Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


This study was designed to contribute evidence for the validity of Thurston-Cradock Test (of Shame) and to contribute to the growing set of empirical studies relating to shame dynamics in adolescence. The Thurston-Cradock Test is a newly published projective instrument for assessing shame dynamics. Its use had previously been limited to adult populations. Subjects were research volunteers at adjudicated and a non-adjudicated private high schools ranging in age from 14-18 years. The adjudicated group included 31 subjects, 15 male and 16 female, while the private school group included 21 subjects, 11 male and 10 female. A comparison of means using a series of independent-sample t-tests, correcting for differences in variance, was conducted to look for differences and similarities between the populations. The same method was used to compare genders. In addition, a correlation matrix was created to look for relationships among shame variables. This study supports current psychological literature indicating that shame is a ubiquitous process during adolescence and that unacknowledged or unresolved shame may lead to a higher incidence of maladaptive responses to shame. This study also shows that there are differences in shame dynamics between adjudicated and nonadjudicated adolescent populations and gender effects among adolescents. A correlation between numbers of words used and both contempt scores and aggression scores was found, perhaps representing the very nature of these styles of defense. This study discusses additional significant results, makes recommendations for examiner protocol in administering the instrument, and suggests several areas for further research.

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