Investigating the Compass of Shame: The development of the Compass of Shame Scale

Jeff Elison1, Randy Lennon2, Steven Pulos2
1University of Denver, United States
2University of Northern Colorado, United States
Cite this article:  Elison, J., Lennon, R., & Pulos, S. (2006). Investigating the Compass of Shame: The development of the Compass of Shame Scale. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 34, 221-238.

Volume 34 Issue 3 | e1472 | Published: April 2006 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2006.34.3.221

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The way in which one copes with, or defends against, shame has important implications. The Compass of Shame Scale (CoSS) was developed to assess use of the 4 shame-coping styles described by Nathanson (1992): attack self, withdrawal, attack other, and avoidance. Reliability and criterion validity were explored (N = 322). Subscale reliabilities ranged from .74 to .91. Confirmatory factor analysis supported a model with 4 primary factors. A differentiated pattern of correlations was obtained between CoSS scales and general internalized shame, self-esteem, anger, coping, and psychological symptoms. Results provided empirical support for Nathanson’s Compass of Shame model and the validity of the CoSS.
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