A study shows that allowing transgender kids to transition virtually eliminates higher rates of depression and low self-worth.
In “Mental Health and Self-Worth in Socially Transitioned Transgender Youth”, which appeared in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Lily Durwood, Dr. Katie A. McLaughlin and Dr. Kristina R. Olson tried to examine self-reported depression, anxiety, and self-worth in socially transitioned transgender children compared with 2 control groups: age- and gender-matched controls and siblings of transgender children.
Social transitions are becoming common for transgender children. A social transition involves a child presenting to other people as a member of the “opposite” gender in all contexts (e.g. wearing clothes and using pronouns of that gender). But little is still known about the well-being of socially transitioned transgender children.
This study noted that while transgender children reported depression and self-worth that did not differ from their matched-control or sibling peers, they still “reported marginally higher anxiety.”
There are already other studies on gender nonconforming kids who were not allowed to transition that found they experienced high levels of depression anxiety. The new study stresses – in “striking contrast” – that allowing this social transition can be greatly beneficial to these young people’s mental health.