Transgender youth at increased risk for suicidal behaviors

  • Thoma BC & al.
  • Pediatrics
  • 14/10/2019

  • Kelli Whitlock Burton
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Transgender adolescents (TGAs) are significantly more likely to have suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, suicide attempts requiring medical care, and nonsuicidal self-injury than cisgender adolescents (CGAs).
  • Risk for suicidal ideation and attempt was significantly higher among transgender males and transgender females than male and female CGAs and among nonbinary adolescents assigned female at birth compared with male CGAs.

Why this matters

  • Although prior studies have suggested an increased risk in suicidal behaviors among TGAs, few have included information on gender assigned at birth and current gender identity, as this study did.

Study design

  • This cross-sectional online survey (age, 14-18 years; 1148 TGAs; 872 CGAs) assessed lifetime suicidality and nonsuicidal self-injury.
  • Funding: University of Pittsburgh Central Research Development Fund.

Key results

  • TGA (males and females, respectively) had higher odds (P<.05 of experiencing suicidality vs cgas cga males style="list-style-type:circle;">
  • passive death wish (aOR, 9.39 vs 4.52),
  • suicidal ideation (aOR, 5.64 vs 6.30),
  • planning attempt (aOR, 3.82 vs 2.98),
  • suicidal attempt (aOR, 2.72 vs 2.90),
  • attempt requiring medical care (aOR, 12.12 vs 3.91), and
  • nonsuicidal self-injury (aOR, 9.65 vs 2.73).
  • Aggregated into 1 group, TGAs had higher odds of reporting each outcome when compared with CGAs in adjusted models.
  • Limitations

    • More TGA-assigned females were included than TGA-assigned males.

    Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm