Shame and emotional regulation in the process of identity formation Cover Image

Regulacyjna wartość emocji wstydu w procesie kształtowania się tożsamości
Shame and emotional regulation in the process of identity formation

Author(s): Anna Izabela Brzezińska, Tomasz Czub
Subject(s): Psychology
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Keywords: adolescence; exploration; commitment; identity status; experience of the shame; shame proneness; emotional regulation; social environment

Summary/Abstract: In the paper we present a draft of a model capturing the relationship between shame and the identity development process. We discuss two main concepts of shame: shame as an adaptive emotion, according to the evolutionary approach, and as a maladaptive emotion, according to the cognitive attribution theory. Our main thesis states that shame has an essential, both constructive and maladaptive importance for identity development, and this effect is indirect, through the mechanisms of regulating emotions. The destructive and disrupting value of shame is not an immanent feature of this emotion, but a consequence of malfunctioning mechanisms of shame regulation. The association of shame with identity formation relates to the dimensions of exploration: in breadth, in depth and ruminative, as well as to commitment making and identification with commitment. People with a high level of shame proneness are more sensitive to information and assessment coming from signifi cant others from their nearest social environment and more self-critical. This may contribute to the increasing discrepancy or dissonance between the possessed and the desired or socially expected identity. This may also activate mechanisms of identity change and affect its relative stability.

  • Issue Year: 18/2013
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 27-42
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: Polish