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Study: Family Rejection Linked to Suicide Attempts Among Trans People


This is the first study to examine the negative health impact of family rejection on the trans and gender nonconforming community. 

A new study published in LGBT Health draws connections from family rejection to suicide attempts and drug abuse among transgender and gender nonconforming individuals.

Using data from the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey, the study found that 42.3% of participants reported a suicide attempt and 26.3% reported misusing drugs or alcohol to cope with anti-trans discrimination. The study concluded that odds of both increased significantly with increasing levels of family rejection.

A little more than half of participants, 54.3%, experienced little to no family rejection; 31.3% experienced "moderate" family rejection; and 14.8% experienced "high" family rejection.

Higher levels of family rejection were associated with being older, having lower income, being unemployed, being born male, and identifying within the gender binary, however race/ethnicity and education were not significant factors.

It should be noted that participants were "largely white, well educated, and employed" and that intersections of race and class carry with them their own sets of challenges.

The study also found:

[H]igher odds of suicide attempts were associated with a younger age, a binary gender identity, nonwhite race/ethnicity, lower education and income, and being unemployed. Reports of both moderate and high levels of family rejection were also associated with greater odds of attempted suicide.


Higher odds of substance misuse were significantly associated with a nonwhite race/ethnicity, a binary gender identity, and lower education and income. Higher odds of substance misuse were also associated with moderate and high levels of family rejection.

"We want to understand protective factors associated with family acceptance, love and support," researcher Augustus Klein told Reuters Health. "Support from close others can often mitigate the negative effects of the structural and institutional discrimination and violence experienced by transgender people."

[h/t] ThinkProgress

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