Psychological wellbeing during cross-sex hormone transition: A mixed methods study
thesisposted on 18.10.2016, 10:48 by Meghan Thurston
Gender dysphoria is the distress experienced because of the disparity between an individual’s psychological gender and sex assigned at birth. Some individuals that experience gender dysphoria pursue medical and psychological interventions and transition. This thesis examines the impact of gender transition. Literature review: Sexuality is a multifaceted construct that may be influenced by our gender identity. The current thematic review appraised and synthesised findings from seven qualitative articles. Two main themes regarding ‘re-negotiating previous ‘norms’’, and ‘establishing identity’ were generated. The quality of the articles suggested there is scope for improvement when conducting qualitative research in this area. Empirical report: The empirical study examined psychological wellbeing during cross sex hormone transition. Cross sex hormone transition aims to alleviate distress experienced as a consequence of gender dysphoria. The study adopted a mixed methods approach to determine if there was any statistical change in psychological variables over time, and to supplement this with an understanding of the experiences that were occurring. A total of 60 questionnaires were completed and the data were examined using descriptive, correlation, multiple regression, and paired sample t-test analysis. A total of two individuals participated in a photo elicitation interview and discussed their experience of their psychological wellbeing during cross sex hormone transition. The quantitative findings suggest that prior to starting cross sex hormone transition, individuals experience statistically elevated rates of anxiety, and depression, and lower self-esteem. Interpersonal functioning and self-esteem predicted variance in anxiety, and interpersonal functioning predicted variance in depression. Over the course of cross sex hormone transition there were statistical improvements in self-esteem and body dysphoria. The qualitative findings revealed super-ordinate themes of: discovery; self-protection; and critical stance and responsibility. Critical appraisal: The critical appraisal details the research journey and learning points that occurred. Issues relating to both personal and professional development are considered.