Alternative Title

Relationship between gender identity and adverse childhood experiences

Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School for Social Work


Gender identity, Psychic trauma in children, Trauma, Adverse childhood experiences, Clinical formulation


It has been established that individuals with transgender* identities experience abuse and trauma at higher frequencies than individuals with non-transgender identities (Mascis, 2011). Gender dysphoria currently exists as a mental health diagnosis, perpetuating stigma as well as pathologizing gender variance. Clinical social workers have preserved a harmful formulation that gender dysphoria is a disorder caused by trauma. There has been scarce quantitative research to date exploring a relationship between transgender identities and adverse childhood experiences. This study aims to: (1) contribute to a foundation of introductory quantitative research on how childhood experiences interact with gender identity, (2) examine the frequency of ACE scores relative to current gender identity, and (3) provide insight to topics with acute need of further clinical exploration. Although this study does not yield statistically significant findings, it does offer sound evidence in support of continued attention to gender identity and childhood experiences within clinical social work research.




v, 43 pages : color illustration. Includes bibliographical references (pages 31-32)

Included in

Social Work Commons