Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 72 Issue 3 (September 1999), Pages 285-425

An investigation of shame and guilt in a depressed sample (pages 323-338)

A self‐report measure of proneness to shame and guilt was administered to 86 patients with moderate to severe depression, with the prediction that there would be a positive correlation of shame with severity of depression. Contrary to other, non‐clinical studies, we found that guilt but not shame was associated with levels of depression. Shameproneness demonstrated a unique association with a stable attributional style for negative outcomes, global negative self‐evaluation, submissive behaviour and internalized anger. Contrary to prediction, no relationship was found between shame‐or guilt‐proneness and a reported history of childhood sexual abuse.

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