Monday, March 30, 2009

Shame and anger

Shame is one of the most painful emotions in Western culture and research has found that it is frequently followed by anger. Anger is thought to reduce shame in some people by making them feel more powerful. Shame may also lead to anger by making it more difficult for people to manage their emotions and think clearly. Most research into the links between shame and anger have been on undergraduates and other relatively well-off groups. Researchers from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and Royal Holloway University, London looked into the relationship between shame and anger in 56 male young offenders and 60 male undergraduates. Despite higher levels of anger and depression the young offenders displayed significantly lower levels of shame than the undergraduates and while shame and anger were linked in the undergraduates there was no link between shame and anger in the young offenders.

Farmer, Elly and Andrews, Bernice - Shameless yet angry: shame and its relationship to anger in male young offenders and undergraduate controls Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology February 2009, 20(1), 48-65

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