All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Caitlyn Wolford Clevenger

Advisory Committee Members

Burel Goodin

Brittney Randolph

Document Type


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.



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