Skip to main content
Grant Details

Grant Number: 1R21MD015909-01 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Puckett, Julia
Organization: Michigan State University
Project Title: Measure Development to Advance the Scientific Study of Minority Stress in Transgender Individuals
Fiscal Year: 2020


Measures specific to the lives of transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people are significantly underdeveloped or non-existent for some of the stressors encountered by this marginalized community. Currently, no theoretical frameworks for understanding minority stress have been developed specifically from and validated with TGD samples. Instead, research has largely applied minority stress frameworks developed for cisgender lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals, which results in a lack of acknowledgement of unique TGD-specific stressors. This has resulted in limited assessment of the novel experiences of TGD people. This study will address this limitation of existing research by building on the findings of three prior research studies that have uncovered and defined unique, TGD-specific minority stressors – most of which there are no existing measures to assess. These stressors are: misgendering or non-affirmation (referencing TGD people in ways that differ from or negate their current gender identity and invalidate their gender); vicarious stress (distress due to exposure to stress narratives from other TGD people or social representations of TGD people); bodily hypervigilance (feeling on edge and anxious about one's body and gender being monitored by others); transitioning identity stress (tension between one's current identity and past gender identification which may manifest due to internal processes and contextual factors); gender strain (stress experienced due to binary expectations of gender, such as gender not aligning with binary expectations or feeling limited in gender expression due to gender norms); and limited future orientation (feeling that one's future is limited either in quality or time due to oppression and social narratives about TGD lives). This study will entail two phases: Phase 1 will focus on measure development and Phase 2 will focus on measure validation. Phase 1 will include: initial item development from past qualitative findings, cognitive interviews (N = 30) with TGD individuals with these measures, and review of the measures by an expert panel. The measures will be revised at each step of the process. In Phase 2, we will recruit TGD participants (N = 900) via a multi-pronged approach to complete a survey to validate the measures developed in Phase 1. For each of the 6 measures, we will conduct a factor analysis to assess factor structure and item loadings, making modifications as needed. After the measures have been finalized, we will evaluate correlations between the measures developed in Phase 1 and similar constructs to evaluate convergent validity; Phase 1 measures and measures of other minority stressors to asses discriminant validity; Phase 1 measures and mental health outcomes to assess criterion validity. Finally, we will assess item-level and scale-level content validity via ratings by our expert panel. The expert panel will provide a review of the measures and this will be followed by a final review by the community advisory board. This measure development has the potential to greatly enhance the scientific study of TGD specific minority stressors and is urgently needed to improve future research with this population.



Back to Top