A recent UBC study found 8 in 10 trans boys and 6 in 10 trans girls in B.C. said they’d been bullied in the past year. (Unsplash)

A recent UBC study found 8 in 10 trans boys and 6 in 10 trans girls in B.C. said they’d been bullied in the past year. (Unsplash)

B.C.’s gender-diverse teens 6x more likely to experience ‘extreme stress’: UBC study

Researchers say family and school support can cushion the blow of bullying for these students

Family and social supports can make a huge difference in the health of transgender and non-binary teens, says a new study providing insight into the lives of B.C. youths.

Gender-diverse students are typically invisible in surveys of this kind, says lead author Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc, who leads UBC’s Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre.

They are also bullied at disproportionately high rates compared to their cisgender classmates, something researchers at the University of British Columbia had already suspected.

Data accounted for 38,000 youth between ages 12 and 19 attending B.C. schools, of whom around a thousand identified as transgender, non-binary or gender-questioning.

Eight in 10 trans boys and six in 10 trans girls reported having been bullied the previous year. One-quarter of non-binary youth said they’d been bullied online.

READ MORE: Transgender cyclist from B.C. wins world title, backlash ensues

Bullying linked to health issues

Co-author, UBC professor Dr. Annie Smith says the high rate of violence reported by gender-diverse is concerning.

“Young people who are bullied are at higher risk for extreme stress and health problems,” says Smith. Overall data put gender-diverse students as six times more likely than their cisgender classmates to report experiencing extreme stress.

However, family and school support can go a long way. Students who felt connected were more likely to report good or excellent mental health and less likely harm from substance use or thoughts of suicide.

“They are telling us that family and community support, and opportunities to fully participate in society make a difference for their health, even when they face discrimination,” Saewyc says.

“It’s important for health care providers, educators and policymakers to understand their challenges and their strengths if we are to help them thrive.”

RELATED: Transgender patients less likely to be screened for cancer, says study



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

SchoolstransgenderUBC

Just Posted

A promotional image for The Wharf Sessions album. (Salmon Arm Arts Centre image)
The Wharf Sessions album pays tribute to Salmon Arm’s long-running concert series

Salmon Arm Arts Centre wanted to give recording opportunity to artists in a tough year

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

The Shuswap’s new advocate for the prevention of human-wildlife conflict, Julia Helland, pictured in her WildSafeBC shirt. (Contributed)
Go wild for animal safety this summer in the Shuswap

New WildSafeBC coordinator for Columbia Shuswap to help prevent human-wildlife conflict

A concept rendering of the proposed seven-unit, two-storey development at 1129 Riverside Ave. in Sicamous. (District of Sicamous graphic)
Proposed luxury development in Sicamous sparks parking concerns

Seven-unit commercial-residential building planned for Riverside Avenue

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Most Read