GENTLE: The GENder identiTy Longitudinal Experience Project
Associate Professor Ashleigh Lin from the Telethon Kids Institute, The University of Western Australia, was awarded a 2017 Raine Priming Grant.
Associate Professor Ashleigh Lin is an NHMRC Career Development Fellow and Program Head of the Mental Health and Youth team at the Telethon Kids Institute.
She received her Master of Clinical Neuropsychology and PhD in 2011 from The University of Melbourne. Associate Professor Lin commenced her Raine Priming Grant in 2017 to investigate health and wellbeing through the lifespan of people who have accessed hormonal gender affirming intervention in adolescence through the development of the GENTLE cohort.
The GENTLE cohort is made up of all clients at the Gender Diversity Service at the Perth Children’s Hospital in WA who consent to their mental and physical health data being used for research purposes. There have been three publications from the study on the impact of hormones on the physical and mental health of trans and gender diverse children and adolescents. One finding is that there is a relatively high occurrence of autism traits in the young people who are part of the GENTLE cohort and that those individuals with autism traits have poorer mental health. Researchers have also developed a group intervention program, Transforming Families, for parents and carers of adolescents in the GENTLE cohort to assist them in better supporting their child. Five higher education students and 10 interns have also contributed to the project to date, thereby supporting the career development of the next generation of early-career researchers.
At the conclusion of this Raine Priming Grant, there were 165 young people in the GENTLE cohort and the cohort continues to grow. The project has obtained additional funding, building the cohort further with the aim to continue to assess and support the physical and mental health of adolescents seeking gender affirming intervention.