Differential behavioural patterns associated with aspects of trait shame. (2020)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Science
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
AuthorsWu, Chrisshow all
This thesis consisted of two studies that explored whether aspects of trait shame are characterized by differential behavioural patterns. Study 1 administered the Internalised Shame Scale (ISS) and Depressive Experiences Questionnaire-Short Form (DEQ-SF) to a student sample (N = 592). The ISS was later modified (ISS-m) to include only items unique to shame. Partial correlations were calculated and compared between components of the ISS (original and modified) and personality orientation (anaclitic and introjective orientation) as a proxy for approach and withdrawal behaviours. Study 2 administered the same scales to an adult community sample (N = 198) along with a modified Other As Shamer Scale (OAS-m), and a modified Compass of Shame Scale (CoSS-m) that included approach shame-responses. The study confirmed a two-factor structure of the modified ISS developed in Study 1, with factors called Inferiority (New) and Fragility. Partial correlations were compared to explore how internalised shame, its factors and external shame were differentially associated with personality orientation and also specific shame-responses (approach, withdraw, attack-self, attack-other, and avoid). Similarities and differences were found between the samples. The Inferiority (New) factor was consistently associated with withdrawal behaviours across both samples, whilst the Fragility factor was less consistent within both samples. Trait shame was associated with approach behaviours via anaclitic personality orientation in the student sample and via a relationship between external shame and both anaclitic orientation and specific approach shame-responses in the adult sample. Overall, each aspect of trait shame had differential behavioural configurations. Theoretical and clinical implications were discussed.