People who are grieving a major loss, such as the death of a spouse or a child, use different coping mechanisms to carry on with their lives. Psychologists have been able to track different approaches, which can reflect different clinical outcomes. One approach that is not usually successful is avoidant grief, a state in which people suffering from grief show marked, effortful, repeated, and often unsuccessful attempts to stop themselves from thinking about their loss. While researchers have shown that avoidant grievers consciously monitor their external environment in order to avoid reminders of their loss, no one has yet been able to show whether these grievers also monitor their mental state unconsciously, trying to block any thoughts of loss from rising to their conscious state.
A survey by a Boston University researcher of nearly 33,000 college students across the country reveals the prevalence of depression and anxiety in young people continues to increase, now reaching its highest levels, a sign of the mounting stress factors due to the coronavirus pandemic, political unrest, and systemic racism and inequality.
People whose gender is not male, or female use many different terms to describe themselves, with ‘non-binary’ being one of the more common. Other terms include queer, gender non-confirming, genderfluid, genderqueer, androgynous, agender, demigirl, demiboy, genderflux and bigender. None of these terms mean exactly the same thing – but all speak to an experience of gender that is more complicated than simply male or female.
Young people with diverse gender identities may be bullied and victimized up to three times more often than peers who identify as male or female, a new study of more than 4,464 adolescents in Illinois found. The students were part of a statewide survey of eighth- through 12th-grade youths in Illinois schools.”Transgender youths reported the highest rates of all forms of peer victimization, which were double to nearly triple those of males and up to 2.6 times higher than those of females,” said social work professor Rachel Garthe of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, who led the research. “Slightly more than half of transgender youths reported verbal abuse such as peers calling them names or spreading rumors about them. About one in three of these youths reported cyber victimization, and slightly fewer reported psychological dating violence,” such as a romantic partner denigrating or trying to control them.
Gender-expansive youths — students who don’t identify as male, female or transgender — experienced disproportionately higher rates of all forms of bullying and dating violence. Among these students, 41% experienced verbal abuse, nearly 32% were cyberbullied and 19% experienced physical violence, according to the study.
Garthe said the findings, published in the journal Pediatrics, are very concerning and underscore the need for supportive policies and practices for students with diverse gender identities who may need help coping with psychological and physical violence from peers and romantic partners. Additionally, she said more programs are needed in schools that prevent these types of violence from being perpetrated.
Equal numbers of male, female, transgender and gender-expansive students were included in the research. The study was novel in that it included a large sample of transgender individuals and the experiences of gender-expansive individuals were explored as a distinct group, Garthe said.
The students in the current study were a subset of the participants in the 2018 Illinois Youth Survey, a biennial survey that gathers data on a variety of social, behavioral and health indicators from youths in schools throughout Illinois. The Center for Prevention Research and Development, a unit within the U. of I. School of Social Work, conducts the survey.
Despite growing numbers of schools implementing anti-bullying policies that include protections based on sexual or gender identity, rates of victimization remain high among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youths, research has shown. However, LGBTQ students report feeling safer and more connected at school and experience fewer gender-related negative remarks from peers when resources such as LGBTQ-inclusive curricula are taught, according to the study. When anti-bullying policies with LGBTQ protections are implemented, students are less likely to be forced to use bathrooms that match their assigned sex or wear clothing incongruent with their gender identity or expression, Garthe said.
“To enhance the effectiveness of these policies and further support these students, anti-transphobic education for teachers, administrators and students is needed, along with the use of pronouns that reflect individuals’ gender identity,” Garthe said.
Read this article on Science Daily: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau. “Youths with diverse gender identities bullied up to three times more than peers, study finds.” www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/05/210512132910.htm.
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