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What about the family in youth gender diversity? A literature review


Westwater, JJ and Riley, EA and Peterson, GM, What about the family in youth gender diversity? A literature review, International Journal of Transgenderism, 20 pp. 351-370. ISSN 2689-5269 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

DOI: doi:10.1080/15532739.2019.1652130


Background: Previous research has suggested that gender diversity affects everyone in the family, with positive mental health and global outcomes for gender diverse youth reliant on receiving adequate family support and validation. Although the individual mental health, treatment and outcomes for gender diverse youth have received recent research attention, much less is known about a family perspective. Hence, a review of the literature exploring youth gender diversity from a family perspective is warranted.

Aims: To systematically identify, appraise and summarize all published literature primarily exploring gender diversity in young people under the age of 18 years, as well as selected literature pertaining to a family understanding.

Methods: Six electronic databases (CINAHL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, SCOPUS, Web of Science) were searched for relevant literature pertaining to youth under the age of 18 years.

Results: Research evidence was consistently found to support the beneficial effects of a supportive family system for youth experiencing gender diversity, and a systemic understanding and approach for professionals. Conversely, lack of family support was found to lead to poorer mental health and adverse life outcomes. Few articles explored the experience of siblings under the age of 18 years.

Discussion: This literature review is the first to critically evaluate and summarize all published studies which adopted a family understanding of youth gender diversity. The review highlighted a lack of current research and the need for further targeted research, which utilizes a systemic clinical approach to guide support for gender diverse youth and family members.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:gender diversity, youth, family, sibling, parent, mental health, support
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Mental health services
UTAS Author:Westwater, JJ (Mr Jason Westwater)
UTAS Author:Riley, EA (Dr Elizabeth Riley)
UTAS Author:Peterson, GM (Professor Gregory Peterson)
ID Code:138558
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:20
Deposited By:Pharmacy
Deposited On:2020-04-15
Last Modified:2020-07-31

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