Pediatric Gender Identity: Consultation on Matters of Identity, Transgender Concerns, and Disorders/Differences of Sex Development

  • Christine E. BradyEmail author
  • Michelle M. Ernst
Part of the Issues in Clinical Child Psychology book series (ICCP)


Gender identity refers to a person’s concept related to their sense of themselves as a boy, girl, or other nonbinary identities. There is a paradigm shift occurring in today’s society in which an increasing number of youth are identifying as transgender, gender nonconforming, or intersex. Psychologists consulting in medical clinics or inpatient settings are likely to encounter youth who experience gender identity in a variety of ways. Youth who are gender nonconforming are at higher biomedical and psychosocial risk; these risks can be exacerbated by negative experiences in the health-care setting. This chapter provides an overview of foundational knowledge needed to understand gender identity (distinct from related concepts) and gender dysphoria. Two populations in which gender identity plays a primary role are highlighted, namely, transgender/gender nonconforming youth and people affected by a disorder/difference of sex development. For both of these populations, current research on psychosocial functioning is reviewed. The role of the psychologist in working with these populations is described, with particular emphasis on potential treatment targets and possible intervention strategies within the consultation setting.


Disorders of sex development Differences of sex development Intersex Gender nonconforming Transgender Gender identity Consultation-liaison 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kaiser PermanenteSanta ClaraUnited States
  2. 2.Child PsychiatryKaiser PermanenteSanta ClaraUnited States
  3. 3.Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA
  4. 4.Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical PsychologyUniversity of Cincinnati School of MedicineCincinnatiUSA

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