First Advisor

Melissa Thompson

Date of Publication

Spring 6-10-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Sociology






Transgender people -- Mental health services, Discrimination, Sexual minorities -- Mental health services



Physical Description

1 online resource (iv, 80 pages)


The transgender population is makes up about 0.3% of the U.S. population (Gates 2011). The term transgender is both an identity and an umbrella term used to describe people who do not adhere to traditional gender norms (Institute of Medicine 2011). Transgender people experience many barriers to services, negative health outcomes, and discrimination (Fredrikson-Goldsen et al. 2013; Institute of Medicine 2011; Eliason et al. 2009; Hendricks & Testa 2012). Mental health clinics are an important site for understanding transgender peoples' experiences due to being a gatekeeper for other medical services and their role in helping transpeople with issues surrounding coming out, victimization, and discrimination (Grant et al. 2011; Youth Suicide Prevention Program 2011). The mental health field has a contested relationship with the transgender population due to a history of pathologizing gender variance, barriers to accessing services, and insensitivity from mental health providers (American Psychiatric Association 2013; Eliason et al. 2009). I conducted secondary data analysis using the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (2008) in order to understand the relationships between gender non-conforming identities, others' perception of one's gender identity, and discrimination at mental health clinics. Results suggest that there is an association between gender identity, others' perception of one's gender identity, and discrimination. This association depends on which gender identity, the degree to which an individual identifies with each term, and the type of discrimination. Logistic regression results reveal that identity and others' perception are not significant predictors for experiencing discrimination. Rather, income and race are significant predictors for experiencing discrimination at metal health clinics.


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