Joni M. Moon

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Nancy Thurston, Psy.D.

Second Advisor

Kathleen Gathercoal, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Carol DellOliver, Ph.D.


This study was implemented in order to ascertain the presence of internalized shame among women residing in a domestic violence crisis shelter. Domestic violence has been determined to be a major social and public health problem for women. Leaving an abusive environment may be difficult due to economic, social, and emotional factors. Women often describe emotional abuse as having more detrimental effects on well-being than physical abuse. Shame is an affect that leads to a negative view of the self and shame-prone women view themselves as deficient and unworthy. A common defense against shame is concealment, therefore it was postulated that women seeking shelter from abusive situations would demonstrate a high degree of internalized shame. It was also hypothesized that due to psychological and physical abuse, battered women would demonstrate lower problem-solving and coping abilities than non-battered women. Twenty-six women residing in a confidential shelter in the Pacific Northwest were recruited for the study. Participation included administration of the Thurston-Cradock Test of Shame (TCT). The current study presents results on the TCT of the 26 women in shelter and 23 women described as normal who were tested during the validity studies of the TCT. Results indicate that battered women do not demonstrate higher degrees of internalized shame or lower coping and problem-solving abilities than non-abused women do. There was a significant degree of difference between inflation, aggression, and personalization scores of the two groups. These results are not surprising given the violent nature of their relationships.

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