayview A (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
Theme: Promoting Health Equity and Decreasing Disparities
Symposium Organizer:
Manuel A. Ocasio
Manuel A. Ocasio
Relative to their cisgender counterparts, transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) individuals undergo unique stigma and discriminatory experiences that put them at elevated risk for poor health. Studies have also documented substantial inequities in HIV, substance use and abuse and suicidality among the TGNC population. Characterizing these outcomes and identifying correlates that can be targeted for public health and clinical intervention are needed. This symposium will explore various correlates of these health outcomes across three distinct datasets representing TGNC populations from Virginia, the Midwest and users of a national suicide crisis service provider.

The first paper, “Characterization and Correlates of the Substance Use, Violence, HIV/AIDS (SAVA) Syndemic among Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming (TGNC) Individuals: Results from the Virginia Transgender Health Initiative Study” assesses the prevalence of syndemic conditions (illicit drug use, physical and sexual violence, HIV) and sociodemographic correlates in a sample of Virginia TGNC individuals. Results indicate that the overall sample reported a high prevalence of endorsing each syndemic condition. Some of the most notable correlates of syndemic experience were level of education and prior suicide attempt.

The second paper, “Sexual Victimization among Transgender and Gender Non-conforming Adolescents” shows that, relative to non-TGNC, TGNC in the Midwest are at an increased risk for both sexual violence and sexual harassment victimization. Other forms of victimization (e.g., bias-based) and problematic drug use were the best predictors of increased sexual victimization. Further, sexual victimization significantly predicted suicidal ideation.

The third paper, “The Mediating Impact of School Stress on Transgender Adolescents’ Elevated Suicidality” compared suicidality between cisgender and TGNC and the mediating impact of school stress on suicidality in TGNC. Lifetime suicide attempts were significantly higher in TGNC relative to cisgender youth and school stress attenuated the relationship between gender identity and suicidality.

The discussant will summarize key points from each presentation and facilitate discussion with audience members and panelists regarding implications for prevention and public health practice. Given the paucity of TGNC-focused prevention research, the symposium will garner much-needed attention and promote further representation of TGNC research at SPR.

* noted as presenting author
The Mediating Impact of School Stress on Transgender Adolescents’ Elevated Suicidality
Cary Klemmer, MSW, University of Southern California; Jeremy Goldbach, PhD, University of Southern California; Mary Rose Mamey, PhD, University of Southern California