The latest study in the field of transgender child psychology revealed that depression should not be a common factor for transgender children. While previous studies showed that children that are passing through a social transition or those who are gender nonconforming are prone to depression, or even suicidal thoughts, the most recent study disagrees.
Depression should not be a common factor for transgender children if they receive emotional support from their family, friends and community.
Social transitioning is the phase that children who identify themselves as transgender go through. It is the stage in which they declare their true identity and they start wearing the clothes that make them comfortable, the hairstyles that they see fit and other such gender specific things.
Social transitioning is a phase experienced by children who already know that they were born in the wrong gender and who actively decide to embrace their true identity.
But there are also nonconforming children. These are the children that prefer the clothes, games and toys specific to another gender, but they don’t necessarily identify themselves as a member of the other sex. They are sometimes referred to as gender fluid. They do not identify with the opposite gender, but they don’t adhere to their own, either.
The lead researcher of the study that states that depression should not be a common factor for transgender children, Kristina Olson, says that the most important factor that contributes to the happiness of transgender children is support.
The transition itself is not a reason for depression or anxiety, but social pressure is. Children who do not feel supported or who meet resistance and prejudice when talking about their social transitioning are prone to depression or anxiety, some cases even leading to suicidal thoughts.
In order to establish the degree of anxiety and depression present in transgender children, Olson gathered a sample of 73 children aged 3 to 12 who had successfully socially transitioned. Also, she interviewed their siblings and an additional 73 children who did not identify themselves as transgender.
Her conclusion was that depression should not be a common factor for transgender children. The levels of depression she discovered in the participating children were similar. The three groups did not register significant differences in either depression or anxiety levels.
Furthermore, Olson studies showed that the levels of depression and anxiety were significantly lower in social transitioning children as compared to those from previous studies.
This means that social acceptance, which grew in the last period, immensely helped the children go through the process.
Depression should not be a common factor for transgender children, rather they should feel supported, loved and helped.
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