Research

Our research cuts across a variety of areas, but is built around understanding the effects of stigma on transgender and gender diverse individuals, as well as the ways that people cope with and are resilient in the face of these social stressors. Below you can find out more information about our current research studies. 

This initiative is aimed at building partnerships between Trans-ilience and community organizations or groups who work with transgender and gender diverse people across the state of Michigan. From these partnerships, we can build greater awareness of research questions that need to be addressed at our state level. Further, Trans-ilience would like to partner with organizations and groups to analyze responses from the US Trans Survey participants who resided in Michigan. Although a state specific report has been released from the US Trans Survey, this is brief and there are many more questions that could be answered from this survey. We want to know what types of data are the most useful to community organizations or groups working with the transgender and gender diverse community across the state and will pursue these areas to support the ongoing work of these organizations and groups. 

Principles of Care with Transgender and Gender Diverse Clients 

In this project, the research team is working with Trans Collaborations, a community-based partnership that originated with Nathan Woodruff, a community leader in Lincoln, NE and Drs. Debra Hope and Richard Mocarski, who are researchers at the University of Nebraska Lincoln and the University of Nebraska Kearney, respectively. Trans Collaborations has created Principles of Care that can be used by mental health professionals working with transgender and gender diverse individuals. Often times, these clients receive substandard or even marginalizing mental health services. We seek to change that through developing community driven guidelines to better inform therapists working with this community. Over the coming year, we will be using these guidelines to inform a cognitive-behavioral therapy intervention and will evaluate this intervention. This project and line of work has the capacity to drastically improve the mental health services received by transgender and gender diverse people and ensure that they are receiving more affirming services. 

Trans Health Study 

Transgender and gender diverse people encounter a range of stressors, yet research in this area has mostly applied minority stress models developed for other individuals (cisgender lesbian, gay, and bisexual) without acknowledging the unique and novel experiences of transgender and gender diverse people. In this project, we had two studies which examined stressors impacting the lives of transgender and gender diverse people, their associations with mental health/substance use/sexual health, and the mechanisms or pathways through which these stressors led to negative health outcomes. In one study, we followed a group of transgender and gender diverse people's experiences daily over the course of 56 days to study these areas. In the second study, participants took a one-time survey that included similar questions. We are in the process of analyzing the data from these studies and disseminating the findings.