Methods: In January 2017, 1,527 Taiwanese LGB adults were recruited to complete an online-based survey via Facebook. The survey consists of the 5-item Brief Symptom Rating Scale (BSRS-5) to assess respondents’ mental health and several single-item questions to rate their self-acceptance and their perceptions of other people’s attitude towards homosexuality and same-sex marriage. We conducted path analyses to examine directs and indirect effects of the various sources of perceived attitudes towards same-sex sexuality and partnership and to investigate the mediating role of self-acceptance.
Result: The sample has slightly more male respondents (n=812, 53.2%) than female respondents (n=715, 46.8%) with majority of them self-identified as homosexual (n=1,128, 73.9%), followed by bisexual (n=399, 26.1%). The age range of the sample is 20-62, with a mean age of 29.47 (SD= 6.89). The results indicated significant correlations between perceived attitudes towards homosexuality and same-sex marriage (r = 0.22 ~ 0.89, p < 0.001). The model fits the data well (RMSEA = 0.054, CFI = 0.99, TLI = 0.97) and shows that besides a direct effect of self-acceptance (B = -1.40, p < 0.001) on symptoms, self-acceptance partially mediates the association between symptoms and the perceived societal disapproval of homosexuality (B = 0.06, p < 0.05, CI = 0.15-0.01) as well as fully mediates the effects of perceived disapproval of homosexuality from heterosexual friends (B = -0.09, p < 0.01, CI, -0.03, -0.16). In addition, self-acceptance also fully mediates the effects of perceived approval of same-sex marriage from friends (B = -0.06, p < 0.01, CI, -.0.01, -0.12) and families (B = -0.06, p < 0.01, CI, -0.01, -0.14).
Conclusions and Implications: This study extends the literature on structural stigma by highlighting the consequences of perceived social attitudes and the mediating role of self-acceptance. Results provide crucial implications for promoting mental health of sexual minorities especially in the wake of public discussion and policy debate about diversity and marriage equality. Anti-stigma interventions should be rendered at a systematic level when opinions of objection are vocalized. LGB affirmative principles should be integrated into services in order to strengthen sexual minority’s self-acceptance.