The relationship between infertility family stigma, self-stigma and psychological well-being in female first-visit patients at a reproductive medicine center in Taiwan
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Department of Psychology, National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan
Department of Psychology, Soochow University, Taipei, Taiwan
Xiamen EMBO Hospital, Xiamen City, Fujian, China
Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling, National Pingtung University, Pingtung, Taiwan
Research Center for Mind, Brain and Learning, National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan
Submission date: 2021-02-26
Final revision date: 2021-05-05
Acceptance date: 2021-05-06
Online publication date: 2021-06-28
Publication date: 2021-06-28
Health Psychology Report 2022;10(2):122–128
Steeped in Chinese culture which considers continuing the family lineage highly important, infertility stigma endorsed by others and oneself can both negatively impact psychological well-being in women with infertility in Taiwan. The aim of the present study was to find out whether family stigma attached to infertility has a direct effect on psychological well-being, or whether it is only when family stigma is internalized into self-stigma that psychological well-being is affected.

Material and methods:
The present study had a cross-sectional design, approved by an institutional review board in Taiwan. 245 female participants with infertility completed measures on infertility stigma, self-esteem, and positive and negative affect. The main question of this study was analyzed by conducting structural equation modeling.

The present study found that none of the direct effects of family stigma on self-esteem, negative affect, or positive affect were significant, while the indirect effects of family stigma on the three psychological well-being indexes through the mediator of self-stigma were significant.

Self-stigma fully mediates the effect of family stigma on self-esteem, positive affect, and negative affect in women with infertility. Collectively, stigma endorsed by others does not necessarily lead to negative psychological well-being. The negative influence comes from internalizing public/family stigma into self-stigma.

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