Graduate Studies


First Advisor

Michael Scheel

Date of this Version

Spring 5-2021


Farquhar-Leicester, A. (2021). The Intersection of Transgender and Gender-Diverse Identity and Neurodiversity: An Application of Minority Stress Theory.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Educational Psychology, Under the Supervision of Professor Michael Scheel. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2021

Copyright (c) 2021 Alexander L. Farquhar-Leicester


Drawing on minority stress and intersectionality theory frameworks, this study investigated how multiple forms of oppression impacted undergraduate transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) students with neurodiverse identities (i.e., neurodevelopmental disorder and/or learning disability). This study extends the dearth of literature on these individuals and communities by focusing on distal (i.e., gender-related discrimination, gender-related rejection, neurodevelopmental and learning disability discrimination) and proximal (i.e., internalized transphobia, stigma consciousness) stressors as well as the mental health (i.e., psychological distress), college self-efficacy, resilience, grade point average. Latent profile analysis was used to examine how patterns of stressors clustered among the sample (N = 190). The analysis revealed four distinct clusters: class 1 (low minority stress, n = 59), class 2 (medium stress, n = 56), class 3 (high minority stress, n = 43), and class 4 (medium minority stress, n = 32). Class membership was associated with various demographic covariates: diagnosis, gender identity, race, income, disclosure of TGD and neurodiverse identity, and use of LGBTQ and disability student services/centers. Multinomial logistic regression analyses showed that psychological distress, college self-efficacy, and grade-point average (GPA) predicted class membership. Specifically, higher psychological distress, lower college self-efficacy, and lower GPA corresponded with a higher odds of being in class 2, 3, and 4 when compared to class 1. These findings point to minority stress and intersectional considerations that may be fruitful for prevention and intervention efforts to improve the psychological well-being an academic success of this population.

Advisor: Michael Scheel