Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Levels of depression in transgender people and its predictors: results of a large matched control study with transgender people accessing clinical services

Witcomb, Gemma L.; Bouman, Walter Pierre; Claes, Laurence; Brewin, Nicola; Crawford, John R.; Arcelus, Jon

Authors

Gemma L. Witcomb

Walter Pierre Bouman

Laurence Claes

Nicola Brewin

John R. Crawford

JON ARCELUS ALONSO Jon.Arcelus@nottingham.ac.uk
Clinical Professor in Mental Health & Transgender Health



Abstract

Background: Depression is a serious disorder which significantly impacts wellbeing and quality of life. Studies exploring mental wellbeing in the transgender population are mostly limited by small, non-homogenous samples and lack of matched controls. This study aimed to address these limitations and explore depression rates in a large sample of transgender people, compared with matched controls from the general population, as well as factors predicting depression in those taking cross-sex hormone treatment (CHT) compared to those not.
Methods: Transgender individuals (n=913) completed a measure of depression, measures which predict psychopathology (self-esteem, victimization, social support, interpersonal problems), and information regarding CHT use. Participants were matched by age and experienced gender with adults from the general population who had completed the measure of depression.
Results: Individuals were categorized as having no, possible or probable depressive disorder. Transgender individuals not on CHT had a nearly four-fold increased risk of probable depressive disorder, compared to controls. Older age, lower self-esteem, poorer interpersonal function and less social support predicted depressive disorder. Use of CHT was associated with less depression.
Limitations: Participants were attending a national gender identity service and therefore represent only a sub-group of transgender people. Due to the cross-sectional design, longitudinal research is required to fully confirm the finding that CHT use reduces depression.
Conclusion: This study confirms that non-treated transgender individuals have an increased risk of a depressive disorder. Interventions offered alongside gender affirming treatment to develop interpersonal skills, increase self-esteem and improve social support may reduce depression and prepare individuals for a more successful transition.

Citation

Witcomb, G. L., Bouman, W. P., Claes, L., Brewin, N., Crawford, J. R., & Arcelus, J. (2018). Levels of depression in transgender people and its predictors: results of a large matched control study with transgender people accessing clinical services. Journal of Affective Disorders, 235, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2018.02.051

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 16, 2018
Online Publication Date Feb 17, 2018
Publication Date Aug 1, 2018
Deposit Date Feb 16, 2018
Publicly Available Date Feb 18, 2019
Journal Journal of Affective Disorders
Print ISSN 0165-0327
Electronic ISSN 1573-2517
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 235
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2018.02.051
Keywords Transgender, Depression, Self-esteem, Social support, Interpersonal function, Cross-sex hormone treatment
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/49826
Publisher URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165032717324400
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0

Files

Depression paper Witcomb et al. with figures_tables ACCEPTED.pdf (357 Kb)
PDF

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0





You might also like



Downloadable Citations