Advisory Committee Chair
Caitlyn Wolford Clevenger
Advisory Committee Members
Date of Award
Degree Name by School
Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences
Background: Transgender individuals experience more mental health challenges than their cisgender counterparts, and a growing area of research suggests that transgender in-dividuals are at increased risk of eating disorder symptoms. The Gender Minority Stress and Resilience model may help explain this health disparity in eating disorder symptoms. The model theorizes that this disproportionate mental health burden, such as eating disor-der symptoms, may arise from the stresses of belonging to a minoritized group. Another factor that may account for eating disorder disparities is gender dysphoria, a distressing and clinically significant state many transgender individuals experience when their physi-cal appearance is incongruent with their gender identity. However, no studies have tested whether minority stress and gender dysphoria relate to eating disorder symptomatology. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of Southern U.S. transgender adults (N = 60) exam-ined these associations via multiple linear regression models and means testing. Results: The eating disorder symptom composite was significantly associated with gender dysphoria. Endorsing cognitive distortions consistent with having an eating disorder was associated with increased gender dysphoria, being transmasculine (as opposed to non-binary), and being white. Endorsing compensatory behaviors was positively associated with gender dysphoria and negatively associated with distal stress. Individuals with a lower yearly income endorsed higher scores on caloric restriction than their higher-earning counterparts. Conclusion: Findings highlight the high prevalence of eating disorder symptoms within the transgender community in the Deep South and the need for eating disorder screening and treatment when working with this population clinically.
Botelho, Elliott, "Eating Disorder Symptoms in Transgender Adults: The Impact of Gender Dysphoria and Minority Stress on Eating Disorder Symptomatology" (2023). All ETDs from UAB. 56.