The associations between shame and Cluster C personality disorders (PDs) were examined in 237 undergraduates, 35 of whom met at least subthreshold criteria for Cluster C PDs assessed using the Personality Disorder Interview-IV. Shame-proneness (the propensity to experience shame across many situations) was measured using the Test of Self-Conscious Affect-3, and shame aversion (the tendency to perceive shame as especially painful and undesirable) was measured using the Shame-Aversive Reactions Questionnaire. A go/no-go association task was used to assess the strength of implicit mental representations of the association between shame and pain, relative to that between shame and pleasure. Shame-proneness and shame aversion were associated with Cluster C PD symptoms over and above trait positive and negative affect. Further, shame-proneness was found to be associated with Cluster C PDs among individuals with high but not low levels of shame aversion. Finally, shame-pain associations were uniquely associated with dependent personality disorder.
- Cluster C personality disorders
- avoidant personality disorder
- dependent personality disorder
- obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry