Studies that we have published on transgender adolescents have raised concerns about their mental health, especially if the environment in which these teens live is not supportive. But are transgender youth more likely to consider or attempt suicide compared to cisgender adolescents? To answer that question, Thoma et al. (10.1542/peds.2019-1183) studied suicidality in trans- and cisgender adolescents. The authors analyzed almost 1,200 transgender adolescents in a cross-sectional study of about 2,000 teens categorized as cisgender male, cisgender female, transgender male, transgender female, nonbinary originally assigned as female or male, and questioning. Those who participated in the survey were asked about suicidal ideations, plan, attempts and nonsuicidal self-injury among other attributes of suicidality.
The findings in this study, are sadly what most would expect to find given what we know—the risk of all suicidality outcomes were higher among transgender adolescents. There are many other findings well worth your attention that will enable you to be more prepared to prevent suicidal behaviors and to advocate for the needs of all adolescents. Link to this study to learn more about the associations between suicidal behaviors and gender.
by Lewis First, MD, MS, Editor in Chief, Pediatrics
Source – AAP News & Journals