The role of shame and self-criticism in social anxiety: A daily-diary study in a nonclinical sample

Gal Lazarus*, Ben Shahar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We sought to explore the daily association between shame and self-criticism, and the extent to which this association varies as a function of social anxiety symptoms. Fifty-nine undergraduate students completed a measure of social anxiety symptoms at a baseline meeting and then completed measures of shame experienced during significant social interactions and self-criticism following those interactions twice daily for 10 days. Social anxiety symptoms predicted more shame during daily social interactions and more self-criticism following them. Additionally, shame predicted subsequent self-criticism. This relationship was moderated by levels of social anxiety symptoms, such that those with higher levels of social anxiety symptoms exhibited high levels of self-criticism following daily social interactions characterized by both high and low shame, whereas those with lower levels of social anxiety symptoms showed high levels of self-criticism only after interactions with high levels of shame. These findings are consistent with the notion that self-criticism may serve as a regulatory coping method when experiencing shame, and that social anxiety difficulties are related to an inflexibly high level of self-criticism.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)107-127
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Social and Clinical Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Guilford Publications, Inc.


  • Daily-diary
  • Self-criticism
  • Shame
  • Social anxiety


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