College of Education and Human Development

Family Social Science

Jenifer McGuire

  • Pronouns: she/her/hers

  • Professor and Extension Specialist

Jennifer Mcguire

Areas of interest

Health and well-being of transgender youth
Family relationships and gender identity

I am accepting new advisees for fall 2024 in the MA, PhD, and MA/PhD programs.


Ph.D., Family Studies and Human Development, University of Arizona
M.P.H., Public Health, University of Arizona
M.S., Family Studies, University of Arizona
B.A., Communications & Psychology, University of Colorado


Advising statement

Transgender youth and families: I study the well-being of young people who identify as transgender with a specific focus on ways that family environments can best support healthy development. Within this area, I have several ongoing projects which utilize different types of data. The transgender youth study includes in-depth, semi-structured interviews of transgender identified persons aged 16-26. The accompanying parent study includes in depth interviews with a subset of parents of transgender identified young adults. I collaborate with several gender clinics to examine elements of development among children and adolescents who seek services for gender reassignment. Finally, I collaborate with school and community groups to examine ways to provide safe and developmentally appropriate contexts for youth who are questioning their gender or actively pursuing gender transition services.

Outreach & Engagement

Meeting the Needs of Transgender Youth:  During winter and spring of 2017, Children Youth and Families Consortium hosted seven regional events for parents, educators, and professionals who work with families and youth. These interactional and workshop-based events covered current research and prevailing perspectives that promote well-being among all youth.

Parenting and co-parentingParents Forever is a co-parenting program taken by many couples during the divorce process to help promote the well-being of children influenced by divorce. I participate as a member of the program team in supporting evaluation and development of the program.

Health, Well-Being and Economic Opportunity for LGBT Persons in Rural Environments (housed at Clemson University): I participate as a member of a developing coalition with the goal of enhancing well-being for SGM youth in Minnesota and beyond.


Cronin, S.1, Becher, E.H. 2, McCann, E. 2, McGuire, J., & Powell, S. 2 (2017). Relational conflict and outcomes from an Online Divorce Education Program. Evaluation and Program Planning.

Norris, A.L.1., McGuire, J.K., Stolz, C. 2 (2017). Direct and indirect experiences with heterosexism: How slurs impact all students, Applied Developmental Science, DOI: 10.1080/10888691.2016.1245101

McGuire, J. K., Dworkin, J., Borden, L. M., Perkins, D., & Russell, S. T. (2016). Youth motivations for program participation. Journal of Youth Development.

Dworkin, J., McCann, E. 2, & McGuire, J.K.  (2016), Coparenting in the Digital Era: Exploring Divorced Parents’ Use of Technology, in Giovanna Gianesini , Sampson Lee Blair (ed.) Divorce, Separation, and Remarriage: The Transformation of Family (Contemporary Perspectives in Family Research, Volume 10) Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.279 - 298.

McGuire, J.K., Doty, J.L.1, Catalpa, J.M.1, Ola, C.1 (2016) Body image in transgender young people: Findings from a qualitative, community based study. Body Image. 18, 96-107. doi:10.1016/j.bodyim.2016.06.004

McGuire, J. K., Catalpa, J. M. 1, Lacey, V. 2, & Kuvalanka, K. (2106). Ambiguous loss as a framework for interpreting gender transitions in families. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 8, 372-385. doi:10.1111/jftr.12159

McGuire, J. K., Kuvalanka, K., Catalpa, J. M.1, & Toomey, R. B. (2016). Transfamily theory: How the presence of Trans* family members informs gender development in families. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 8, pp. 60-73. doi:10.1111/jftr.12125

Snapp, S., McGuire, J. K., Sinclair, K. O., Gabrion, K., & Russell, S. T. (2015). LGBTQ-Inclusive Curriculum: Why Supportive Curriculum Matters. Sex Education, 15, 580-596. doi:10.1080/14681811.2015.1042573

Cleveland, H. H., Wiebe, R., McGuire, J., Zheng, Y1, (2015). Predicting the Drinking of Minority Adolescents from their exposure to White Schoolmates: Differences and Similarities between Hispanic, Black, and Asian Adolescents. Journal of Ethnicity and Substance Use, 14: 166-186. doi:10.1080/15332640.2014.973626

De Vries, A. L. C., McGuire, J. K., Steensma, T. D. 1, Wagenaar, E., Doreleijers, T., Cohen-Kettenis, P. T. (2014). Prospective young adult outcomes of puberty suppression in transgender adolescents, Pediatrics, 134, 696-704. doi:10.1542/peds.2013-2958

Steensma, T. D. 1, McGuire, J. K., Kreukels, B. P. C., Beekman, A. J., Cohen-Kettenis, P. T. (2013) Factors Associated with Desistence and Persistence of Childhood Gender Dysphoria: A Quantitative Follow-up Study. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 52, 582-590. doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2013.03.016 .

Rodgers, K.B., & McGuire, J.K., (2012). Adolescent sexual risk and multiple contexts: interpersonal violence, parenting, and poverty. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Doi: 0886260511432148.

Toomey, R. 1, McGuire, J. K., & Russell, S. T. (2012). Perceptions of school safety for gender nonconforming peers: Within- and between.


McGuire, J. K., (2014). Body image among transgender youth. Society for Research on Adolescence, Austin, TX.

McGuire, J. K. (2013). Family relationships among transgender youth. National Council on Family Relations, San Antonio, TX.

De Vries, A.L.C., McGuire, J. K., Steensma., T., Cohen-Kettenis, P., (2013). Prospective young adult outcomes of puberty suppression in transgender adolescents. Society for Research on Child Development, Seattle, WA.

McGuIre, J.K., & Brown, M.B. (2012) Forms and conditions of service learning: Links to student outcomes. Conference on University Lifelong Learning, Graz, Austria.

McGuire, J. K., Beets, N., Glenn, J., & Rash, J. A. (2011). Family relationships as contexts for sexual health among transgender youth. Poster presented at the World Association for Sexual health, Glasgow, UK.

McGuire, J. K., Beets, N., Glenn, J., & Rash, J. A. (2011). Family relationships as contexts for sexual health among transgender youth. Poster presented at the Biennial meeting of the society for Research on Child development, Montreal, CA.

Beets, N. 1, Wilcox, J. L. 1, McGuire, J. K., & LeCroy, C. W. (2011) Reservation as a context for Native American youth substance use. Poster accepted for presentation at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Child Development, Montreal, CA.

Rash, J. A. 1, Broberg, D. 1, & McGuire, J. K., (2010). From policy to outcome: How cognitive changes after a pregnancy prevention program predict adolescent childbearing. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the National Council on Family Relations, Minneapolis, MN.

Rodgers, K. B., McGuire, J. K., & Ewest, W. C. 1 (2010). Trajectories of support on educational outcomes among adolescent mothers in poverty. Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the National Council on Family Relations, Minneapolis, MN.

McGuire, J. K., & Conover-Williams, M. 1 (2010) Family relationships as contexts for development among transgender youth: Links to internalizing and externalizing risk behaviors. Paper presentation at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Philadelphia, PA.

Van Campen, K. 1, Toomey, R. B. 1, McGuire, J. K., & LeCroy, C. W., (2010). “I Have What?”: How Sexual Self-Efficacy and Sexuality Education Are Associated with STD Risk in Adolescence. Poster presentation at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Philadelphia, PA.

What Students Can Expect from Me

I offer graduate students opportunities for research in gender identity and sexual orientation and links to well-being. There are multiple opportunities in my lab to work with both qualitative and quantitative data, as well as to have direct experiences with community outreach. I encourage students to develop their own research identity and support independent and collaborative writing for publication among my students. 

How my Scholarship Contributes to Social Justice

My research and outreach inherently crosses a bridge to social justice. I embark on my research because of my strong commitment to equitable and fair access for all people. I translate this research to support the development of common understanding about equity in gender and sexual identity. I am committed to supporting children, families and communities provide safe and accessible environments for transgender and gender non-conforming persons. 

Honors and Awards

2023 - College of Education and Human Development Excellence in Research Award

2022 - Extension Dean’s Distinguished Award

2010 -  Hugo G. Beigel Award, The Journal of Sex Research primary author to: McGuire, J. K. & Barber, B. L. (2010). Late adolescent sexual styles: A person centered approach to the multifaceted nature of sexual behavior. The Journal of Sex Research, 47, 301-313.

2010 - Society for Research on Adolescence Social Policy Publication Award: Best Edited Book. Contributing author to: Russell, S. T., McGuire, J. K., & Laub, C. (2008). School climate for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) students: Within- and between-school variability. In M. Shinn and H. Yoshikawa, (Eds.) Toward positive youth development: Transforming schools and community programs. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 133-149.

2009 -  Leadership Fellows Award: Washington Campus Compact.