The moderating effects of ethnic and sexual identity on emotion openness and depression among lesbian, gay, and bisexual Asians
MetadataShow full item record
Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) Asians often encounter racism and homophobia in their lives because of their ethnic and sexual identities, and consequently, they could suffer from depression. Previous research demonstrated that emotional openness, the ability to accept and process one’s emotion, could enhance the resilience of sexual minorities against depression. Therefore, LGB Asians, being sexual minorities, could benefit from emotional openness for their mental health. On the other hand, LGB Asians, given their ethnic identity, could follow the cultural norm of emotional suppression, and thus, they might not benefit from emotional openness as other sexual minorities could. The present study examined how ethnic and sexual identities would moderate the relationship between emotional openness and depressive symptoms among LGB Asians. It was hypothesized that LGB Asians with a strong sexual identity could experience fewer depressive symptoms at higher levels of emotional openness. In contrast, it was predicted that LGB Asians with a strong ethnic identity could experience more depressive symptoms at higher levels of emotional openness. One hundred and fifty-six LGB Asians were recruited to complete an online survey on ethnic and sexual identities, emotional openness, and depressive symptoms. Emotional openness, but not ethnic and sexual identities, emerged as a resilience factor against depressive symptoms for LGB Asians. Both the ethnic and sexual identities of LGB Asians failed to moderate the relationship between emotional openness and depression. Post-hoc meditational analyses revealed the impact of the unique combination of ethnic and sexual identities on the identity development and promotion of emotional openness among LGB Asians. Limitations of the study and future research directions were discussed.