Research & Resources

Protective Environments, Health, and Substance Use Among Transgender and Gender Expansive Youth

This study examined associations between protective environments (perceived community tolerance, perceived family support, and housing stability) and recent binge drinking, lifetime high-risk substance use (cocaine, methamphetamines, or heroin), and self-rated health in a sample of transgender and gender-expansive (TGE) youth. Overall, 28.1% of participants reported that people who lived near them were tolerant of transgender people, 32.8% reported that their family was at least somewhat supportive of their identity, and 77.0% reported being stably housed. Using logistic regression models, the study revealed that community tolerance and housing stability were associated with lower odds of self-rated poor health. Housing stability was associated with lower odds of recent binge drinking and lifetime high-risk substance use. Results also showed that perceived community tolerance and housing stability were associated with several positing health outcomes among TGE youth. These findings suggest that protective factors, including safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments, are critical to youth health and well-being

This paper, “Protective environments, health, and substance use among transgender and gender expansive youth,” was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and published in the journal LGBT health.

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