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      Shame and Guilt: Relationships of Test of Self-Conscious Affect Measures With Psychological Adjustment and Gender Differences in Iran


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          In numerous studies conducted in Western societies, shame as measured by the Test of Self-Conscious Affect (TOSCA) has correlated with maladjustment whereas the TOSCA Guilt Scale has predicted adjustment. The present investigation sought to determine if such linkages would also appear in the Muslim cultural context of Iran. Iranian university students ( N = 132) responded to Shame and Guilt Scales from the third version of the TOSCA, along with an array of personality measures. Shame correlated negatively with adjustment and positively with maladjustment. Guilt displayed an opposite pattern of relationships. As in previous Western investigations, women scored higher than men on guilt, but the expected female elevation in shame failed to appear. Shame, nevertheless, interacted with gender to predict relationships with poorer psychological functioning in women, but not in men. These data most importantly confirmed that the TOSCA Shame and Guilt Scales in Iran display implications similar to those observed in the West and that gender differences in Iran may deserve additional research attention.

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          Most cited references22

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              Private self-consciousness and the five-factor model of personality: distinguishing rumination from reflection.

              A distinction between ruminative and reflective types of private self-attentiveness is introduced and evaluated with respect to L. R. Goldberg's (1982) list of 1,710 English trait adjectives (Study 1), the five-factor model of personality (FFM) and A. Fenigstein, M. F. Scheier, and A. Buss's (1975) Self-Consciousness Scales (Study 2), and previously reported correlates and effects of private self-consciousness (PrSC; Studies 3 and 4). Results suggest that the PrSC scale confounds two unrelated, motivationally distinct dispositions--rumination and reflection--and that this confounding may account for the "self-absorption paradox" implicit in PrSC research findings: Higher PrSC scores are associated with more accurate and extensive self-knowledge yet higher levels of psychological distress. The potential of the FFM to provide a comprehensive framework for conceptualizing self-attentive dispositions, and to order and integrate research findings within this domain, is discussed.

                Author and article information

                An International Journal on Personal Relationships
                28 June 2013
                : 7
                : 1
                : 97-109
                [a ]University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
                [b ]University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, United States
                [c ]University of Oregon, Eugene, United States
                Author notes
                [* ]Psychology/Department #2803, 350 Holt Hall – 615 McCallie Avenue, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga 37403, U.S.A. paul-watson@ 123456utc.edu
                Copyright @

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 28 March 2013
                : 27 May 2013

                sex differences,psychological adjustment,Iran,guilt,shame
                sex differences, psychological adjustment, Iran, guilt, shame


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