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PACT Youth Pilot Study

Researcher bios and how their research backgrounds relate to this study

Dr. Dermody (she/her) is the Director of the Clinical Addictions Research and Equity (CARE) Lab at Toronto Metropolitan University. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and Biological & Health Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and completed an accredited internship at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Dr. Dermody’s research investigates the risk factors and treatments for substance use and addiction in youth and adults. More specifically, her research aims to (1) characterize the risk of alcohol and cigarette use and dependence across the lifespan; (2) optimize addiction interventions to address co-occurring substance use, and (3) identify and address differences in substance use patterns and harms based on one’s gender and sexual identities.

Purpose of this research project

This preliminary study aims to examine the experiences with alcohol use in 30 transgender youth via surveys and interviews. It also seeks to better understand what predicts alcohol use in transgender youth and the consequences of alcohol use. This is a Canada-wide study. Some aspects of this study may be completed virtually and/or in person at TMU (dependent on participant’s preference and geography). Virtual components will be held over Google Meets/Zoom.

How this research will help LGBT2SQ people and communities

We hope to get feedback from transgender individuals about their experiences participating in the study in order to ensure that we carry out our research in a way that is inclusive and empowering. The research we wish to do is attempting to better understand the factors that lead to experiencing harms from drinking about transgender youth. Understanding these factors will help us develop gender-inclusive interventions to reduce alcohol harms.


Be 16-29 years old
Identify as transgender and/or identify under the transgender umbrella (e.g., non-binary, agender, genderfluid, trans masc, trans femme, intersex etc.)
Live in Canada
Drink alcohol
Own a smartphone


Incentives of up to $200 CAD in e-gift cards will be provided. Participants will be able to choose from the following options: Amazon, President’s Choice, urBasics, and QUILTBAG.

Mitigation measures

Participants will receive contact information for community and peer-support resources that may be relevant to them, including mental health, substance use, and trans-specific services. Participants also have the opportunity to provide feedback about their participation in the study so that we can modify our procedures to prevent unintended distress for future participants.

Psychological Risk (e.g., feeling anxious, uncomfortable or upset):
Participants have the option to skip questions they do not wish to answer (i.e., there are no forced responses beyond providing consent). Most surveys will be self-administered.

Social Risk (e.g., being exposed or embarrassed, potential loss of privacy, damage to reputation)
We will instruct participants to complete all surveys in a location that ensures privacy. The phone app surveys will be labeled by the study acronym "PACT Youth Study" with a general study description of "This study seeks to learn more about your health and daily experiences." Only researchers named in the study will have access to the data collected. Data will be stored in a password protected file. With the exception of the screening survey, all survey responses will be kept separate from identifiable information. Comment sections will be disabled on relevant social media recruitment ads when possible (e.g., Instagram/Facebook posts). In instances where disabling comments is not possible, recruitment ads will include the following bolded statement:**To protect your privacy as a potential participant, please refrain from commenting on this post and contact us directly instead.**

Personal identity being revealed (e.g. participant being identified either directly or inadvertently):
Only researchers named in the study will have access to the data collected. Data will be stored in a password protected file. With the exception of the pre-screening survey, all survey responses will be kept separate from identifiable information. Alphanumeric codes (for instance, A001, A002) will be used to refer to participant data in analytic files. Identifiable information will only be retained until the conclusion of the study, at which point it will be destroyed.

Promoting the Study

Social media (Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, Reddit), Kijiji, lab website, email listservs, dating apps (Feeld, Tinder, Grindr, Taimi), posters in the community.