SEATTLE — Transgender children whose parents affirm their gender identity are as happy and well-adjusted as their peers, a new University of Washington study in Pediatrics magazine finds.
Researchers found that prepubescent children, who are living openly as transgender with the support of their families, are living much happier lives. These children have often socially transitioned, going as far as changing their pronouns, clothing and often their names. The study is thought to be the first of its kind, Patheos and other outlets report.
Transgender children and even adults have long struggled with depression and high rates of suicide.
The UW study asked the parents of 73 trans children, ages 3 to 12 to rate their children’s emotional state. The compiled data found that these children, in supportive households ranked on average with the two control groups of their own siblings, and a mix of gender-matched children. In some cases, they found the transgender children happiness levels ranked higher than those of gender-conforming children. They did, however, find that transgender children did suffer from slightly higher anxiety levels, Patheos reports.
While the children’s anxiety levels did appear to be slightly higher, researchers said these findings were not surprising given the overall social stigma that comes along with being transgender and the news coverage of violence against trans people and news of suicides around the country, researchers said.