Family Systems and Emotion Work for Transgender Youth and Their Caregivers

[Speaker] Budge, Stephanie:1
[Co-author] Katz-wise, Sabra:2
1:University of Wisconsin-Madison (United States of America), 2:Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School (United States of America)

This study examined emotion work narratives of transgender youth and caregivers. Sixteen families (29 caregivers, 16 youth) participated. Caregivers included mothers (n=16), fathers (n=10), and a grandmother (n=1). Youth ages 7-18 years, identified as male (n=9), female (n=5), gender-fluid male (n=1), and girlish boy (n=1). Three families were multi-racial/multi-ethnic. Participants completed qualitative interviews. Results were framed in the parental meta-emotion philosophy (Gottman et al., 1996) and analyzed based on caregivers' emotion work related to their own feelings and their child's feelings. Youths' emotions were cross-compared to reveal how families regulate their emotions when a youth is experiencing a gender transition.
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