Date: August 2016
Creator: Atkins, Sarah Ann
Description: Despite research documenting the association between shame and aspects of poor psychological functioning, shame's adverse effects have remained largely invisible in modern societies. Shame has been described as the "attachment emotion" (Lewis, 1980), yet, there is little research that examines the relationship between attachment style and shame, and conclusions from this research are tempered by methodological limitations. The current study aimed to address methodological limitations with a quasi-experimental design and employed measures of state and trait shame, shame coping styles, an Emotional Stroop task for assessing implicit shame, and a shame mood induction procedure (MIP). This methodology provided a basis to examine differences by attachment style for 271 university students in state, trait, and implicit shame, as well as the use of maladaptive shame coping styles at baseline and following a shame MIP. Additionally, a qualitative analysis of the shame MIP written responses was conducted to provide a more nuanced understanding of the task used to elicit feelings of shame and individual differences in events identified as shame-triggering. Results revealed that students evidencing an insecure attachment style (i.e., preoccupied, fearful, or dismissive). reported significantly more state and trait shame compared to students evidencing a secure attachment style after the shame ...
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