Date of Award

Spring 2-3-2005

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Nancy Thurston, PhD

Second Advisor

Kathleen Gathercoal, PhD

Third Advisor

Richard Shaw, DMFT


Research into the makeup and consequences of shame has burgeoned over the last thirty years as different studies have highlighted the destructive and maladaptive behaviors that can result from an individual's exposure to multiple shaming experiences. Limited research has focused on how culture filters the experience and effects of shame. Cross-cultural research is the 'zeitgeist' in the field of shame, propelling forward the need to gain greater awareness as to the prevalence and impact of shame across cultures. A sample of25 British children aged 9-10 and 25 British children aged 14-15 were asked to respond to a projective test of shame: the Thurston-Cradock Test of Shame (TCT, 1998). Chi squared analysis was used to see if age, representing developmental stage, would impact levels of manifest shame and type of resolution to shaming situations. Results indicated that levels of shame found in each group were similar. Both groups were also found to have similar adaptive resolutions to the shaming stimuli. Differences were observed in the content and length of stories produced between age groups. Implications concerning similarities in the amount of manifest shame present in both age groups and their ability to handle shaming situations adaptively are discussed and future research opportunities presented.