An evaluation of service utilization among male to female transgender youth: qualitative study of a clinic-based sample

Heather L Corliss, Marvin Belzer, Catherine Forbes, Erin C Wilson
Journal of LGBT Health Research 2007, 3 (2): 49-61
This qualitative study examined experiences with health and social service institutions and experiences related to education, employment, and other social networks among 18 ethnically diverse, male to female (MTF) transgender youth aged 16 to 24 years. Participants were recruited from a youth health clinic where they were receiving services for their transgender/transsexual identity. In-depth, semi-structured interviews explored youths' patterns of service utilization, reasons for seeking care, beliefs about the usefulness of services received, experiences with service providers, barriers to care, and suggestions for improving services tailored to them. Similar to other studies with this population, participants described a multitude of health and social risk experiences as well as complex needs related to healthcare, education, employment, housing, personal relationships, and safety. Results suggest a mixed pattern of both positive and negative experiences within the medical, social and mental health services arenas. To improve support for transgender youth and assist in their positive development, it is essential to improve and expand the availability of culturally competent and effective services for this population.

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