Understanding more about how young people make sense of their siblings changing gender identity: How this might affect their relationships with their gender-diverse siblings and their experiences

Langton, Trilby and Wheeler, Nicola and Lidster, Elizabeth and Dallos, Rudi (2019) Understanding more about how young people make sense of their siblings changing gender identity: How this might affect their relationships with their gender-diverse siblings and their experiences. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 24 (2). pp. 258-276. ISSN 1359-1045 (Print); 1461-7021 (Electronic)

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Abstract

The gender roles and identity of siblings have been found to be an important factor in the nature and quality of sibling relationships. With an increasing number of young people identifying as gender-diverse or transgender, this research aimed to develop a greater understanding of how young people make sense of their siblings’ gender diversity. Semi-structured interviews explored the experiences of eight sibling participants (aged 11–25 years) who have a sibling identifying as gender-diverse. Five overarching themes emerged from the thematic analysis of their transcribed interviews. These themes encapsulated commonalities and nuances within the sibling participants’ experiences and revealed a process of adjustment. Developing an increased understanding of transgender issues appeared to enable young people to embrace supportive roles, and as a consequence, they reported that their relationships with their gender-diverse siblings were enhanced. However, the sibling participants’ increased understanding of transgender issues also generated significant fears and concerns about their siblings’ well-being and their sibling relationships. From understanding more about these eight young people’s experiences, suggestions are given for how specialist services might best support siblings of gender-diverse young people along their processes of adjustment.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Transgender, Gender Dysphoria, Young People, Adolescents, Siblings, Narratives, Sibling Relationships, Support Needs, Gender Diversity
Subjects: Families > Siblings
Sex Psychology > Transsexualism
Sex Psychology > Gender Identity
Department/People: Special Units
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2004

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