Effects of state nondiscrimination laws on transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals’ perceived community stigma andmental health

Hillary A. Gleason, Nicholas A. Livingston, Marianne M. Peters, Kathryn M. Oost, Evan Reely, Bryan N. Cochran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, we investigated the potential effects of statewide nondiscrimination laws on community stigma, as well as its relationshipwith psychosocial stressors andmental health outcomes. Gender minority individuals (N = 120) completed an online survey containing psychosocial and mental health outcome measures. The experiences of participants who resided in states with and without nondiscrimination laws were compared in regard to perceived community stigma. Hierarchical and logistic regression were used to test the hypothesized relationships between community stigma and lifetime discrimination and victimization; current depression, anxiety, and substance use; and lifetime suicide attempts. Approximately 60% of participants reported residing in a state without nondiscrimination laws (n = 74). These participants reported higher levels of perceived community stigma, and stigma was positively associated with reports of lifetime discrimination and victimization. The observed relationship between stigma and current anxiety symptoms was marginally significant. Logistic regression results indicate that stigma was positively related to the odds of reporting a lifetime suicide attempt. Analyses suggest that statewide nondiscrimination laws are associated with lower rates of perceived stigma at the community level, which, in turn, is associated with lower rates of discrimination, victimization, anxiety, and risk for attempted suicide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-362
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Law
  • Mental health
  • Stigma
  • TGNC
  • Transgender

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