Transgender youth and suicidal behaviors: Applying the interpersonal psychological theory of suicide

Arnold H. Grossman, Jung Yeon Park, Stephen T Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


The interpersonal psychological theory of suicide (IPTS) was used to examine suicidal thoughts and behaviors among 129 transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) youth. Youth were categorized according to their gender identities: female to male (FTM), male to female (MTF), female to different gender (FTDG), and male to different gender (MTDG). Higher percentages of suicidal ideation were reported by FTDG and FTM youth; higher percentages of suicide attempts were reported by FTDG and MTDG youth. Perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness were significantly related to suicidal ideation and/or suicide attempts. Experiences of painful, provocative, and harmful events and acquired capability significantly predicted suicide attempts. The findings support IPTS in explaining suicidal behaviors among TGNC youth. Implications for prevention and intervention efforts are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-349
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • Female to different gender (FTDG)
  • Female to male (FTM)
  • Gender nonconforming
  • Interpersonal psychological theory of suicide (IPTS)
  • Male to different gender (MTDG)
  • Male to female (MTF)
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicide attempt
  • Thwarted belongingness
  • Transgender
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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