Characteristics and Mental Health of Gender Nonconforming Adolescents in California

By Bianca D.M. Wilson, Soon Kyu Choi, Jody Herman, Tara Becker and Kerith Conron
December 2017

A new study finds that 27 percent—or 796,000—of California’s youth, ages 12 to 17, are viewed as gender nonconforming by their peers at school.

In addition, the study assessed differences in mental health among gender nonconforming youth and gender conforming youth in the state and found no significant difference in the rates of lifetime suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts between the two groups. However, gender nonconforming adolescents were more than twice as likely to have experienced psychological distress in the past year.

The study analyzed data collected from nearly 1,600 California households in the 2015-2016 California Health Interview Survey. It is the first time this survey has included questions about gender expression among teens.










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