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Daily experiences of minority stress and mental health in transgender and gender-diverse individuals

Jae A Puckett, Christina Dyar, Meredith R Maroney, Brian Mustanski, Michael E Newcomb

Journal of Psychopathology and Clinical Science

Transgender and gender-diverse people experience various minority stressors although minimal research has examined prospective effects on daily affect or mental health. We explored rates of marginalization for transgender and gender-diverse participants in a daily diary study and the concurrent and prospective associations with daily affect and weekly measures of depression and anxiety symptoms, as well as the mediating effects of internalized stigma, rumination, and isolation. There were 167 participants (82.2% white; M age = 25) retained in the daily surveys. Participants completed surveys for 56 days reflecting exposure to marginalization, gender nonaffirmation, internalized stigma, rumination, isolation, affect (negative, anxious, and positive affect), and mental health (anxiety and depression symptoms). Participants experienced marginalization on 25.1% of the days. Within-person analyses revealed concurrent associations between marginalization and gender nonaffirmation with increased negative and anxious affect and increased anxiety and depression symptoms, as well as associations for gender nonaffirmation and decreased positive affect. At the within-person level, there were prospective associations between marginalization and gender nonaffirmation with increased negative affect on the next day, as well as increased anxiety and depression symptoms the next week. Concurrent analyses revealed significant indirect effects with marginalization and gender nonaffirmation associated with all three affect variables and mental health via increases in internalized stigma, rumination, and isolation. However, only gender nonaffirmation was related to isolation and affect or mental health in the prospective analyses. Clinical considerations include strategies to address the immediate effects of minority stress as well as the long-term interpersonal effects.

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