Daniel Seabra1*, Jorge Gato2, Nicola Petrocchi3,4, Maria do Céu Salvador1
1 University of Coimbra, Center for Research in Neuropsychology and Cognitive and Behavioural Intervention (CINEICC), Portugal
2 Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences and Centre for Psychology, University of Porto, Portugal
3 Department of Economics and Social Sciences, John Cabot University, Rome, Italy
4 Compassionate Mind ITALIA, Rome, Italy
Sexual Minority (SM) individuals who are victims of stigma have reported higher levels of traumatic shame experiences and psychopathology symptoms (depression and social anxiety) when compared to heterosexual individuals. Self-compassion and social support have been described as protective factors. This study aimed to explore the mediating role of self-compassion and social support in the relationship between shame felt in traumatic experiences and psychopathology symptoms in a sample of SM individuals. The sample was composed of 264 adult SM individuals who reported traumatic shame experiences (56% men, 36% women, and 8% nonbinary). Correlations between variables were significant and ranged from very weak to moderate. Two models were performed, one for each dependent variable (depression and social anxiety symptoms). The mediating models revealed different results: compassionate actions was a significant mediator in the relationship of shame in traumatic experiences with depression symptoms and social anxiety symptoms, social support from friends had the same role on the prediction of depression, and social support from the family was a significant mediator on the prediction of social anxiety symptoms. These results suggest the importance of cultivating compassionate actions and promoting social support in intervention programs with SM individuals with early traumatic shame experiences, to target depression and social anxiety symptoms.
Please cite this articleas: Seabra, D., Gato, J., Petrocchi, N., & do Céu Salvador, M. (2023). SHAME EXPERIENCES AND PSYCHOPATHOLOGY: THE MEDIATING ROLE OF SELF-COMPASSION AND SOCIAL SUPPORT IN SEXUAL MINORITY INDIVIDUALS. Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies, 23(1), 137-152.
Published online: 2023/03/01
Published print: 2023/03/01
Keywords: sexual minorities; shame experiences; psychopathology; self-compassion; social support.