Social Indicators Research

, Volume 114, Issue 2, pp 687–701 | Cite as

Acceptance Concern and Life Satisfaction for Chinese LGBs: The Mediating Role of Self-Concealment

  • Xiaowen HuEmail author
  • Ying Wang
  • Chia-huei Wu


Past research has suggested that the acceptance concern of lesbians, gays and bisexuals (LGB), defined as LGB individuals’ sensitivity to negative judgement and rejection associated with their sexuality, is negatively related to subjective wellbeing. However, the mechanism underlying this relationship remains unclear. Drawing on social exchange theory, we propose that LGBs’ self-concealment of sexuality is an important mediator, such that acceptance concern leads to a stronger tendency to conceal one’s sexuality, which further causes lower life satisfaction. Furthermore, we expect that different social groups have a different psychological importance for LGB and thus, concealment from different target groups (i.e., family, friends and acquaintances) will have a differential impact on the mediating process. Using a sample of 152 Chinese students who self-identified as LGBs, we found that acceptance concern negatively predicted life satisfaction, and this effect was mediated by individuals’ self-concealment of their sexuality. A closer examination at different social groups revealed that the mediation effect was only found when using self-concealment from the family as the mediator, indicating the important role played by family in shaping Chinese LGBs’ wellbeing.


Acceptance concern Self-concealment Life satisfaction Chinese LGB 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  2. 2.Business SchoolThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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