Forgiveness, guilt, and shame in alcohol dependence: A comparative study in a Turkish sample
Aims: The purpose of the present study was to compare individuals with and without alcohol dependence in terms of forgiveness, shame, and guilt. A further purpose was to investigate the association of shame and guilt with alcohol dependence.
Methods: Fifty-five individuals with and 55 without alcohol dependence (based on ICD-10 criteria) were compared using the Heartland Forgiveness Scale (HFS), and Trait Shame and Guilt Scale (TSGS).
Results: Individuals with alcohol dependence showed a significantly lower level of self-forgiveness, pride and a significantly higher level of both shame and guilt than the non-alcohol dependent group in the univariate analysis. However, only guilt was related to the presence of alcohol dependence in the multivariate analysis. Self-forgiveness was negatively correlated with both shame and guilt in the alcohol-dependent individuals, but not among individuals without alcohol use problems.
Conclusions: The findings of this study support the importance of the self-conscious emotions of shame and guilt in alcohol dependence, together with self-forgiveness. These psychological states should be considered in the treatment of alcohol dependence.
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