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The European Journal of Psychiatry

Print version ISSN 0213-6163


GUIMON, José et al. Shame, sensitivity to punishment and psychiatric disorders. Eur. J. Psychiat. [online]. 2007, vol.21, n.2, pp.124-133. ISSN 0213-6163.

Background and objectives: Various studies have found significant correlations between feelings of shame and psychopathologies, as depression or eating disorders. Since some authors have shown an association between inhibition, neuroticism and shame, we hypothesize that Sensitivitybility to Punishment (SP) would relate positively to shame. We also propose that patients diagnosed with depression should score higher in shame domain than the rest of the diagnostic groups. Finally we predict that psychotic patients, since they have poor self-consciousness, should score the lowest in shame proneness. Methods: The Spanish version of the TOSCA, the Sensitivity to Punishment and Reward Questionnaire (SPSRQ) and The Clinical Global Impressions (CGI) were applied to a sample of 172 individuals, from which 93 were university students and 79 were patients receiving psychiatric treatment. Results: In the Sensitivity to Punishment domain we found statistically significant mean differences between patients with Major Depression and the comparative group. We have found a positive correlation between Sensitivity to Punishment and Shame in the general population and also for the Major depressive subgroup. The relation between depression and shame proneness was statistically significant. Shame and Guilt correlated in the TOSCA and the Major Depressive patients scores higher on both domains. Bipolar and schizophrenics patients showed lower scores in Shame than depressives. Conclusions: Among other conclussions we recomend that future studies in the field should use dimensional diagnoses besides the categorial ones.

Keywords : Shame; Sensitivity to Punishment; Psychopathology.

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