Beyond Depression and Suicide: The Mental Health of Transgender College Students
Oswalt, Sara B.
Lederer, Alyssa M.
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Research studies examining the mental health of transgender individuals often focus on depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation through the use of clinic samples. However, little is known about the emerging adult (18–26 years old) transgender population and their mental health. The current study seeks to fill that gap by using a national dataset of college students (N = 547,727) to examine how transgender college students (n = 1143) differ from their cisgender peers regarding 12 different mental health conditions. Chi-square and regression analyses were conducted. Results demonstrate that transgender students have approximately twice the risk for most mental health conditions compared to cisgender female students. A notable exception is schizophrenia, in which transgender individuals have about seven times the risk compared to cisgender females. While these were significant findings, regression analyses indicate that being non-heterosexual is a greater predictor for mental health concerns. Implications for mental health practitioners at colleges and universities are discussed.