Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

Tamara J. Ferguson, Susan L. Crowley


Tamara J. Ferguson


Susan L. Crowley


Thorana S. Nelson


The purpose of this study was to examine the role played by gender in the relationship between the degree of depressive symptomatology and levels of adaptive guilt-, maladaptive guilt-, and shame-proneness in a college population. A measure of depressive symptomatology (the Beck Depression Inventory) and a measure of guilt- and shame-proneness (the Self-Conscious Affect and Attribution Inventory - Revised) were administered to 299 college students (113 males and 186 females). Females reported higher total levels of depressive symptomatology than males. Statistically significant gender differences were found for nine BDI items. Females also had higher levels of adaptive guilt-, maladaptive guilt-, and shame-proneness. However, correlations among the three emotion variables and levels of depressive symptomatology were generally low, and the correlations for males were higher than those for females. The percentage of variance in depression accounted for by the emotion variables was also low. However, the hypothesized relationships were found in preliminary results from the 19 subjects with depression scores greater than 18, and implications for future research were discussed. The results were compared to past research on gender differences in depression in college populations, as well as previous research relating guilt- and shame-proneness to depression. The socialization of gender differences in guilt- and shame-proneness was also discussed.



Included in

Psychology Commons