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Date of Award

12-8-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Laura Edwards-Leeper, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Brad Larsen, PsyD

Abstract

There is very little literature to date on the experiences of transgender individuals and their experiences before, during, and after they have transitioned. In the present study, 371 participants responded to measures of internal locus of control and self-efficacy. Locus of control refers to the extent to which a person believes that reinforcement or reward is contingent upon their behavior. Self-efficacy refers to one’s conviction that he or she can successfully execute a behavior in order to achieve a desired outcome. It was hypothesized that individuals who have taken steps toward social transition would have higher internal locus of control scores and higher self-efficacy scores than those who have not taken any steps toward transitioning. It was also hypothesized that individuals who have taken steps toward medical transition would have higher internal locus of control scores and higher self-efficacy scores than individuals who have taken steps toward social transition. A one-way MANOVA was conducted to determine whether the degree of transitioning had an effect on self-efficacy and internal locus of control. The group of medically transitioned individuals had the highest scores on the self-efficacy and internal locus of control measures, followed by the group who had not transitioned, and followed by the group who had socially transitioned. The mean difference between the medically transitioned group and the socially transitioned group on the self-efficacy measure was significant. This paper presents analyses of these results and discusses implications for future research.

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