Research Reveals Transgender Youth Vulnerability To Suicidal Thoughts and Substance Abuse

By Krystal Cruz

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UT Austin researchers have found within two peer-reviewed papers that transgender adolescents are twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts and four times as likely to engage in substance abuse as the general population.


The studies were based on representative and population-based data, meaning it can be used to make inferences about the general population. The data was set from the analysis of more than 25,000 students, which included 335 transgender youth.


The study found that 34 percent of transgender youths reported suicidal thoughts within a year’s time, which is nearly double of the percentage reported by other adolescents. The transgender adolescents also marked higher levels of substance abuse, which includes greater alcohol, cigarette and drug use. The students reported that experiences of victimization factored into the high rates of risky behavior.


Stephen Russel, UT professor of human development and family sciences, says the data is the first population-based data that documents the threats facing transgender youth. “These results show that reducing depression and victimization for transgender students should significantly reduce their suicide-related risk,” he said to UT NEWS.


To read more about the results from the study and what researchers take from the data with UT News, click here.