The Role of Authenticity in the Link Between Self-Determination, Gender Minority Stress, Psychological Well-being and Distress in Transgender, Nonbinary, and Gender Expansive Individuals
Author ORCID Identifier
Year of Publication
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology
Dr. Sharon S. Rostosky
Transgender, nonbinary, and gender expansive individuals (TNB and GE) have the same basic psychological needs (BPN) for self-determination as their cisgender counterparts yet face unique gender minority stressors (GMS) that may impact psychological distress and well-being. Authenticity is an important factor that may also affect psychological well-being and distress in TNB and GE people. Few research studies have examined BPN attainment or GMS factors and psychological well-being and distress. The role of authenticity, which is associated with psychological well-being in cisgender samples, has yet to be examined in TNB and GE people on the context of BPN attainment or GMS. The current dissertation addressed these gaps in research in a sample of 489 TNB and GE participants who were 18 to 61 years of age. Participants completed a survey assessing BPN attainment, GMS experiences, general and identity-specific authenticity, and psychological well-being measures (eudaimonic well-being, hedonic well-being) and psychological distress (depressive symptoms, anxiety, and negative affect). Six structural equation models explored these relationships. Findings indicated that higher BPN attainment was associated with more psychological well-being and less psychological distress. Proximal minority stressors were associated with less psychological well-being and more psychological distress. Distal gender minority stressors were unexpectedly associated with more psychological well-being and less psychological distress. General authenticity was an important mediator of these associations, and identity-specific authenticity was an important mediator between GMS and psychological well-being and distress. The current study documents the importance of BPN attainment on psychological well-being and distress in TNB and GE individuals and emphasizes the negative effect of proximal gender minority stressors. Further research on resiliency processes that mediate associations between distal gender minority stressors and psychological well-being and distress are suggested. This study highlights the importance of authenticity as an intervening factor that may contribute to the overall well-being of TNB and GE individuals.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
David and Jillian Pascale-Hague PRISM research Award 2022
University of Kentucky EDP College of Education Leslie Martin Endowed Fellowship (2022)
Clements, Zakary Alexander, "The Role of Authenticity in the Link Between Self-Determination, Gender Minority Stress, Psychological Well-being and Distress in Transgender, Nonbinary, and Gender Expansive Individuals" (2023). Theses and Dissertations--Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology. 109.