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Guilt-proneness is associated with the use of protective behavioral strategies during episodes of alcohol use

Treeby, MS, Rice, SM, Cocker, F ORCID: 0000-0002-2889-2114, Peacock, A ORCID: 0000-0002-5705-2026 and Bruno, R ORCID: 0000-0001-6673-833X 2018 , 'Guilt-proneness is associated with the use of protective behavioral strategies during episodes of alcohol use' , Addictive behaviors, vol. 79 , pp. 120-123 , doi:

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Introduction: Shame and guilt are closely related emotions with diverging implications for the development, andpotential treatment, of substance use disorders. Accumulating research indicates that a guilt-prone affect stylebuffers individuals against the development of problematic alcohol use, while shame-proneness appears to offerno protective function. However, little is known about the manner in which guilt-prone individuals avoid theexperience of alcohol use-related harms. The present study aimed to extend the shame, guilt, and substance useliterature by examining whether these two self-conscious affect styles are differentially related to the use ofprotective behavioral strategies which reduce the risk of harms during drinking episodes.Methods: Participants (N = 281; female n = 207) completed pen-and-paper measures of shame and guilt-proneness,level of alcohol use, and the habitual use of protective behavioral strategies during drinking episodes.Part-correlation analysis isolated shame-free guilt and guilt-free shame residuals in exploring relationships betweenself-conscious affect style and the use of protective behavioral strategies during drinking episodes.Results: Guilt-proneness was consistently associated with the routine use of protective behavioral strategiesduring episodes of alcohol intake. In contrast, shame-proneness was unrelated to the use of such protective andharm avoidance strategies when drinking.Conclusion: Findings provide additional support for the argument that guilt and shame need to be consideredseparately in both research and substance use treatment settings.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Treeby, MS and Rice, SM and Cocker, F and Peacock, A and Bruno, R
Keywords: guilt, shame, alcohol
Journal or Publication Title: Addictive behaviors
Publisher: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
ISSN: 0306-4603
DOI / ID Number:
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Elsevier Ltd.

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