Shame-proneness vs guilt-proneness and their relationship to attributional styles, coping strategies and depressive symptom levels of university students

İnandılar Topaç, Hicran
The purpose of the present study is to investigate the link between shame-proneness, guilt-proneness, attributional styles, and coping strategies, and then to determine which of these variables are significantly related to depressive symptomatology in the sample of Turkish undergraduates. Moreover, the association between shame-proneness, guilt-proneness and depressive symptomatology through attributional styles and coping strategies is examined. Four hundred undergraduates from different universities completed the Ways of Coping Inventory, Attribution Styles Questionnaire, Test of Self-Conscious Affect-3 and Beck Depression Inventory in addition to the questionnaire surveying sociodemografic variables. The findings of the analyses have revealed that shame- and guiltproneness have a significant effect on coping strategies, attributional styles, and depressive symptomatology. The attributional styles also have predictive effects on the use of coping strategies. However, contrary to the researcher's predictions, no relationship between attributional styles and depressive symptomatology has been found. In order to test the mediation model, mediation analyses have been conducted and the results of the analyses have been tested by structural equation modeling, which have confirmed the mediation effect of problem-focused coping only between shame- and guilt-proneness and depressive symptomatology. In conclusion, shame- and guilt-proneness are the strongest predictors of depressive symptomatology and their significant effect on depressive symptoms are above and beyond the other variables. The findings of the present study have suggested that the analysis of shame-proneness, frequency, and duration of feelings of shame and related occasions are crucial in psychotherapy process. The results of the study have emphasized the importance of taking shame-proneness into account and dealing with it in the psychotherapy process.


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Citation Formats
H. İnandılar Topaç, “Shame-proneness vs guilt-proneness and their relationship to attributional styles, coping strategies and depressive symptom levels of university students,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2010.