Current Research Studies
We have a variety of studies active and ongoing. Below you can learn more about each of our studies. To read more about the papers we've written based on our research, you can also check out our Publications page.
Trans Resilience & Health in Sociopolitical Contexts
A collaborative study of how place and sociopolitical events relate to health and resilience for transgender individuals.
Researchers: This study is co-led by Drs. Jae Puckett at MSU and Zachary DuBois at the University of Oregon. We also have site leaders in Nebraska and research teams that have been involved across Nebraska and Tennessee.
Overall Aims: The overall aims of this study are to understand and document how place and sociopolitical context relates to health and resilience for transgender and gender diverse people.
What's included in this study? We have gathered data with 158 transgender people across the U.S. in the states of OR, MI, TN, and NE, places that substantially vary in their supports for transgender individuals. There was a baseline visit where we conducted hour long interviews about living in this area, recent sociopolitical events, and definitions of resilience; a variety of surveys on topics like social support, mental/physical health, and resilience; and finally a series of physiological measurements that reflect stress and health outcomes. We then started surveying participants monthly and are still in this process. At the end of the year, we'll get back together with participants to do another interview and repeat the physiological measurements.
What's the current status of this study? We completed data collection fall 2021. We are actively continuing to analyze data from this project and we are working on a number of publications.
What are the findings from this study?
We are still in the process of analyzing data from this large study. A few key findings so far:
Check out the summary report for a big picture overview of the study findings.
Dr. Jae Puckett presenting about participants' experiences of therapy.
Drs. Zachary DuBois and Jae Puckett presenting about resilience and health during COVID-19 pandemic.
Drs. Jae Puckett and Zachary DuBois present their poster on structural stigma and mental health.
This publication presents data regarding participants' experiences of mask wearing during the pandemic and how this was experienced differently across gender groups.
Here we describe how the effects of perceptions of local context on mental health were partially explained by enacted stigma and internalized stigma
This publication covers information related to engagement in mental health services and perceptions of therapists' competence and knowledge.
Study Website: https://transresiliencestudy.com/
Minority Stress Measure Development
A study to develop measures of stress and resilience that accurately reflect the lived experiences of transgender and gender diverse people.
Researchers: This study is co-led by Drs. Jae Puckett, Kaston Anderson-Carpenter, and Heather McCauley at MSU and Dr. Zachary DuBois at the University of Oregon also collaborated with us on this study.
Overall Aims: The overall aims of this study are to develop measures based directly on the experiences of transgender and gender diverse people to assess minority stressors. We are doing this because there are hardly any measures developed with transgender people in mind and most research instead forces transgender people's experiences into models or measures made for cis people.
What's included in this study? We first developed items for these scales from data we've gathered in past research. After we developed the potential items, we conducted cognitive interviews with transgender participants to make sure the items are easy to understand and speak to the unique experiences of transgender individuals. Next we had a panel of experts in trans health research review the items and provide feedback. We also had the Trans-ilience Community Board provide feedback on the scales. After this iterative process of revision, we are now conducting a large scale survey to evaluate the reliability and validity of the measures.
What's the current status of this study? This project began September 2020. We developed 6 novel scales to measure unique forms of minority stress for transgender and gender diverse people. In 2023, we finished a large-scale measure validation survey. A paper with the findings from this survey is currently under review (fall 2023) and we hope to share the measures soon!
What are the findings from this study?
We are awaiting reviews of our measure validation paper and hope to share those findings soon.
Funders: This study is funded by the Office Of The Director, National Institutes Of Health; National Institute On Minority Health And Health Disparities (NIMHD); and the National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Modeling Resilience as a Multidimensional Protective Factor in Transgender Health Disparities
This is a large, multi-phase study where we will be developing a novel measure of resilience for transgender participants and validating this measure. We will then be using this measure in a longitudinal study to evaluate whether resilience, as understood from the experiences of transgender communities, buffers the effects of stressors and promotes better health outcomes.
Researchers: This study is led by Dr. Jae Puckett and Dr. Em Matsuno (Arizona State University) and Dr. Paz Galupo (Towson University).
Overall Aims: The primary aims of this study are to develop and validate a novel measure of resilience for transgender participants and to explore whether resilience buffers the impact of minority stressors or promotes better health outcomes when measured with this scale. Past research has largely attempted to fit transgender people's experiences into cisgender frameworks, including areas such as resilience research. As such, we see that many of the measures in the literature do not adequately reflect the experiences of transgender people. Because of this, research is limited in terms of what can be accurately measured when it comes to resilience.
What's included in this study? We are starting by developing the measure based on our prior data collection efforts and a review of the resilience literature. We will then be gathering community input using participatory research methods, as well as input from experts in transgender health research. After this, we will be validating the measure in a large study and then following participants' experiences for two years to understand what role resilience, as measured with this new scale, plays in health outcomes.
What's the current status of this study? This study began winter 2022 and is ongoing. We have developed the measure through an iterative, community-engaged process and refined it extensively. The measure was developed initially based on a review of 10 years of qualitative research on resilience, along with data from our past research studies on resilience. We then gathered input from our community advisory board and from a series of 5 focus groups, finished in the Fall 2023. We are launching the baseline portion of our longitudinal study February 2024.
What are the findings from this study? We are still in the process of conducting this study, but are looking forward to sharing findings as soon as we have them! We are preparing a paper with the findings from our focus groups about trans and nonbinary people's experiences of resilience at this time (February 2024).
Funders: This study is funded by the National Institute On Minority Health And Health Disparities (NIMHD).
Gathering Community Input from Transgender Individuals on the Minority Stress Model
Many studies with transgender communities include an emphasis on minority stressors. Even so, this model was initially developed with cisgender LGB people in mind, leaving many gaps when applied to transgender communities. Past research shows a number of other stressors that transgender people may experience that need to be integrated into the minority stress model to better reflect the lives of this community. This study seeks to gather community input on the minority stress model and recent advances in the literature to better inform an adapted version of the minority stress for application to transgender communities.
Researchers: This study is led by Dr. Jae Puckett.
Overall Aims: The primary aim of this study is to gather input from transgender and gender diverse participants on the minority stress model and recent advances in the literature to produce an adaptation that better reflects the lives of this community. From this adaptation, future research will be better equipped to measure the types of stressors that transgender people experience rather than continuing to attempt to fit this community's experiences into cisgender frameworks.
What's included in this study? We will be gathering community input using participatory research methods, as well as input from our community advisory board.
What's the current status of this study? We are in the process of data analysis at this time.
What are the findings from this study? We are still in the process of data analysis, but are looking forward to sharing findings as soon as we have them! Please check back with us
Funders: This study is funded by the Lesbian Health Fund.
Resilience Research: Reviewing Research with Transgender Communities
We have two reviews we are conducting that will help to shed light on areas for improvement in resilience research with transgender communities.
Researchers: This study is led by Dr. Jae Puckett. The review of measures of resilience was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Em Matsuno (Arizona State University) and Sergio Domínguez (University of Wisconsin-Madison).
Overall Aims: There has been a growth in research on resilience in transgender and gender diverse people. Even so, there have been significant issues related to measurement and conceptualization of resilience. This study entails two reviews: 1) a review of the past 10 years of research on resilience with transgender and gender diverse participants in which we compare qualitative findings on how transgender people describe their experiences of resilience to quantitative research and how these studies measured resilience in their scales; and 2) a scoping review of quantitative research on resilience to understand what relationships have been examined and what gaps remain.
What's the current status of this study? The review related to the measurement of resilience has been published. We are in the process of full-text screening for our scoping review.
What are the findings from this study? We found that there are many discrepancies between how transgender people describe experiences of resilience and the ways that researcher's have measured resilience. Check out our paper here for more details.