TGNC Teen Study

The TGNC Teen Study is an American Psychological Foundation-funded project on gender identity and suicide risk in youth. This research project aims to improve our understanding of how gender identity and parent-child relationships influence suicidal thoughts and behaviors in transgender and gender-diverse teens.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1.  What is the purpose of this study? This study is to improve our understanding of how gender identity and parent-teen relationships influences suicidal thoughts and behaviors, so we can better help gender diverse teens.
  2. How do I sign up? Just email us ( or call us at 585-276-7886, and one of our research team members (Emily Han or Alana Eisenberg) will get back to you to schedule an information and screening call.
  3. Is there a deadline that we have sign up by? Nope! You can reach out to us at whatever time works best for you, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can, which is usually within 3-4 business days.
  4. What happens after I call/email to express my interest? Emily Han (or another research team member) will set up an information and screening call with you and your parent to give both of you more information about the study. If you are still interested, and your parent is willing to participate as well, Emily will ask you both some questions to determine if you’re the right fit for the study. That whole call will take approx. 20-30 minutes.
  5.   What happens if I call but decide not to participate after the call? No problem! Whether or not you participate is 100% your choice. There is absolutely no pressure to participate even after you call us.
  6. What if I want to stop the study midway through? Also not a problem! There are no consequences to stopping the study at any time, especially if there is a safety issue.
  7. What happens if I tell you about thoughts of suicide? Will you tell my parent(s)/guardian(s)?It depends. Your safety is always our top priority. We will always try to talk with you first to find out a little bit more about how you are feeling. If we are worried about your safety, we will do our best tell you before we reach out to your parent/guardian so that we can all work together to keep you safe.
  8. Will this study be safe for my teen? Your teen’s safety will always be our number one priority. It is possible your teen may experience some distress or suicidal thoughts or behaviors during the study. If at any point we are concerned that your teen is at immediate risk for harm, their participation will be stopped and a trained doctoral student or Dr. Handley (the faculty principal investigator in charge of the study) will contact them to complete a risk assessment, provide them with a list of clinical resources, and take any additional actions needed to keep your teen safe. It is important to note that previous research studies have found that answering questions about self-injury and suicide do not increase risk for suicide.
  9. What if I don’t want my teen to continue, but they still want to continue with the study.As a parent/guardian, you have the right to withdraw your consent for your teen at any time during the study, even if they still want to continue, and their participation will stop immediately.
  10. Are the surveys sent to my phone long? Nope, not long at all. They are 2-4 minutes each, and you will get sent 5 a day.
  11. How long do I have to take the phone surveys? What if I miss a bunch? You have 30 minutes to take the random surveys and 2 hours to take the daily diary surveys. Even though you’ll get 35 surveys total each week, you only have to do 26 (75%) of those to get your gift card at the end of each week, so it’s okay if you’re busy one day and miss some. We know you have a life outside of our study.
  12. Do I have to take these surveys during school?During the study visit, we’ll get a sense of your schedule so we can make sure the surveys come at a time when you are free and not in school.
  13. Can I take these surveys on a tablet or an Android or do I have to have an iPhone? Android, iPhone, Google phone, Tracphone … any smartphone is perfectly fine as long as you can download apps on it. We do not recommend taking the surveys on a tablet just because you probably won’t have it with you all the time and are more likely to miss a survey. If you do not have a phone but are interested in the study, we still encourage you to reach out to see if we can work together to include you in the study!
  14. I am 18, do I still need to enroll with a parent or legal guardian? Yup! Because we are interested in understanding how the parent-teen relationship impacts you, we want to make sure we have your parent’s perspective as well. This is true for all teens who participate, regardless of how old (from age 12 through age 18). If you are 18, you will need to give special permission for us to contact your parent/guardian for safety concerns. This is a required to enroll and will be discussed with you thoroughly before and during the consent process to make sure you understand.
  15. What if I just turned 19, but I fit all the other requirements? Am I still eligible for the study? Unfortunately, due to the IRB protocol requirements we are unable to accept anyone 19+ at this time.

Click here to meet our team!