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Psykhe (Santiago)

On-line version ISSN 0718-2228


ESPINOZA, Macarena; FERNANDEZ, Olga María; RIQUELME, Natividad  and  IRARRAZAVAL, Matías. Transgender Identity in Chilean Adolescents: Subjective Experience of the Process. Psykhe [online]. 2019, vol.28, n.2, pp.1-12. ISSN 0718-2228.

This study sought to describe the transgender identity construction process from the perspective of transgender adolescents. The aim was to visualize their needs and difficulties during the process, since there is evidence showing that they are a vulnerable group in terms of mental health. A multiple case exploratory study was conducted using qualitative methodology. Participants were 8 purposively selected Chilean teenagers residing in Santiago, Chile, aged between 15 and 19 years, who had revealed their gender identity to their parents and were receiving support from mental health specialists. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and were analyzed using the grounded theory method. Results revealed a trajectory that begins in early childhood with an affinity for and an interest in the activities of the gender not assigned at birth, with family and/or peers displaying reluctance/rejection. This process is associated with contradictory feelings and emotional tension, which compels adolescents to search for information in their sociocultural context in order to name and make sense of what they are experiencing. Afterward, they become able to share their gender identity with those closest to them and begin considering subsequent social changes.

Keywords : transgender person; mental health; adolescence; gender identity.

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