The relationship between guilt and shame feelings with the dimensions of loneliness: The moderating effect of gender


Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran


Introduction: Similar to social and conscious emotions, shame and guilt have gained increasing attention because of their eminent emotional, motivational, and cognitive functions that ultimately guide human beings' perception and behavior. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between shame and guilt feelings with the dimensions of loneliness (familial, social, and romantic).Methods: For conducting this study, 398 grade 12 high school students (218 girls and 180 boys) were selected using the randomized multistage cluster sampling method in Shiraz. Cohen's Guilt and Shame Proneness Scale and the Social-Emotional Loneliness Scale for Adults (Short Form) were used for data collection. The validity and reliability of the measures were evaluated.Results: Results revealed that guilt feeling could positively predict familial, social, and romantic loneliness. Moreover, guilt could negatively predict social and familial loneliness. Furthermore it was observed that gender had a mediating effect on the studied relationships. By comparing both genders the results obtained by the girls were congruent with the total score while the results were different regarding the boys.Conclusion: Conclusively, we found that shame and guilt feelings predict the dimensions of loneliness differently and thus this study provides evidence in line with differentiating the effects of these feelings.Keywords: Shame, Guilt, Familial Loneliness, Social Loneliness, Romantic Loneliness

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