Exploring well-being, self-harm and suicidality among transgender people

Ballantyne, Lisa (2020) Exploring well-being, self-harm and suicidality among transgender people. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Purpose: Transgender individuals are substantially more likely to report self-harm and suicidality than both cisgender individuals and other LGBT individuals. The psychosocial factors underlying self-harm and suicidality within the trans population, and how they may lead to suicidal ideation or attempts, remain largely under-researched. Protective factors, such as resilience and help-seeking may help to reduce risk of suicide within the trans population, however further research is required to examine these processes. Similarly, exploring trans-specific experiences of help-seeking for suicidal distress is important when considering suicide prevention. Further empirical research, aimed at improving our understanding and prevention of suicide within this population, is imperative.

Method: A qualitative design was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with transgender adults (n=4) in Scotland, who reported a history of self-harm and/or suicidality. Interviews were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA).

Results: Four superordinate themes emerged, each with inter-related subordinate themes. 1) “Early Experiences”: How individuals made sense of early experiences which increased their self-harm and suicidal distress. 2) “Intent”: The motives underlying participants’ self-harm and suicidality. 3) “Hope and Resilience”: The protective resilience factors that reduced participants’ self-harm and suicidal distress. 4) “Threats to Resilience”: How participants made sense of additional minority stressors that were relevant to their experiences.

Conclusion: The current study suggests that transgender individuals may experience psychosocial factors related to self-harm and suicidality differently across various stages of their lives. Important insights into the motivations underlying self-harm and suicidality for transgender individuals emerged. Clinical implications are discussed, however further research is required to fully understand self-harm and suicidality within the transgender community.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Transgender, suicide, self-harm, qualitative, lived experience.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: O'Connor, Professor Rory
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Ms Lisa Ballantyne
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-81691
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2020 15:44
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2022 10:18
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.81691
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/81691

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