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Distress after a single violent crime: how shame-proneness and event-related shame work together as risk factors for post-victimization symptoms
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8440-6881
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
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2011 (English)In: Psychological Reports, ISSN 0033-2941, E-ISSN 1558-691X, Vol. 109, no 1, 3-23 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To increase understanding of post-victimization symptom development, the present study investigated the role of shame- and guilt-proneness and event-related shame and guilt as potential risk factors. 35 individuals (M age = 31.7 yr.; 48.5% women), recently victimized by a single event of severe violent crime, were assessed regarding shame- and guilt-proneness, event-related shame and guilt, and post-victimization symptoms. The mediating role of event-related shame was investigated with structural equation modeling (SEM), using bootstrapping. The guilt measures were unrelated to each other and to post-victimization symptoms. The shame measures were highly intercorrelated and were both positively correlated to more severe post-victimization symptom levels. Event-related shame as mediator between shame-proneness and post-victimization symptoms was demonstrated by prevalent significant indirect effects. Both shame measures are potent risk factors for distress after victimization, whereby part of the effect of shame-proneness on post-victimization symptoms is explained by event-related shame.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 109, no 1, 3-23 p.
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-42791DOI: 10.2466/02.09.15.16.PR0.109.4.3-23ISI: 000295760000001PubMedID: 22049643OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-42791DiVA: diva2:410401
Available from: 2011-04-13 Created: 2011-04-13 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Distress after criminal victimization: quantitative and qualitative aspects in a two-year perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Distress after criminal victimization: quantitative and qualitative aspects in a two-year perspective
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores distress and reactions after crime by a previously unknown perpetrator in a two-year perspective. Distress was investigated at eight months and two years, using quantitative and qualitative methods. The specific aims of the thesis were (I) to explore the level of distress and the role of risk factors for post-traumatic and general symptoms eight months post crime, (II) to examine the natural course of adjustment at a two-year follow-up in female and male victims of interpersonal violence, III) to investigate the relationship between shame, guilt, and distress among 35 victims of a single severe violent crime, and (IV) to use qualitative analysis to describe individual post-crime trajectories. The following questionnaires were used: Symptom Check List 90 (Derogatis & Cleary, 1977), Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (Mollica et al., 1992), the Test for Self-Conscious Affect (Tagney et al., 1989). Data were also obtained via semi-structured interviews, including the use of visual analog scales for subjective mental health measures. The participants in paper I were male and female Swedish adult victims of reported interpersonal violence eight months earlier. Participants were between 18 and 66 years of age (n=41). At follow-up (Paper II) the sample size had decreased (n=35). In paper III, adult victims (aged 18-64) of reported interpersonal violence were assessed within two weeks of reported crime (n=35). In paper IV a subsample of 11 adult crime victims were drawn from among the participants from papers I and II.

Paper I showed that women reported more distress than men. Prior trauma, adverse childhood, female sex, previous psychiatric history, and unemployment were all associated with more distress. Peritraumatic reactions (especially secondary emotions following cognitive appraisals after the event) predicted the three core PTSD symptoms and comorbid conditions, together with female sex and psychiatric history. Paper II confirmed most of the risk factors at eight months and that, in general, no further recovery took place between eight months and two years. Paper III showed that shame-proneness and event-related shame were highly intercorrelated and related to higher symptoms levels, while the guilt measures were unrelated to each other as well as to symptoms. Paper IV explored narratives of victimization; the results suggest that individual differences within the same trajectories of recovery should be expected.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2011. 54 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1415
Keyword
criminal victimization, posttraumatic distress, risk factors
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-42781 (URN)978-91-7459-181-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-05-13, NUS, Byggnad 23 (S-plan) Sal A, Norrlands Universitetssjukhus, Umeå, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-04-19 Created: 2011-04-13 Last updated: 2011-04-19Bibliographically approved
2. More or less than human: the influence of shame on psychological distress
Open this publication in new window or tab >>More or less than human: the influence of shame on psychological distress
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Övermänsklig eller undermänsklig : skammens inflytande på psykisk ohälsa
Abstract [en]

Background Shame is a powerful emotion involved in a wide variety of phenomena including psychopathology. The propensity to react with shame to situations of transgression is formed early in life, but the processes by which elevated shame-proneness causes higher levels of psychological distress and functional impairment in some people rather than in others is as yet poorly understood.

Objectives The main objective of this thesis was to further elucidate these processes by investigating the implications for shame states, guilt, general coping strategies, attachment styles, and shame-related coping in this context, as well as to evaluate an assessment method for shame-proneness.

Methods The self-report questionnaires Test of Self-Conscious Affect (TOSCA), Compass of Shame Scale (CoSS-5), Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ), Ways of Coping Questionnaire (WCQ), Attachment Style Questionnaire (ASQ), Symptom Checklist 90 (SCL-90), and an interview measure for event-related shame and guilt were used for assessment in adult normative, healthy-only, crime victim, and patient samples (n=25-361). A combination of uni- and bivariate approaches and multivariate soft and hard modeling approaches were used for statistical analysis.

Results Paper I showed that the TOSCA could be used as a reliable measure for shame-proneness. Paper II showed that guilt was unrelated to post-victimization distress. Elevated shame-proneness was related to higher levels of post-victimization distress. This effect was partially mediated by event-related shame. Paper III showed that in CFS patients, higher levels of shame-proneness, escape-avoidance, and accepting responsibility coping contributed to elevated levels of psychological distress. Seeking support, positive reappraisal coping, and proneness to detachment contributed in the opposite direction. These relationships were weaker in the comparison groups. Paper IV showed that shame-proneness was associated with secure attachment style in a negative direction. Higher levels of secure attachment style contributed to lower levels of psychological distress, whereas shame-proneness, insecure attachment styles and withdrawal, attack self, and attack other shame coping strategies contributed in the opposite direction. There were mean differences between women and men regarding most of the variables, butiithe relationships between variables did not differ between men and women.

Conclusions The association between shame-proneness and psycho-logical distress seem to involve a complex balancing act between motives toward preserving close relationships and protecting a relatively positive sense of self. If others are perceived as trustworthy and compassionate and are utilized for support in times of need, the effects of shame-proneness may be less debilitating, whereas if others are perceived as distancing or disapproving, and life stress and social transgressions are managed by escape strategies, social withdrawal, self-blame or by transferring blame onto others, the distress effects become more severe. The inner psychodynamics of these functional patterns seem to be rather similar in women and men.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2011. 60 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1465
Keyword
Shame, shame-proneness, guilt, self-conscious emotions, psychological distress, coping, attachment styles, Compass of Shame
National Category
Psychiatry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-50080 (URN)978-91-7459-327-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-12-16, Psykiatriska klinikens föreläsningssal A, byggnad 23 (målpunkt F), suterrängplanet (noll-planet), Norrlands universitetssjukhus, Umeå, 13:00 (Swedish)
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Supervisors
Available from: 2011-11-25 Created: 2011-11-24 Last updated: 2015-04-29Bibliographically approved

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