Research on the connections between shame and personality disorders (PDs) has focused predominantly on shame proneness. We examined the relationships of shame aversion, or experiencing shame as painful and unbearable, with avoidant and borderline personality disorders. Participants completed self-report measures assessing avoidant and borderline PDs, shame aversion, shame proneness and general experiential avoidance, as well as the recently developed questionnaire-based implicit association test that assessed shame aversion. Self-reported and implicit shame aversion correlated with both PDs, and hierarchical regression models showed that shame aversion incrementally predicted these PDs over and above shame proneness and general experiential avoidance. These findings suggest that individuals who perceive shame as particularly aversive tend to resort to maladaptive behavioral patterns that may impair personality functioning.
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© 2017 Elsevier Inc.
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Questionnaire-based implicit association test
- Shame aversion
- Shame proneness