Our current publications are listed below! There is more to come, so be sure to check back in the future too.

Transgender and gender diverse people’s reflections on sociopolitical events.

DuBois, L. Z., Puckett, J. A., Price, S., Kuehn, K., Lash, B., Walker, T., Holt, N., Ralston, Huit, T. Z., A. L., Miles, M., Volk, S., Capannola, A., Tipton, C., Hope, D. A., Mocarski, R., & Juster, R. P. (in press). Bulletin of Applied Transgender Studies.

Marginalization experienced by transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people exerts negative effects on health. However, few studies examine how TGD people respond to events reflecting structural stigma or anti-TGD sentiment and the sociopolitical contexts in which they occur. This study examined how TGD people (N = 158) residing in Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, and Tennessee responded to specific sociopolitical events and their impacts on health and well-being. Baseline data were collected Fall 2019-Spring 2020, followed by monthly surveys for a year (current analyses include baseline data and one monthly survey). At baseline, participants reflected on their responses to the 2016 presidential election of Donald Trump and a 2018 memo leak with negative implications for TGD people’s lives. Participants reported decreased positive experiences (e.g., hopefulness) and increased negative experiences (e.g., fear) after these events. Additionally, 80.2% of participants reported increased hate speech following the 2016 election. During one of the monthly  surveys, we found variability in participants’ responses to the 2020 presidential election. Perhaps due to backlash, 31.3% of participants reported increased hate speech, with participants of color reporting additional negative impacts. These findings contextualize experiences of TGD people, highlighting how marginalization and exposure to minority stressors are shaped by structural-level stigma.

Transgender clients’ experiences in therapy: Responses to sociopolitical events and helpful and unhelpful experiences.

Puckett, J. A., Kimball, D., Glozier, W. K., Wertz, M., Dunn, T., Lash, B., Ralston, A. L., Holt, N. R,, Huit, T. Z., Volk, S. A., Hope, D. A., Mocarski, R., & DuBois, L. Z. (in press). Professional Psychology: Research and Practice.

We explored transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people’s reports of their therapy experiences over the course of a year. We explored how participants’ therapists integrated discussions about current events, as well as their more general perspectives on helpful and unhelpful experiences. A total of 107 participants provided data on these questions at least once over 12 months of surveys (M age = 33.79; 70.1% White), reflecting on their current therapy experiences. Through thematic analysis of qualitative data, the following themes were constructed regarding discussing sociopolitical events: 1) facilitating coping via bearing witness to clients’ internal experiences and implementing other therapeutic interventions; 2) moving beyond the individual by integrating identity, systems, or contexts; 3) feeling disconnected and misunderstood. We grouped participants’ helpful experiences into the following themes: 1) availability, connection, and therapeutic approaches facilitate positive experiences; 2) the necessity of knowledge, education, and affirmation of TGD identities; 3) helpful therapy means seeing the world in which clients live. We grouped participants’ unhelpful experiences into the following themes: 1) logistical issues can interfere with therapy; 2) lack of depth and disconnection results in subpar therapy; 3) insufficient understandings of TGD identities results in potentially harmful practices. These findings deepen understandings of how to integrate into therapy discussions about current events and provide competent and affirming care to TGD clients.

Transgender and gender diverse adults’ self-reported mental health diagnoses, engagement in mental health services, and perceptions of therapists.

Puckett, J. A., Holt, N. R., Lash, B., Huit, T. Z., Ralston, A. L., Hope, D. A., Mocarski, R., & DuBois, L. Z. (2023). Psychotherapy Research, 33, 84-94. doi: 10.1080/10503307.2022.2091961

Objective: Transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people face various challenges when seeking therapy. Given this, we wanted to understand more about TGD people’s perceptions of providers and how these compare to researcher ratings of providers on metrics of affirming practice. Method: The sample included 158 TGD adults (Mage = 33.06); 57.6% were in therapy. Participants completed measures about mental health, resilience, and therapy. We systematically coded provider websites and intake forms. Results: Participants in therapy were older, had higher depression, and lower resilience than participants not in therapy. Non-binary/genderqueer participants rated providers as less knowledgeable compared to trans feminine participants. Overall, participants appeared satisfied (71.4% extremely satisfied) and viewed providers as at least moderately knowledgeable (89.1%). Provider coding revealed variation across the markers of affirmation; 66.04% identified a TGD-specialty and only 26.42% shared provider pronouns. Higher frequency of inclusivity (via coding) was related to higher ratings of provider knowledge and more of a focus on gender, however, there was not a significant association with satisfaction. Conclusions: Providers who engaged in more affirming practices were more knowledgeable compared to those who engaged in fewer affirming practices. This may influence the content of therapy and whether clients feel comfortable discussing gender.

Trans and gender diverse people’s experience wearing face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic: Findings from data across 4 states in the USA.

DuBois, L. Z., SturtzSreetharan, C, MacFife, B., Puckett, J. A., Jagielski, A., Dunn, T., Anderson, T., Hope, D. A., Mocarski, R., & Juster, R.P. (2022). Sexuality Research and Social Policy. Advance online publication.

Social isolation and reduced access to public life in response to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) challenges health and well-being for many. Marginalized communities, including transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people, have been disproportionally impacted. Experiences of TGD people should be centered in pandemic-related research to better inform policy. A diverse sample of TGD people (N = 158) were recruited from Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, and Tennessee to participate in the Trans Resilience and Health Study. Participants ranged from 19 to 70 years old (M = 33.06; SD = 12.88) with 27.2% identifying as trans men/men, 26% identifying as trans women/women, and remaining identifying with terms like genderqueer and nonbinary. Thirty percent identified as people of color. Participants completed a monthly COVID-19-related questionnaire April 2020–March 2021 including open-ended questions to learn what contributed to resilience during this time. Thematic analyses of responses enabled identification of salient themes. Analyses revealed pandemic-related changes in social experiences of marginalization and mask-wearing. Twenty-six participants mentioned face masks as contributing to resilience while also elaborating the influence of masks on experiences of misgendering. Participants identifying as trans women reported decreased misgendering while trans men and nonbinary participants reported increased misgendering. Mask-wearing helps reduce transmission of COVID-19. For some trans women, masks also reduce the threat of misgendering and possibly other forms of enacted stigma. However, increased risk for misgendering, as noted by trans men in our study, should be considered and increased supports should be provided.

Transgender and gender diverse people’s experiences of minority stress, mental health, and resilience in relation to sociopolitical contexts.

Puckett, J. A., Huit, T. Z., Hope, D. A., Mocarski, R., Lash, B., Walker, T., Holt, N., Ralston, A. L., Miles, M., Capannola, A., Tipton, C., Juster, R. P., & DuBois, L. Z. (2022). Transgender Health. Advance online publication.

Purpose: The sociopolitical context in which transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) people live has significant effects on mental health. We examined whether perceptions of context (TGD people’s perceptions of how TGD people were viewed) differed across four United States (U.S.) states and associations with mental health and identity pride, the mediational effects of minority stressors, and potential buffering effects of resilience. Methods: TGD individuals in Oregon, Michigan, Nebraska, and Tennessee (n=158; ages 19–70, mean=33.06) completed questionnaires assessing their perceptions of how TGD people were viewed in their local area and in the U.S., as well as scales assessing minority stressors, pride, resilience, and mental health. Data were collected during Fall 2019 to Spring 2020. Results: Oregon participants viewed perceptions in their state the most positively, with no state-level differences in terms of broader U.S. perceptions. Tennessee participants experienced more expectations of rejection; however, there were no differences across the states in other minority stress variables, identity pride, resilience, or mental health. Participants who viewed their area as having more negative views of TGD people reported higher levels of discrimination, expectations of negative events, internalized stigma, and anxiety, as well as less pride. The effects of perceptions of local context on mental health were partially explained by enacted stigma and internalized stigma. Resilience did not buffer the effects of perceptions of the local context on mental health or pride. Conclusion: Context is important to shaping exposure to minority stressors and mental health, potentially through increasing enacted and internalized stigma.

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