, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 595–602 | Cite as

The Differential Moderating Roles of Self-Compassion and Mindfulness in Self-Stigma and Well-Being Among People Living with Mental Illness or HIV

  • Xue Yang
  • Winnie W. S. Mak


In addition to endorsing the content of stigmatizing thoughts (self-stigma “content”), how frequently and automatically individuals think about these thoughts (self-stigma “process”) also have implications for their well-being. The present study examined the roles of self-compassion and mindfulness in moderating the relationships of self-stigma content and process with subjective well-being of people in recovery of mental illness (PMI) and people living with HIV (PLHIV). Participants included 169 PMI and 291 PLHIV in Hong Kong who reported their levels of self-compassion, mindfulness, self-stigma content and process, and life satisfaction. Path analyses indicated that the proposed model fitted the two samples well, χ 2(10) = 19, p = .04, CFI = .98, NNFI = .93, and RMSEA = .04. In both groups, self-compassion and mindfulness were significantly associated with life satisfaction. Self-compassion moderated the relationship between self-stigma content and life satisfaction among PLHIV, while mindfulness moderated the relationship between self-stigma process and life satisfaction among PMI. The differential moderating roles of self-compassion and mindfulness in buffering the effects of self-stigma content and process among PMI and PLHIV were identified, and implications for stigma reduction and well-being promotion in different stigmatized groups were discussed.


Self-compassion Mindfulness Self-stigma Mental habit Life satisfaction People with mental illness People living with HIV 


Compliance with Ethical Standards


This study was funded by the University Direct Grant of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Ref No. 2021054 and 2021091) and the Social Welfare Development Fund (Ref. No R03).

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Health Behaviours Research, JC School of Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of MedicineThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong

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