There are benefits when gender-diverse young people receive psychosocial support and hormone treatment.
This is according to a study – “Impact of Hormone Treatment on Psychosocial Functioning in Gender-Diverse Young People”- was done by Rosemary Lavender, Selina Shaw, Johanna-Katharina Maninger, Gary Butler, Paul Carruthers, Polly Carmichael, and Una Masic. It appeared in LGBT Health.
In this study, the researchers investigated a cohort of young people before treatment, one year into gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa), and one year into gender-affirming hormones (GAH) treatment to understand psychological and behavioral impacts over time.
Thirty-eight young people (28 assigned female and 10 assigned male) referred to endocrinology, younger than 15 years at/beyond Tanner stage two, who received GnRHa followed by GAH treatment, were assessed in a retrospective analysis study. Young people completed the Youth Self Report (YSR), the Body Image Scale, and the Utrecht Gender Dysphoria Scale, while caregivers completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and the Social Responsiveness Scale-2 at all time points.
The researchers found:
- Dissatisfaction with primary sexual characteristics, gender dysphoria, and social motivation improved significantly over time.
- Self-harm and suicidality also showed a general decrease.
- Caregivers reported a significant reduction in internalizing behaviors on the CBCL after GnRHa. Other subcategories of the YSR and CBCL were within normal ranges with no significant difference.
The researchers stressed that these “demonstrate some improvements in psychological and behavioral outcomes in young people concurrently receiving psychosocial support and hormone treatment.” As such, efforts need to look into this.