An earlier study revealed that the mental health of caregivers of children with intellectual disability is related to the affective dimension of affiliated stigma, loss of face and anxiety level. However, how cultural values such as face concern interplay with stigma remains largely unknown. This extended study goes further to test the mediating role of affective stigma on two slightly different pathway models between the face concern and the mental health outcome of 211 caregivers in two Chinese cities, against the required standards and procedure of being a mediator. The mediating effect of affective stigma is confirmed by meeting Baron and Kenny's required standards. Two viable path models are worked out: one model with anxiety as a co-mediating variable successfully accounts for 17% more of the variance on the outcome than another model without anxiety, explaining a total of 56% of the variance. This provides empirical evidence for the first time that cultural values such as face value do not influence directly one's mental health; but works through the experience of real stigma or anticipated stigma situations, to induce anxiety and worsen mental health. Practitioners may need to employ anti-stigma and anxiety reduction strategy in promoting better mental health and to explore cultural elements that can be tapped on for better coping.
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