Parental Responses to Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Youth: Associations with Parent Support, Parental Abuse, and Youths’ Psychological Adjustment

Arnold H. Grossman, Jung Yeon Park, John A. Frank, Stephen T. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The purpose of this study was to examine parental responses to transgender and gender nonconforming [TGNC] youths’ gender identities and explore associations of parent support with parental abuse, depressive symptoms, and LGBT-identity disclosure stress. TGNC youth (N = 129), ages 15–21 (M = 18.00, SD = 1.74), completed surveys (2011–2012); experiences of transfeminine (TF; n = 58) and transmasculine (TM; n = 71) youth were analyzed separately. Among mothers of TF youth, 42.0% of initial and 45.3% of current responses were positive; among fathers, 30.0% of initial and 36.0% of current responses were positive. Among mothers of TM youth, 26.0% of initial and 53.3% of current responses were positive; among fathers, 24.0% of initial and 44.6% of current responses were positive. Among TM youth, higher levels of parental support were associated with more positive responses from mothers and fathers. Among both TF and TM youth, greater parent support was associated with less parental abuse, depressive symptoms, and LGBTQ-identity disclosure stress. Parental responses to youths’ gender identities became more positive with time for TF youth; however, approximately 50% of all TGNC youth continued to experience minority stress related to parent rejection. Limitations and implications for practice and research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • Transgender
  • depression
  • gender nonconforming
  • parent support
  • parental abuse
  • parents
  • stress
  • transfeminine
  • transmasculine
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Psychology(all)

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