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Title: Parental experiences of having a transgender child
Author: Harwood, G.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7973 0064
Awarding Body: Canterbury Christ Church University
Current Institution: Canterbury Christ Church University
Date of Award: 2019
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Background: Research has found a higher than expected co-occurrence of young people with autism expressing gender diversity. This may create differences in how they approach their social transition, and have implications for the experiences of parents and caregivers. Research suggests that gender-diverse youth have the best possibility of positive outcomes when they are supported by their parents. Aims: To explore experiences of parents who have an adolescent child with autism who has socially transitioned to their self-identified gender. The knowledge gained could improve understanding of social transitions within this population, and how professionals can best support the complexities and specific needs of these young people and their families. Methods: The research employed a qualitative, phenomenological design. Participants were recruited via a national NHS gender service for young people. Ten parents of seven transgender youth with a diagnosis of autism, aged 11-18 years old, participated in in-depth semi-structured interviews. The data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Results: Six master themes with the inclusion of sub-themes emerged from the analysis: (1) discovery, (2) search for meaning, (3) transformation, (4) private to public, (5) acceptance, (6) loss and rediscovery. Discussion: This research expands on extant literature due to the additional complexity of their child's autism and adolescent life stage. This may lead participants to consider their child's autism as a contributing factor to their gender diversity, or intensify feelings of responsibility and guilt. The current research may not be transferable to other parents with different experiences, particularly those from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Methodological considerations and future research recommendations are presented, in addition to clinical implications.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF0636 Applied psychology