Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Clinical Psychology

Department or School/College


Committee Chair

Dr. Bryan Cochran

Commitee Members

Dr. Duncan Campbell, Dr. Annie Sondag


Transgender, Transphobia, Anti-Transgender, Prejudice, Stigma, Contact


University of Montana

Subject Categories



Objectives: Research has suggested that transgender individuals experience high degrees of prejudice and discrimination (e.g., Grant et al., 2010; James et al., 2016). These attitudes affect transgender individuals in multiple domains, such as employment, education, healthcare, housing, public accommodations, and personal relationships (James et al., 2016). Importantly, contact as an intervention strategy has been shown to reduce anti-transgender prejudice quickly and effectively, especially when compared to other prejudice reduction methods (Walch et al., 2012; Case & Stewart, 2013; Tompkins, Sheilds, Hillman, & White, 2015). The aim of the current study was to explore how different types of contact (e.g., personal, educational, and general media) may relate to anti-transgender prejudice.

Methods: Undergraduates at a Rocky Mountain West public university (N = 347; Mage = 21.8, SD = 6.8) were recruited for participation in the study through their psychology courses. Participants responded to a general demographic questionnaire, a measure of different types of contact with transgender individuals, and the Genderism and Transphobia Scale (Hill & Willoughby, 2005).

Results: Analyses revealed significant differences for all three types of contact (personal, educational, and general media) regarding their relationship with anti-transgender prejudice. Independent-sample t-tests found that individuals with no personal contact, when compared to participants with personal contact, exhibited a significantly lower average rating (i.e., low average rating indicates more prejudice) on the Genderism and Transphobia Scale (GTS; t(345)= −7.675, p < .001). This result was consistent with contact with educational materials (t(345)= −3.248, p = .001) and general media outlets (t(345)= −3.359, p = .001). Furthermore, regression analyses yielded significant equations that highlight the relationship between increased contact across all categories and a measurable decrease in anti-transgender prejudices.

Conclusion: This is the first study of which we are aware that indicates an association between contact measured in multiple ways with transgender individuals and varying levels of anti-transgender prejudice. Such differences in the relationship between contact method and anti-transgender prejudice might inform interventions across multiple contexts, including educational and clinical settings.

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