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Teen Connection Project: Development and Pilot Evaluation of an Online Mentoring Program to Prevent Adversities Among Trans and Other Gender Minority Youth
Principal Investigator: Katie M. Edwards
Co-Principal Investigators: Lorey Wheeler
Funding Agency: National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Award Date: Jul 1, 2023
End Date: Jan 31, 2025
Transgender and other gender minority youth experience concerning rates of psychosocial and behavioral health issues such as self-harm, alcohol and drug use, sexual risk-taking and violence victimization and perpetration, such as teen dating violence. Research suggests that peer and family rejection, as well as internalized transphobia, predict numerous negative health outcomes in transgender and other gender minority youth.
Mentoring programs, which have been found to be effective for diverse youth, may be especially impactful for these youth because they may help to alleviate negative outcomes associated with peer and family rejection and to promote self-acceptance.
This project will utilize an interdisciplinary team of experts in affirming, culturally grounded prevention and intervention efforts for transgender and other gender minority youth and/or youth of color, who will collaborate with eHealth interventions, youth mentoring programs and social-emotional learning programs to develop and complete pilot testing of a group-delivered eHealth mentoring and skill-building program for transgender and other gender minority youth ages 14 to 17.
The pilot project will include 140 transgender and other gender minority youth, and 20 transgender and other gender minority adults to serve as mentors. Through observations of mentor-mentee interactions, post-session surveys and exit interviews, data will be collected on the study’s efficacy in reducing psychosocial and behavioral health issues facing transgender and other gender minority youth, including mental health problems, self-harm, alcohol and drug use, sexual risk-taking and teen dating violence.