TNB ally behavior, social work education, gender identity


Transgender and nonbinary (TNB) youth and adults are under attack in the United States, with at least 300 state-level anti-transgender bills introduced thus far in 2022 (HRC, 2022). Social workers, guided by professional values and ethics, play a critical role in supporting and advocating for TNB youth and adults, clinically and through mezzo and macro approaches. Given the current political context and the goals of the social work profession, understanding correlates of ally behavior on behalf of TNB people among social work students can help guide improvements in social work education. Specifically, in this study, we examine how demographic differences, social work program variables, and psychosocial predictors are related to increased levels of ally behavior among social work students. Correlates of increased ally behavior in the final multivariate model include having TNB friends, having LGBQ friends, lower levels of social dominance orientation, and lower levels of transphobia. Post-hoc analyses suggest that differences emerge based on levels of social dominance orientation. From the findings, we offer suggestions for school-level interventions that have the potential to increase ally behaviors among social work students as it relates to the TNB community.

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