What are causes of minority stress in transgender individuals in Sweden, and how do they cope?
Sammanfattning: Aim: To explore the causes of minority stress in trans individuals in Sweden, and how these individuals cope with such minority stress. Background: Trans individuals have markedly poor mental health compared to the general population. Meyer’s Minority Stress Model has been shown to apply to trans individuals. However, causes of minority stress and methods of coping for trans individuals have not been investigated in Sweden. Previously, social support has been highlighted as a key coping mechanism of minority stress. This thesis explores the causes of minority stress on trans individuals and how they cope with this stress. Methods: A qualitative study utilising semi-structured interviews with 18 trans individuals from across Sweden. A deductive approach was applied in analysis of the data, in order to explore the causes of minority stress, as detailed by the Minority Stress Model. Results: The main causes of minority stress were found to be the medical investigation, discrimination and internalised stigma. The trans community was a source of social support, facilitating coping with minority stress. Other facilitative coping mechanisms used by participants were the support of family. Discrimination and internalised stigma led to avoidant coping mechanisms, such as avoidance of social environments. Conclusion: This study reinforces previous findings that discrimination and internalised stigma cause minority stress for trans individuals. The structure of the medical investigation in Sweden should be reviewed, to reduce the stress it causes. The visibility of the trans community should be improved to increase the use of the community as a source of social support and facilitative coping.
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