Autistic Spectrum Disorders in a transgender population attending transgender health services: A comparative study between a large group of transgender and cisgender people

Anna Nobili

Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom

I am Anna Nobili, a PhD student in Applied Psychology at the University of Nottingham.I come from Italy but I have been living outside of my native land for the past 10 years. At first I was an exchange student in Norway, which gave me the opportunity to learn English and to open new doors towards an exciting future abroad. Then I moved to London to study a BSc in Psychology and there my passion for research in psychology started. Therefore, I continued and I gained an MSc in Health Psychology at the Leiden University (the Netherlands). There I met great professors and researchers and I decided that one day I will be one of them! So I am undertaking a PhD and I am currently researching interpersonal issues of Transgender people. I aim at developing an online self-help programme to help Transgender youth with interpersonal problems, while transitioning.

Background

Studies and clinical reports suggest that there might be an over-representation of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and ASD traits among the Transgender population attending Transgender Health Services. These studies are... [ view full abstract ]

Aim(s)

The aims of the study were to 1) investigate rates of ASD clinical caseness (described as features suggesting ASD diagnosis), as measured by the AQ-28, in the Transgender population and to compare these to a matched (by... [ view full abstract ]

Methods

In this case-control study participants in the Transgender group were selected from the database of a National Transgender Heath Service in the UK (total n=1020). Participants were selected for inclusion if they consented to... [ view full abstract ]

Main Outcome Measures

Socio-demographic variables such as assigned gender at birth, employment status, and age were collected. The Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ-28) (Hoekstra et al., 2011) was used. This is a 28 items questionnaire assessing traits... [ view full abstract ]

Results

People in the Transgender group were more likely to score above the cut-off for possibly clinically significant ASD traits (17.1%) compared to Cisgender people (14.2%) (OR=1.31; CI=1.04-1.66). Cisgender participants scored... [ view full abstract ]

Conclusion

A Transgender population attending Transgender Health Services was more likely than matched Cisgender controls to have levels of ASD traits in the clinically significant range suggesting possible ASD. Although Cisgender people... [ view full abstract ]

Authors

  1. Anna Nobili (Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom)
  2. Cris Glazebrook (Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom)
  3. Simon Baron-Cohen (Autism Research Centre, Psychiatry Department, Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom)
  4. Walter Pierre Bouman (Nottingham National Centre for Transgender Health, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Nottingham, United Kingdom /)
  5. Paula Smith (Autism Research Centre, Psychiatry Department, Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom)
  6. Derek Glidden (Nottingham National Centre for Transgender Health, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Nottingham, United Kingdom / Nottingham City Asperger’s Service, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Nottingham, United Kingdom)
  7. Jon Arcelus (Nottingham Center for Gender Dysphoria)

Topic Area

Oral & Poster Topics: Mental health

Session

OS-2A » Mental Health II: Autistic Spectrum Symptomatology and Non-binary Genders (11:00 - Friday, 7th April, Baltic)

Presentation Files

Presentation_EPATH.ppt