Creating the Trans Youth Research Network: A Collaborative Research Endeavor

Johanna Olson-Kennedy*, Yee Ming Chan, Stephen Rosenthal, Marco A. Hidalgo, DIane Chen, Leslie Clark, DIane Ehrensaft, Amy Tishelman, Robert Garofalo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: This article outlines the process of establishing the Trans Youth Care Research Network, composed of four academic clinics providing care for transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) youth. The Network was formed to design and implement research studies to better understand physiologic and psychosocial outcomes of gender-affirming medical care among TGD youth. Methods: Formed in response to both the Institute of Medicine's report recommendation for an increase of data concerning sexual and gender minority populations and a transgender-specific NIH program announcement, The Center for Transyouth Health and Development at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, the Gender Management Service at Boston Children's Hospital, the Child and Adolescent Gender Center Clinic at Benioff Children's Hospital in San Francisco, and the Gender and Sex Development Program at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago established a collaborative research network that subsequently designed a longitudinal observational study of TGD youth undergoing medical interventions to address gender dysphoria. Results: Two cohorts, youth starting puberty blockers and youth starting gender-affirming hormones, are participating. Psychosocial measures that span multiple domains of mental and behavioral health are collected from youth and parents. Physiologic data are abstracted from patient's charts. Baseline and follow-up data of this large cohort will be disseminated through conferences, abstracts, posters, and articles. Conclusion: Since initiation of funding in 2015, a total of 497 participants have been enrolled in TYC across the four sites; gonadotropin releasing hormone analogs (GnRHa) cohort youth (n=93), GnRHa cohort parents (n=93), and gender affirming hormone cohort youth (n=311). As the network moves toward data dissemination, its lessons learned have helped strengthen the current study, as well as inform future endeavors in this field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-312
Number of pages9
JournalTransgender Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Trans Youth Network
  • gender affirming hormones
  • mental health of transgender youth
  • puberty suppression
  • transgender youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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