Lynch, J. S., Hill, E. D., Nagoshi, J. L., & Nagoshi, C. T. (2012). Mediators of the shame-guilt-psychological adjustment relationship. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 53(5), 437-443.
Abstract: A college student sample (109 women, 90 men) was administered measures of psychological adjustment, shame, guilt, personal fear of invalidity, and aspects of empathy, including personal distress in emergencies and fantasy involvement. Consistent with previous studies, shame but not guilt was significantly positively correlated with poor psychological adjustment. Path analyses with bootstrapped mediation tests indicated that the shame-adjustment relationship was significantly mediated by fear of invalidity, personal distress, and fantasy involvement. A novel finding was that the relationship between guilt and maladjustment was significantly mediated by proneness to fantasy. The findings are discussed in terms of an integrated theory of the shame-fear/distress-maladjustment relationship as a framework for understanding the maladaptive, individualistic shame experience.