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J Adolesc Health. 2019 Apr;64(4):461-466. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2018.07.016. Epub 2018 Oct 9.

Prevalence of Self-Injurious Thoughts and Behaviors in Transgender Individuals With Eating Disorders: A National Study.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida; Department of Psychology, University of Saint Joseph, West Hartford, Connecticut. Electronic address: duffy@psy.fsu.edu.
2
Department of Psychology, University of Saint Joseph, West Hartford, Connecticut.
3
Department of Psychology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study examined prevalence of self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (SITBs) in transgender individuals with eating disorders, as compared to cisgender individuals with eating disorders and transgender individuals without eating disorders.

METHODS:

Data were analyzed from 365,749 individuals (median age 21 years, 71.8% White/Caucasian, 34.9% male, 64.9% female, and 0.2% transgender) who participated in American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment, an annual national assessment of college student health, from 2008 to 2011.

RESULTS:

Rates of past-year nonsuicidal self-injury, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts were elevated in transgender participants with eating disorders (74.8%, 75.2%, and 74.8%, respectively), as compared to cisgender participants with eating disorders and transgender participants without eating disorders. Follow-up logistic regression analyses indicated these differences were statistically significant above and beyond the effects of demographic variables and depression.

CONCLUSIONS:

Results found extremely high rates of SITBs in transgender individuals with eating disorders. This combination of identities, each associated with SITBs, may have a compounding effect.

KEYWORDS:

College student; Eating disorder; Gender identity; Non-suicidal self-injury; Suicidal ideation; Suicide; Suicide attempt; Transgender

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