Internalizing Minority Stress: Gender Dysphoria, Minority Stress and Psychopathology in a Norwegian Transgender Population

Katri Cornelissen, Lise Gulli Brokjøb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The Minority Stress Model proposes that stress experienced due to having a minority identity leads to higher rates of psychopathology. This model, along with gender dysphoria, has been used to explain the disproportionately high rates of psychopathology in transgender individuals when compared to a nontransgender population. The current study further explored the relationships between minority stress, gender dysphoria, and psychopathology and tested a mediation model with minority stress as a predictor variable and gender dysphoria as a mediator on different psychopathologies. One hundred twenty seven Norwegian transgender participants (M = 25.51 years; SD = 8.73) were recruited online. Participants completed standardized questionnaires on minority stress, gender dysphoria, anxiety, depression, and eating pathology. Mediation models were built from a theoretical standpoint using minority stress as a predictor, gender dysphoria as a mediator, and anxiety, depression, and eating pathology as separate outcome variables. The mediation models were significant for all three outcome variables, with gender dysphoria fully mediating only the relationship between minority stress and eating pathologies. Further analyses revealed that age was a significant covariant in the predictive relationships, prompting the sample to be split to young and older participant samples. While lacking power due to reduced participant numbers, these further split-age mediation models suggested that for the younger age group, minority stress appeared to be the highly relevant predictor of all psychopathologies, but in the older age group, gender dysphoria appeared to be the more relevant predictor. Possible explanations for age-group differences, like coping styles, transgender identity formation, and internalized gender roles are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-286
Number of pages15
JournalPsychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
Issue number3
Early online date1 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022


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