Perceived Social Support in Transgender People: A Comparative Study with Cisgender People

Keywords: Transsexuality, social support, gender dysphoria, mental health


Background: Trans people may find themselves in a situation of social discrimination, reflected in their health and in the lack of scientific research. The minority stress theory points out the importance of social support for the stress of sexual or gender minorities. This study aims to explore social support and its dimensions in this population. Method: 81 people participate, of which 36 are trans and 45 non-trans (cisgender), as a control group. The Mos Social Support Survey is applied to measure perceived social support and a questionnaire with sociodemographic variables. Results: The results show that there are no differences in the perceived social support between both groups. However, sociodemographic variables such as having a partner, age, and employment situation show change for the trans population in some dimensions. Conclusion: These findings promote future lines of research that expand the knowledge of these variables in this group.


Download data is not yet available.


Arcelus, J., Claes, L., Witcomb, G., Marshall, E., y Bouman, W. (2016). Risk factors for non-suicidal self-injury among trans youth. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 13, 402-412. doi:10.1016/j.jsxm.2016.01.003

Balsam, K., Molina, Y., Beadnell, B., Simoni, J., y Walters, K. (2011). Measuring mutilple minority stress: The LGBT people od color microaggresions scale. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 17(2), 163-174. doi:10.I037/aO023244

Basar, K., Gökhan, Ö., y Karakaya, J. (2016). Perceived discrimination, social support, and quality of life in gender dysphoria. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 13(7), 1133-1141. doi: 0.1016/j.jsxm.2016.04.071

Botcking, W., Huang, C., Robinson, B. y Rosser, S. (2005). Are transgender persons at higher risk for HIV than other sexual minorities? A comparison of HIV prevalence and risks. International Journal of Transgenderism, 8(2), 123-131. doi: 10.1300/J485v08n02_11

Boza, C., y Nicholson, K. (2014). Gender-related victimization, perceived social support, and predictors of depression among transgender Australians. International Journal of Transgenderism, 15, 35-52. doi:10.1080/15532739.2014.890558

Brown., N. (2010). The Sexual Relationships of Sexual-Minority Women Partnered with Trans Men: A Qualitative Study. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39, 561-572. doi: 10.1007/s10508-009-9511-9

Budge, S., Adelson, J. L., y Howard, K. (2013). Anxiety and depression in transgender individuals: The roles of transition status, loss, social support, and coping. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 81(3), 545-557. doi:10.1037/a0031774

Cohen, J. (Ed.). (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Claes, L., Bouman, W., Witcomb, G., Thurston, M., Fernandez-Aranda, F., y Arcelus, J. (2015). Non-suicidal self-injury in trans people: Associations with psychological symptoms, victimization, interpersonal functioning, and perceived social support. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 12, 168-179. doi:10.1111/jsm.12711

Davey, A., Bouman, W., Arcelus, J., y Meyer, C. (2014). Social support and psychological well-being in gender dysphoria: A comparison of patients with matched controls. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 11, 2976-2985. doi:10.1111/jsm.12681

Earnshaw, V., Lang, S., Lippitt, M., Jin, H. y Chaudoir, S. (2015). HIV Stigma and Physical Health Symptoms: Do Social Support, Adaptive Coping, and/or Identity Centrality Act as Resilience Resources? AIDS Behavior, 19(1), 41-49. doi: 10.1007/s10461-014-0758-3.

Ellis, L. y Davis, M. (2017). Intimate partner support. A comparasion gay, lesbian and heterosexual relationships. Personal Relationships, 24(2), 1-20. doi: 10.1111/pere.12186

Factor, R., y Rothblum, E. (2007). A study of transgender adults and their non-transgender siblings on demographic characteristics, social support, and experiences of violence. Journal of LGBT Health Research, 3(3), 11-30. doi:10.1080/15574090802092879

James, S. E., Herman, J. L., Rankin, S., Keisling, M., Mottet, L., y Anafi, M. (2016). Resumen Ejecutivo del Informe sobre el 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. Washington, DC: National Center for Transgender Equality.

Jensen, M., Smith, A., Bombardier, C., Yorkston, K., Miró, J.y Molton, I. (2014). Social support, depression, and physical disability: Age and diagnostic group effects. Disability and Health Journal, 7(2), 164-172. doi: 10.1016/j.dhjo.2013.11.001

Kurdek, L. A. (2006). Differences between partners from heterosexual, gay, and lesbian cohabiting couples. Journal of Marriage and Family, 68, 509-528. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2006.00268.x

Lombardi, E., Wilchins, R. A., Priesing, D., y Malouf, D. (2001). Gender violence: Transgender experiences with violence and discrimination. Journal of Homosexuality, 42(1), 89-101. doi:10.1300/J082v42n01_05

Londoño, N., Rogers, H., Filadelfo, J., Posada, S., Ochoa, N.L., Jaramillo, M.A., Oliveros, M., Palacio, J.E. y Camilo, D. (2012). Validación en Colombia del cuestionario MOS de apoyo social. International Journal of Psychological Research, 5(1), 142-150.

McConnell, E., Birkett, M., y Mustanski, B. (2015). Typologies of social support and associations with mental health outcomes among LGBT youth. LGBT Health, 2(1), 55-61. doi:10.1089/lgbt.2014.0051

Meier S., Sharp, C., Michonski,J., Babcock, J. y Fitzgerald, K (2013). Romantic Relationships of Female-to-Male Trans Me: A Descriptive Study. International Journal of Transgenderism, 14, 75–85. doi: 10.1080/15532739.2013.791651

Meyer, I. H. (1995). Minority stress and mental health in gay men. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 36(1), 38-56. doi: 10.2307/2137286.

Meyer, I. H. (2003). Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: Conceptual issues and research evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 129(5), 674-697. doi: 10.1037%2F0033-2909.129.5.674

Nemoto, T., Bödeker, B., y Iwamoto, M. (2011). Social support, exposure to violence and transphobia, and correlates of depression among male-to-female transgender women with a history of sex work. American Journal of Public Health, 101(10), 1980-1988. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.197285

Nuttbrock, L., Hwahng, S., Bockting, W., Rosenblum, A., Mason, M., Macri, M., y Becker, J. (2010). Psychiatric impact of gender-related abuse across the life course of male-to-female transgender persons. The Journal of Sex Research, 47(1), 12-23. doi:10.1080/00224490903062258

Pflum, S., Testa, R., Balsam, K., Goldblum, P., y Bongar, B. (2015). Social support, trans community connectedness, and mental health symptoms among transgender and gender nonconforming adults. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 2(3), 281-286. doi:10.1037/sgd0000122

Revilla. L., Luna, J., Bailón, E. y Medina, I. (2005). Validación del cuestionario MOS de apoyo social en Atención Primaria. Medicina de Familia, 6(1), 10-18.

Russell, S. y Fish, J. (2016). Mental Health in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Youth. The Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 12, 15.1-15.23. doi: 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-021815-093153

Schmitt, M. T., Branscombe, N. R., Postmes, T., y Garcia, A. (2014). The consequences of perceived discrimination for psychological well-being: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 140(4), 921-948. doi:10.1037/a0035754.

Sherbourne, C.,y Stewart, A. (1991). The mos social support survey. Social Science & Medicine, 32(6), 705-714. doi:10.1016/0277-9536(91)90150-B

Snapp, S., Watson, R., Russell, S., Díaz, R. y Ryan, C. (2015). Social Support Networks for LGBT Young Adults: Low Cost Strategies for Positive Adjustment. Family Relations, 64, 420-430. doi: 10.1111/fare.12124

Tebbe, E., y Moraldi, B. (2016). Suicide risk in trans populations: An application of minority stress theory. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 63(5), 520-533. doi:10.1037/cou0000152

Trujillo, M., Perrin, P., Sutter, M., Tabaac, A., y Benotsch, E. (2016). The buffering role of social support on the associations among discrimination, mental health, and suicidality in a transgender sample. International Journal of Transgenderism, 18(1), 39-52. doi: 10.1080/15532739.2016.1247405

Yang, X., Wang, L., Gu, Y., Song, W., Hao, C., Zhou, J., Zhang, Q. y Zhao, Q. (2016). A cross-sectional study of associations between casual partner, friend discrimination, social support and anxiety symptoms among Chinese transgender women. Journal of Affective Disorders, 203, 22–29. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2016.05.051

How to Cite
Vázquez, N., Fernández, M., García Vega, E., & Guerra, P. (2020). Perceived Social Support in Transgender People: A Comparative Study with Cisgender People. Interacciones, 6(2), e126.
Original paper