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Relationship between guilt and shame and depressive symptoms in normal population and patients with personality disorders

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 August 2021

O. Khokhlova
Affiliation:
Department Of Neuro- And Pathopsychology, Faculty Of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation Psychology Department, Middlesex University Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
M. Vinogradova*
Affiliation:
Department Of Neuro- And Pathopsychology, Faculty Of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation
*
*Corresponding author.

Abstract

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Introduction

Shame and guilt are often discussed in their association with depression. However, there is a need in deeper understanding of relationship between these emotions and depressive symptoms in personality disorders, where affective patterns do not reach the level of clinical depression.

Objectives

To examine the differences in shame and guilt levels in normal subjects and patients with personality disorders and their association with depressive symptoms.

Methods

In total, 28 patients (M=36.07, SD=11.87) diagnosed with personality disorders and 76 (M=29.67, SD=8.87) healthy individuals were recruited to take part in this study. Patients and healthy controls had equivalent educational level. Participants were given two standardized tests: Beck Depression Inventory and Test of Self-Conscious Affect (TOSCA) – 3.

Results

There were significant differences in levels of guilt between patients with personality disorders (M=64.79, SD=6.78) and healthy individuals (M = 59.92, SD = 11.86), t (102) = 2.603, p = .011. Patients also demonstrated higher levels of shame (M=47.86, SD=9.70) than the participants without diagnoses (M = 43.38, SD = 14.96), however, these differences were not significant t (102) = 1.47, p > .05. It was found that depressive symptoms in normal population but not in patients significantly correlated with levels of guilt (r(76) = .124, p <.01) and shame (r(76)=.188, p<.01).

Conclusions

It might be assumed that shame and guilt play different roles in emotional sphere of healthy individuals and patients with personality disorders, being associated with depressive symptoms in norm and unrelated to depressive symptoms in personality disorders.

Type
Abstract
Creative Commons
Creative Common License - CCCreative Common License - BY
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the European Psychiatric Association
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