Shame-focused coping: An empirical study of the Compass of Shame

Jeff Elison1, Steven Pulos2, Randy Lennon2
1University of Denver, United States
2University of Northern Colorado, United States
Cite this article:  Elison, J., Pulos, S., & Lennon, R. (2006). Shame-focused coping: An empirical study of the Compass of Shame. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 34, 161-168.

Volume 34 Issue 2 | e1467 | Published: March 2006 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2006.34.2.161

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The way in which one copes with, or defends against, shame has important implications. The Compass of Shame (Nathanson, 1992) is a conceptual model consisting of 4 shame-coping styles: attack self, withdrawal, attack other, and avoidance. Participants rated the frequency with which they employed each of the shame-coping scripts across 8 categories of shame-inducing situations as described by Nathanson. The scripts were consistently applied across situations and the ratings were stable over time. A differentiated pattern of correlations was found between the 4 scripts and several indicators of psychological functioning. Results provide empirical support for Nathanson’s Compass of Shame model.
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