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Journal article

Transgender women of color: discrimination and depression symptoms

Authors:
JEFFERSON Kevin, NEILANDS Torsten B., SEVELIUS Jae
Journal article citation:
Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, 6(4), 2014, pp.121-136.
Publisher:
Emerald

Purpose: Trans women of colour contend with multiple marginalisations; the purpose of this study is to examine associations between experiencing discriminatory (racist/transphobic) events and depression symptoms. It uses a categorical measure of combined discrimination, and examines a protective association of transgender identity on depression symptoms. Design/methodology/approach: Data from a subset of trans women of color participants in the Sheroes study were analysed with linear and logistic regression. Associations of depression symptoms with racist and transphobic events, combined discrimination, coping self-efficacy, and transgender identity were assessed with odds ratios. Findings: Exposure to discriminatory events and combined discrimination positively associated with depression symptom odds. Increased transgender identity associated with increased coping self-efficacy, which negatively associated with depression symptom odds. Research limitations/implications: Cross-sectional study data prohibits inferring causality; results support conducting longitudinal research on discrimination's health effects, and research on transgender identity. Results also support operationalising intersectionality in health research. The study's categorical approach to combined discrimination may be replicable in studies with hard to reach populations and small sample sizes. Practical implications: Health programmes could pursue psychosocial interventions and anti-discrimination campaigns. Interventions might advocate increasing participants’ coping self-efficacy while providing space to explore and develop social identity. Social implications: There is a need for policy and health programmes to centre trans women of color concerns. Originality/value: This study examines combined discrimination and identity in relation to depression symptoms among trans women of colour, an underserved population. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Low school engagement and sexual behaviors among African American youth: examining the influences of gender, peer norms and gang involvement

Authors:
VOISIN Dexter R., NEILANDS Torsten B.
Journal article citation:
Children and Youth Services Review, 32(1), January 2010, pp.51-57.
Publisher:
Elsevier

This research examined whether negative peer influences (i.e., attitudes favouring risky sex and drug use and gang involvement) mediated the relationship between school engagement and sexual behaviours  among African American high school adolescents, and whether these relationships varied by gender. Five hundred and sixty-three high school adolescents (ages 13 to 19) completed self-administered questionnaires that assessed school engagement markers, peer influences, sexual début, and risky sex. Major findings for boys indicate that grade point average (GPA) was negatively associated with both sexual début and risky sex. Additionally, the relationship between student-teacher connectedness and risky sex was mediated by gang involvement. For girls, higher GPAs were associated with fewer attitudes favouring risky sex and drug use and such attitudes were associated with sexual début. Moreover, the relationships between GPA, sexual début and risky sex was mediated by risky peer attitudes. Intervention programmes to delay sexual début and reduce risky sex among youths should focus on the gendered ways in which such behaviours occur.

Journal article

Asset ownership and health and mental health functioning among AIDS-orphaned adolescents: findings from a randomized clinical trial in rural Uganda

Authors:
SSEWAMALA Fred M., HAN Chang-Keun, NEILANDS Torsten B.
Journal article citation:
Social Science and Medicine, 69(2), July 2009, pp.191-198.
Publisher:
Elsevier

This study evaluated an economic empowerment intervention designed to promote life options, health and mental health functioning among AIDS-orphaned adolescents in rural Uganda. The study used an experimental design in which adolescents (N = 267) were randomly assigned to receive an economic empowerment intervention or usual care for orphaned children. The study measured mental health functioning using 20 items of the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale (TSCS: 2) - a standardized measure for self-esteem - and measured overall health using a self-rated health measure. Data obtained at 10-month follow-up revealed significant positive effects of the economic empowerment intervention on adolescents' self-rated health and mental health functioning. Additionally, health and mental health functioning were found to be positively associated with each other. The findings have implications for public policy and health programming for AIDS-orphaned adolescents.

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