Year of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

Clinical Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Bryan Cochran

Commitee Members

Nicole McCray, Jennifer Robohm, Gyda Swaney, Elizabeth Hubble


LGBT, Minority Stress, Phenomenology, Transgender, Transgender Inmates


The University of Montana


This qualitative study used a phenomenological analytic approach (Hycner, 1985) to examine the experiences of 25 transgender individuals who had been incarcerated in cross-gender correctional facilities (e.g., transmen housed in womenÆs prisons). The central question aimed to understand the lived experiences of transgender inmates. A series of questions was posed to participants during teleconference interviews in order to answer the central question. Two core themes, which were endorsed by all participants, emerged as a result of these interviews: 1) victimization and discrimination, and 2) coping strategies. The core theme of victimization and discrimination was explored from a systems perspective by examining these phenomena as perpetrated by other inmates, by staff, and systemically. The core theme of coping strategies focused on the utilization of LGBT inmates as social supports and the expression of gender within a restrictive setting. Findings from this study add to the sparse literature base examining the experiences of transgender people who have been incarcerated. Clinical and policy implications are put forth based on the findings of the study. Limitations, such as the retrospective nature of the study, are discussed.

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