Shame and guilt : their relationship with self-esteem and social connectedness

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Ward, Leah
Issue Date
BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between shame and guilt to aspects of psychological well-being such as self-esteem and social connectedness in Irish adults. Data was collected from 115 adults; 39 males and 76 females between the ages of 18 and 52. An online questionnaire was administered incorporating the State Shame and Guilt Scale (Marshall, Sanfner & Tangney, 1994), the Social Connectedness Scale (Lee & Robbins, 1995), Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965) and demographic questions regarding gender and age. Results found that as feelings of shame and guilt increase, levels of self-esteem and social connectedness subsequently decrease. No gender difference was observed in shame, guilt, self-esteem or social connectedness. Findings support previous research suggesting the negative implications of such emotions on a person’s sense of self-worth and social interactions.