Disordered Eating and Body Dissatisfaction in Transgender and Gender-Expansive Adults: An Evaluation and Integration of the Gender Minority Stress and Resilience and Tripartite Influence Models
Transgender and gender-expansive (TGE) people, including transgender and nonbinary individuals, experience elevated rates of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating compared to cisgender individuals, but little is known about why. To address this research gap, we compared the ability of TGE-specific factors as proposed in the gender minority stress and resilience (GMSR) model, general psychological factors contained in the tripartite influence (TI) model, and an integration of these frameworks to explain body dissatisfaction and disordered eating among TGE individuals. Regression analyses were conducted to test the models’ abilities to explain experiences reported in a survey of 93 U.S. TGE adults, including 43 transgender women respondents (46.2%) and 31 transgender men respondents (33.3%). Participants were diverse with regard to age (M = 34.19, SD = 12.02) and ethnoracial background (e.g., 29.0% Hispanic/Latinx, 17.2% Black/African American, 6.5% American Indian/Alaska Native; 5.4% multiracial). Results demonstrated both models’ abilities to explain body dissatisfaction and disordered eating independently, except for the relationship between body dissatisfaction and the thinness-oriented TI model. An integration of the models better explained body dissatisfaction and disordered eating compared to either model alone. Notably, some findings did not align with the two frameworks, suggesting existing models may not adequately describe pathways through which disordered eating emerges in TGE populations. Specifically, body dissatisfaction showed no significant relationship with disordered eating and was not well explained by the TI model, and higher gender identity pride was related to greater disordered eating symptoms. Implications for clinical care and future research are discussed.
San José State University
eating disorders, gender minority stress, LGBTQ+ health, resilience, transgender health
Laura A. Muratore, Annesa Flentje, David Schuster, and Matthew R. Capriotti. "Disordered Eating and Body Dissatisfaction in Transgender and Gender-Expansive Adults: An Evaluation and Integration of the Gender Minority Stress and Resilience and Tripartite Influence Models" Behavior Therapy (2022): 869-886. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beth.2022.02.006