Peer-to-peer contact, social support and self-stigma among people with severe mental illness in Hong Kong

Xu Hong Li, Tian Ming Zhang, Yuen Yum Yau, Yi Zhou Wang, Yin Ling Irene Wong, Lawrence Yang, Xiao Li Tian, Cecilia Lai Wan Chan, Mao Sheng Ran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Self-stigma exerts a range of adversities for persons with severe mental illness (SMI), however, little is known about the association between peer contact, social support and self-stigma. Aims: This study aimed to explore the mediating role of social support on the relationship between peer contact and self-stigma among persons with SMI in Hong Kong. Methods: A total of 159 persons with SMI (schizophrenia and mood disorder) in community service centres participated in the study through completing a survey on self-stigma, social functioning, social support, perception of peer contact and mass media. Logistic regression was utilised to explore the influencing factors of self-stigma among the participants. Results: The results showed that 81.1% of participants reported moderate to severe levels of self-stigma. Self-stigma was significantly associated with diverse factors (e.g. social functioning). Importantly, positive peer contact was significantly associated with lower self-stigma of persons with SMI. Social support acted as a mediator between peer contact and self-stigma. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that contact-based interventions, such as enhancing positive peer-to-peer contact, should be conducted for reducing self-stigma among persons with SMI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)622-631
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Hong Kong
  • Self-stigma
  • mass media
  • peer contact
  • severe mental illness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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