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Self-Discrepancy and Shame in Adolescents: Relationships With Self-Esteem and Self-Compassion.

Winton, Holly. (2012) Self-Discrepancy and Shame in Adolescents: Relationships With Self-Esteem and Self-Compassion. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Research suggests self-discrepancy is associated with shame, depression and anxiety in adults, as well as reduced self-worth. By contrast, the literature on adolescent experiences is sparse. This is surprising, given adolescence is a time of increased self-evaluation in developing the self and relations with others. Of prime interest is how young people’s appraisals of themselves and others impact on self-esteem and emotional well-being. Thus, it is proposed self-discrepancy is associated with shame, depression and anxiety, due to its relationship with self-esteem. Associated low self-esteem and negative affect could be lessened by fostering self-compassion, which engenders tolerance of non-ideal self-attributes. Thus, it is also hypothesised that self-compassion moderates the relationship between self-discrepancy and self-esteem. METHOD: A cross-sectional questionnaire-based design was employed: measures of self-discrepancy, self-esteem, self-compassion, shame, depression and anxiety were completed by a community sample of 141 16 to 18 year-olds. Data were subjected to correlation, regression, mediation and moderation analyses. RESULTS: Self-discrepancy predicted a small but significant amount of the variance in shame, depression and anxiety. However, when self-esteem was entered simultaneously into the regression model, self-esteem emerged as the only significant predictor of negative affect. Subsequently, it was found that self-esteem partially mediates the relationship between self-discrepancy and negative affect. Self-compassion, however, did not significantly moderate the relationship between self-discrepancy and self-esteem. CONCLUSIONS: Self-esteem has more predictive utility than self-discrepancy on adolescent experiences of shame, depression and anxiety, and it partially mediates the relationship between self-discrepancy and negative affect. Self-compassion is a potential protective factor against negative emotion, and possible explanations are discussed for why it was not revealed to significantly moderate the relationship between self-discrepancy and self-esteem. Methodological limitations of the study are discussed, as are ideas for future research and clinical implications, including promoting self-compassion to protect self-discrepant adolescents from self-esteem damage and negative affect. 

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Winton, Holly.
Date : 2012
Additional Information : Thesis (Psych.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2012.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 14 May 2020 15:43
Last Modified : 14 May 2020 15:46
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/856830

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