Psychology, Department of


The Intersection of Transgender and Gender-Diverse Identity and Neurodiversity Among College Students: An Exploration of Minority Stress

Alexander Farquhar-Leicester, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Elliot Tebbe, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Michael J. Scheel, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Copyright © 2022 American Psychological Association. Used by permission.

"This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal."


Drawing on minority stress and intersectionality theory frameworks, this study used latent profile analysis to examine how distal (gender-related discrimination, gender-related rejection, neurodiverse discrimination) and proximal (internalized transphobia, stigma consciousness) stressors clustered together to form distinct patterns of identity-based stress among 190 transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) undergraduate students who are neurodiverse (ND). Variation in relative risk of profile membership based on mental health (psychological distress, resilience) and academic outcomes (college self-efficacy, grade point average [GPA]) was assessed using multinomial logistic regression. Four distinct profiles emerged: low stress (Profile 1, n = 59), high gender-related discrimination (Profile 2, n = 56), high stress (Profile 3, n = 43), and high stigma consciousness (Profile 4, n = 32). Profile membership was associated with ND diagnosis, gender identity, race, and income. Multinomial logistic regression analysis found that psychological distress, college self-efficacy, and GPA predicted profile membership. The implications of study findings for existing theory and clinical practice are discussed.

Public Significance Statement: This study investigated differences in identity-based stress experiences among TGD undergraduate students who are ND, identifying distinct patterns that grouped individuals together on the basis of these experiences. Demographically, we identified differences among the groups, and largely found that the risk of membership in the high minority stress groups was higher for worse levels of psychological distress and lower for better academic outcomes.