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Title: Shame and depression in adolescence : do rumination and social rank mediate this relationship?
Author: Savage, Jemeela
ISNI:       0000 0004 2744 9369
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2012
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Background: Shame is considered to be a negative emotion which encompasses feelings of inferiority, self-condemnation and the desire to hide from others. It has been associated with psychopathology, including depression, which is a significant and growing concern particularly in young people. Understanding how shame contributes to adolescent depression is therefore important. Previous research with adults indicated that rumination and social rank are important in the relationship between shame and depression. However the small number of studies related to adolescent depression suffered from methodological weaknesses and did not test for mediation. Objectives: The present study aimed to elucidate the contexts in which adolescents experience shame. Moreover it aimed to investigate whether rumination and social rank (social comparison and submissive behaviour) mediated the relationship between shame and depression in adolescents. Method: A cross-sectional, questionnaire-based design was used and data were collected from a community sample of 16 to 18 year-olds (mean age 17.09). Measures of chronic, external and event-specific shame, general and event-specific rumination, social comparison, submissive behaviour and depression were completed by 188 participants (175 females and 13 males). Results: The findings suggested that adolescents experienced shame in a variety of contexts including bullying, poor academic achievement and relationship difficulties. Mediation analyses suggested that rumination did not significantly mediate the relationship between shame and depression in adolescents, independently of social rank. Social comparison and shame appeared to act in a reciprocal relationship to influence adolescent depression. Shame and submissive behaviour behaved similarly but in adolescents submissive behaviour may be protective. Conclusion: The findings differed from previous research examining shame, social rank, rumination and depression in adult samples. In the presence of shame, social rank may be more important than rumination during adolescence in relation to depression as an outcome.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available