Article

The interaction between young people with atypical gender identity organization and their peers. Journal of Health Psychology, 10, 307-315

University of Bath, Bath, England, United Kingdom
Journal of Health Psychology (Impact Factor: 1.22). 06/2005; 10(3):307-15. DOI: 10.1177/1359105305051417
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This exploratory study involved the qualitative analysis of the responses of eight children with atypical gender identity organization to open-ended questions about their experiences of secondary school. The aim was to develop an understanding of these young people's interaction with their peers. It became apparent that all but one of the participants had been bullied. In this context, participants reported difficulties in developing friendships, although each participant received support from at least one of their peers. Given the hostile school environment participants did not necessarily talk to these individuals about their experiences in relation to their gender identity. The clinical implications for working with young people on a developing gender identity, and the impact on their mental health, are considered.

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    • "For example, a person with gender dysphoria may score highly on the statements 'has difficulty relating to peers' or 'gets teased a lot' but this may be due to their gender dysphoria and due to the high level of bullying experienced in this population (see e.g. Holt et al. 2014; McGuire et al. 2010; Wilson et al. 2005), not because of an underlying ASD. There is a possibility that, for some young people with gender dysphoria, high scores on the SRS simply indicate social difficulties, not necessarily a diagnosis of ASD. "
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    • "Due to their gender nonconformity, children and adolescents with gender dysphoria frequently suffer harassment and bullying by peers and other individuals, which can lead to social exclusion and further psychological distress (e.g., Di Ceglie et al., 2002; Grant et al. 2011; Grossman & D'Augelli, 2006; Grossman, D'Augelli, & Frank, 2011). Wilson, Griffin, and Wren (2005) looked at peer relationships in eight transgender adolescents in the United Kingdom and found that all but one of them had been bullied and that most of them chose not to disclose their gender identity to school peers out of fear of abuse. Similarly, McGuire, Anderson, Toomey, and Russell (2010) looked at the school climate for transgender youth and found that 80% of the transgender individuals reported receiving verbal abuse " sometimes or often " resulting in fear and psychological and physical distress. "
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