STUDY: Letting Kids Transition Before Puberty Eliminates Higher Rates Of Depression, Anxiety

They were "developmentally normal as other children when it came to self-worth."

As more and more kids are comfortable coming out as a gender different than the one assigned to them at birth, an increasingly asked question is: should parents and doctors affirm the child’s gender identity at such a young age?

kid playing hopscotch on playground outdoors, children outdoor activities
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The good news for trans kids is that according to a new study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, when it comes to self-reported depressive symptoms “researchers found there was no difference between transgender kids who were allowed to transition and their peers and siblings.”

Rear-view of five children jumping in the air wearing backpacks
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The study also found that transgender children were just as developmentally normal as other children when it came to self-worth.

A rear view of a multi-ethnic group of elementary age girl friends are standing together with their arms around each other. They are looking out at the park on a sunny day.
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Transition before hitting puberty usually requires no medical procedures, but mostly involves the change of name, appearances and pronouns used.

If children are not allowed to transition it often leads to strained relationships with their parents and doctors. Children could “feel judged for being transgender” and that could lead to higher rates of anxiety, depression, and even suicidality that we see in these children,” wrote Jack Turban from the Child Study Center in New Haven, CT.

Transgender Flag Waving Against Trees

Lead researcher Lily Durwood warns that more research needs to be done before definitive conclusions can be drawn, but the “take-home message of this study is that it is possible for a child to socially transition before puberty and have normative mental health.”

This is just the latest study to show that supporting transition of transgender youth improves the child’s overall mental health.

h/t: Think Progress

Watch Logo’s Fill in the Blank episode about trans relationships below.

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