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Adolescent and Young Adult Health
May 2016

Mental Health Disparities Among Transgender Youth: Rethinking the Role of Professionals

Author Affiliations
  • 1Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
JAMA Pediatr. 2016;170(5):423-424. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.0155

Transgender visibility during the past 5 years has reached an all-time high, as evidenced by increased media coverage, an upswing in clinical practice interest, and a moderate increase in transgender research funding dollars. Additionally, for the first time, the approach to the care of transgender youth has become a major part of the transgender care landscape. Now more than any other time in history, data indicating that the prevalence of gender dysphoria and transgender experience in the United States is likely approximately 0.3% to 0.5%1 highlight the importance of accessible and affordable transgender-specific care. Transgender individuals are known to be a population at risk for multiple mental health challenges, as well as negative and dangerous sequelae of maladaptive coping behaviors.2-4 Transgender women, particularly transgender women of color, are at even higher risk.5,6