Correlates of suicide ideation and behaviors among transgender people: A systematic review guided by ideation-to-action theory

Academic Article


  • Transgender people are at high risk for suicide ideation, attempts, and deaths compared to the general population. Several correlates of suicide ideation and attempts have been identified empirically to understand this increased risk. However, few attempts have been made to systematically review this literature. Further, a theory to understand and identify targetable factors for intervention has rarely been applied to this population. In the first systematic review guided by ideation-to-action frameworks of suicide, we systematically reviewed the literature from January 1991 to July 2017 regarding correlates of suicide ideation, attempts, and deaths among transgender people. To be included in the review, articles must have been reported in English, reported on empirical data, included a sample or subsample of transgender people, and reported separately on correlates of suicide ideation, attempts, or deaths. Two independent reviewers searched three major databases, references of included articles, and unpublished literature, which produced 45 articles for review. The review suggested that ideation-to-action frameworks would be worth investigating within this population, with attention to sources of psychological pain, social connectedness, and capacity/capability for suicide unique to this population. Additionally, other aspects of cultural identity were often studied (e.g., race, religion), suggesting the need to understand intersectionality of identities among transgender people and their effects on suicide risk. Finally, the review highlighted important limitations of the literature, namely measurement of suicide ideation and attempts and sampling method, which future work should seek to improve.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wolford-Clevenger C; Frantell K; Smith PN; Flores LY; Stuart GL
  • Start Page

  • 93
  • End Page

  • 105
  • Volume

  • 63