Trait Mindfulness and Self-Compassion as Moderators of the Association Between Gender Nonconformity and Psychological Health

Shian Ling Keng, Kenny Wei Lun Liew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Much research has established a negative association between gender nonconformity and psychological health. Less is known however regarding factors that may attenuate the link between gender nonconformity and psychological health. The present study aimed to investigate the association between gender nonconformity and psychological health in a Singaporean sample, and to examine trait mindfulness and self-compassion as potential moderators of the association. A community sample of 206 adults was recruited and completed an online survey anonymously. The survey included measures of gender nonconformity, sexual orientation, trait mindfulness, self-compassion, depression, anxiety, and subjective well-being. Results showed that gender nonconformity positively and significantly predicted depressive symptoms, and negatively predicted subjective well-being. Trait mindfulness moderated the association between gender nonconformity and depression, anxiety, and subjective well-being respectively, with the direction of the moderation effects indicating the role of trait mindfulness as a protective factor against psychological distress. Self-compassion moderated the relationship between gender nonconformity and subjective well-being. Specifically, the association between gender nonconformity and subjective well-being was positive at high levels of self-compassion, and negative at low levels of self-compassion. While cross-sectional in nature, the findings provide preliminary support for the role of trait mindfulness and self-compassion as potential buffers against negative psychological effects of gender nonconformity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-626
Number of pages12
JournalMindfulness
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Gender nonconformity
  • Mindfulness
  • Protective factor
  • Self-compassion
  • Subjective well-being

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