Date of Award
MA in Psychology
Exposure to traumatic events will affect most individuals in their lifetimes, with some going on to develop emotional dysregulation difficulties, posttraumatic stress symptoms, shame, and guilt. The present study used a trauma-exposed college sample of adults from a northeastern university (n = 612, age M = 20.79, SD= 3.33, n = 463 female, n = 149 male) to test for a moderating effect of shame-proneness and guilt-proneness on the relationship between posttraumatic stress symptoms and difficulties in emotional regulation, and lack of emotional awareness, a subcategory of difficulties in emotional regulation. The correlational relationship between these constructs was also investigated. Posttraumatic stress symptoms, difficulties in emotional regulation, shame-proneness and lack of emotional awareness were positively associated, while guilt-proneness was positively associated with shame-proneness but negatively associated with lack of emotional awareness. Posttraumatic stress symptoms predicted difficulties in emotional regulation, as did shame-proneness, above and beyond the effect of posttraumatic stress symptoms alone, but shame-proneness did not serve as a moderator. Guilt-proneness was found to moderate the relationship between posttraumatic stress symptoms and difficulties in emotional regulation. Specifically, the association between posttraumatic stress symptoms and difficulties in emotional regulation increased as guilt-proneness levels increased. Guilt-proneness also moderated the relationship between posttraumatic stress symptoms and lack of emotional awareness. There was a positive association between posttraumatic stress symptoms and lack of emotional awareness at high, but not low, levels of guilt-proneness. This finding points to low levels of guilt-proneness serving as a potential protective factor for emotional awareness in adults exposed to trauma. Future research on trauma and emotional regulation should explore the utility of low levels of guilt for emotional awareness in clinical treatment for trauma exposure.
Nikiforova, Yekaterina, "EFFECT OF SHAME-PRONENESS, GUILT-PRONENESS AND POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS SYMPTOMS ON DIFFICULTIES IN EMOTIONAL REGULATION" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 486.