Using Chosen Names Reduces Odds of Depression and Suicide in Transgender Youths

April 20, 2018

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


A recent study found that transgender youth who were able to use their chosen names in multiple contexts had a lower risk of depression and suicide. “Many kids who are transgender have chosen a name that is different than the one that they were given at birth,” said lead author Stephen T. Russell, University of Texas at Austin professor and chair of human development and family science. “We showed that the more contexts or settings where they were able to use their preferred name, the stronger their mental health was.” The study included 129 transgender youth ages 15 to 21 in three U.S. cities. Participants who were able to use their chosen names at school, home, work, and with friends had lower reported depression symptoms, suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempts compared to peers who could not use their chosen names in any context. Russell and his co-authors suggested that institutions such as schools and workplaces could help minimize mental health risks among transgender youth by allowing them to use their chosen names.

Spark Extra! Read the study abstract.