Personality Disorders and Personality Profiles in a Sample of Transgender Individuals Requesting Gender-Affirming Treatments
Department of Psychology, University of Milano–Bicocca, 20126 Milan, Italy
CREST, Centro per lo studio e la terapia dei disturbi di personalità, 20145 Milan, Italy
Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma, 43121 Parma, Italy
Department of Neuroscience, Reproductive Sciences and Dentistry, University of Naples Federico II, 80131 Naples, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1521; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051521
Received: 7 January 2020 / Revised: 24 February 2020 / Accepted: 25 February 2020 / Published: 27 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research Trends in Transgender Health)
The study aims to explore the personality patterns of a group of transgender individuals who accessed an Italian gender clinic to undergo gender affirming treatments, by evaluating both dimensional personality domains proposed by the Alternative Model of Personality Disorders and categorical DSM-IV personality disorder (PD) diagnoses. Eighty-seven participants (40 transgender women and 47 transgender men) completed the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II personality disorders. Scores obtained were compared to those of the normative samples of cisgender women and men. Results indicated that transgender women scored lower than cisgender women on two main domains (Negative Affectivity and Psychoticism) and on seven facets. As for transgender men, lower scores than cisgender men were found on Antagonism and on five facets. Transgender men scored higher than cisgender men on Depressivity. Nearly 50% of participants showed at least one PD diagnosis, with no gender differences in prevalence. Borderline PD was the most frequent diagnosis in the overall sample. Self-report measures provide a less maladaptive profile of personality functioning than the clinician-based categorical assessment. Results are interpreted in the light of the Minority Stress Model and support the need for a multi-method assessment of personality in medicalized transgender people.