Self-compassion Buffers the Negative Psychological Impact of Stigma Stress on Sexual Minorities


The present study aimed to test the associations of stigma stress with negative cognitive outcomes (i.e., self-stigma content and process), affective outcomes (i.e., depression and anxiety), and social outcomes (i.e., disconnectedness and loneliness) among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals and to explore whether self-compassion would moderate these associations. Cross-sectional questionnaire data were collected from 401 LGB individuals residing in Hong Kong, China. Hierarchical regressions showed significant interactions between stigma stress and self-compassion in predicting self-stigma content and process, depressive and anxiety symptoms, and social disconnectedness and loneliness. Specifically, the positive associations of stigma stress with the six psychological outcomes were weaker among LGB individuals with high levels of self-compassion than among LGB individuals with low levels of self-compassion. Theoretically, our findings highlighted the links between stigma stress and maladaptive psychological processes among LGB individuals, as well as the potential protective effects of self-compassion in such processes. Practically, our findings pointed to the necessity of helping LGB individuals to cope with stigma stress and increase self-compassion in improving their psychological well-being.

Author Information
Ka Shing Kevin Chan, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2020
Stream: Mental Health

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon