Using chosen names can help reduce suicide attempts in trans youth by 65%, a new study has found.
Researchers from The University of Texas spoke with trans people aged between 15 and 21 to find out whether or not they were referred to by their chosen name at school, at work, at home and with friends.
They found that trans youth who could use their chosen name in all four contexts experienced 71% fewer symptoms of depression, 34% fewer reported thoughts of suicide, and 65% fewer suicidal attempts when compared to those who couldn’t use their name in any context.
“Many kids who are transgender have chosen a name that is different than the one that they were given at birth,” author Stephen T. Russell, professor and chair of human development and family science, told UT News.
“We showed that the more contexts or settings where they were able to use their preferred name, the stronger their mental health was.”
The research, which The University of Texas says is one of the largest ever studies of trans youth, was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health on 30 March, ahead of International Trans Day of Visibility on 1 April.
“It’s practical to support young people in using the name that they choose,” Russell added. “It’s respectful and developmentally appropriate.”
Previous research by Russell has found that around one in three (34%) trans youth report considering suicide, almost twice the rate of their cisgender peers (19%).