Suicidality among gender diverse emerging adults in the United States

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Wilkinson, Lindsey
Pearson, Jennifer D.

Wilkinson, L., Pearson, J. (2022). Suicidality Among Gender Diverse Emerging Adults in the United States. In: Baumle, A.K., Nordmarken, S. (eds) Demography of Transgender, Nonbinary and Gender Minority Populations. Springer, Cham.


Gender diverse youth and emerging adults in the U.S. experience alarmingly high rates of suicidality. In this chapter we use data from the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, the largest national sample of gender diverse individuals in the U.S., to examine variation in suicidality and correlates of suicidality among gender diverse individuals aged 18-24. Theoretically guided by the ideation-to-action suicide framework, we examine differences in socio-demographic factors, external minority stressors, gender-affirming and transition-related variables, social support, and physical/psychiatric comorbidities, across four gender identity groups: transgender men (n = 3,737), transgender women (n = 2,090), nonbinary individuals assigned male at birth (AMAB) (n = 838), and nonbinary individuals assigned female at birth (AFAB) (n = 5,099). We examine suicide ideation (lifetime and past year) and suicide attempt (lifetime and past year) among those who reported ideation. Our findings corroborate high rates of suicidality among gender diverse emerging adults, including higher rates of suicidality among respondents assigned female at birth. In multivariable models, psychiatric comorbidity is a strong independent correlate of ideation but not attempt, while external minority stressors associated with suicide capacity are strong independent correlates of attempt. We discuss both the theoretical and methodological implications of our results for future research on suicidality among the gender diverse population.

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