Psychological wellbeing amongst parents of trans children: An in-depth qualitative investigation
LGBTQ+ Family: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Taylor & Francis
School of Arts and Humanities
Research has shown that parents of trans children face numerous challenges as they navigate their parenting role, however, little is known about the impact of these challenges on parents’ psychological wellbeing. Utilizing an interpretative phenomenological approach and interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA), the current study aimed to address this gap in the literature by exploring how parents perceive their experience of having a trans child has impacted their psychological wellbeing. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with Australian parents of trans children aged 17 and under (N = 12). Five major themes were identified in the data: 1) Dyadic factors; 2) Threats to mental health; 3) Personal growth; 4) Support and acceptance; and 5) Coping. Overall, results indicated that experiences of psychological wellbeing were multidimensional, characterized by numerous mental health threats and concurrent positive experiences of personal growth. Findings also highlighted the importance of support and acceptance from others, and various coping strategies employed by parents to protect against mental health threats and enhance their wellbeing. These findings provide an in-depth understanding of factors that both threaten and enhance wellbeing amongst parents of trans children, offering nuanced insight for clinicians and a foundation for future research.