Differences in Patient and Parent Informant Reports of Depression and Anxiety Symptoms in a Clinical Sample of Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Purpose: We assessed characteristics of patients at a pediatric gender clinic and investigated if reports of mental health concerns provided by transgender and gender diverse (TGD) youth patients differed from reports provided by a parent informant on their behalf. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 259 TGD patients 8 to 22 years of age attending a pediatric gender clinic in the southeast United States from 2015 to 2020. Pearson correlations and paired sample t-tests compared patient-reported mental health concerns at patient intake with those provided by a parent informant. Clinical symptom severity was assessed with standardized T-scores. Level 2 Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Emotional Distress-Depression Scale and Level 2 PROMIS Emotional Distress-Anxiety Scale assessed depression and anxiety symptoms of patients. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition Parent/Guardian-Rated Level 1 Cross-Cutting Symptom Measure was used with parents. Results: Patients had a mean age of 14.9 at first visit, with most identifying as White (85.5%), non-Hispanic (91.1%), and as a boy or man (63.6%). Half had moderate-to-severe depression (51.2%) or anxiety (47.9%) symptoms. There was a moderate, positive correlation between patient-reported and parent-reported depression symptoms, with no correlation for anxiety symptoms. Informant type differences were statistically significant (patients reporting greater depression and anxiety symptoms). Conclusions: TGD youth patients reported more severe depression and anxiety symptoms compared with parent informants. Despite moderate agreement on depression symptoms, parents did not accurately detect their child's anxiety symptoms. These discrepancies highlight a need for interventions which increase parental recognition of child mental health status.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • McGuire, FH; Carl, A; Woodcock, L; Frey, L; Dake, E; Matthews, DD; Russell, KJ; Adkins, D

Published Date

  • August 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 8 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 404 - 411

PubMed ID

  • 34388043

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2325-8306

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1089/lgbt.2020.0478


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States