Date of Award

Spring 2017


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Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Psychology: Clinical




To date, there is a great deal of research supporting the correlation between experiences of shame and struggles with clinical anger. What has received less attention is the nature of this relationship. The current study sought to explore the nature of shame’s correlation to clinical anger by analyzing fears of compassion—the reluctance or inability to experience compassion for others, to accept compassion from others, and fear of directing compassion to the self. It was hypothesized that fears of compassion would function as a mediating variable between shame and anger. Participants were administered self-report questionnaires measuring levels of anger, shame, fear of compassion for others, fear of compassion from others, and fear of compassion for the self. The results revealed that the fears of compassion, although significantly related to both shame and anger, did not significantly reduce the correlation between shame and anger, and therefore, did not function as a mediator. Future research regarding the nature of the shame-anger relationship might benefit from exploring other related areas such as attachment, trust, and resisting self-attacks as possible mediator.

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