Date of Award

Spring 6-21-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Cher Edwards

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Nyradzo Mvududu

Third Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Eunhui Yoon


transgender youth, nonconforming gender, LGBTQ, minority stress, proximal stressors, distal stressors


In a single case study, a transgender student in Scotland is given a voice to provide in-depth information about his school experience and journey navigating the school system, and sharing his raw feelings about harassment, bullying, depression, anxiety, suicide attempts, school policy, and a discriminating staff. Through the application of the minority stress model, the researcher uncovers how challenging it is for a transgender teenager growing up in a rural town within a small high school of approximately 125 students. Transgender students currently face hostile school climates while negotiating their own proximal stressors. Compared to their Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) and cisgender peers, transgender students are consistently reporting higher levels of harassment and assault and are less likely to feel included in their school community, in addition to experiencing negative educational outcomes. These self- reports demonstrate how young people who do not conform to heteronormative societal norms are at risk of victimization during adolescence. Consequently, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) teenagers are at an increased risk of negative psychological issues such as suicidality, anxiety, and depression.

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