The present study examined the roles of shame- and guilt-proneness as mediators of associations between general causality orientations and depressive symptoms. We expected autonomy would be associated with less depressive symptoms based on higher guilt-proneness and lower shame-proneness, whereas control would be associated with more depressive symptoms based on lower guilt-proneness and higher shame-proneness. Undergraduates (N = 354) completed assessments of general causality orientations, shame- and guilt-proneness, and depressive symptoms in exchange for extra credit. Results of mediation analyses were generally supportive of the framework indicating that shame- and guilt-proneness mediate associations between self-determination and depressive symptoms. Autonomy was indirectly associated with less depressive symptoms through positive associations with guilt-proneness, in spite of unexpected positive associations with shame-proneness. Control and impersonal orientation were indirectly associated with more depressive symptoms through positive associations with shame-proneness. Results extend previous research relating self-determination to mental health in providing preliminary support suggesting that individual differences in self-determination facilitate differential tendencies in experiencing guilt and shame.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Clinical Psychology