Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology
Committee Chair and Members
Sara Haden, Chair
Anger suppression, Depression, Interdependent self construal, Middle Eastern culture, Religiosity, Shame
Shame is a self-conscious emotion that has been frequently tied to psychopathology; however, despite its deep-rooted influence in the Arab culture, little research has been conducted on its effect on the mental health of this population. Thus, this study investigated the impact of shame proneness on depression severity in a sample of adult Middle Eastern women living in the United States. The study also explored other factors that are highly relevant for this population, including anger suppression, religiosity, interdependent self construal, and Middle Eastern ethnic identity. Specifically, the study investigated the role anger suppression plays in explaining the relationship between shame and depression. Religiosity’s possible impact on strengthening the relationships between shame and anger suppression was also examined. Finally, interdependent self construal and ethnic identity’s effects on the relationship between shame and depression were assessed. Participants included 203 adult women who self-identified as Middle Eastern or Arab-American. Data were collected electronically, utilizing several self-report measures. Results showed that shame proneness was a significant and positive predictor of depression severity. Additionally, anger suppression was found to play a significant role in explaining the relationship between shame and depression. Contrary to the authors’ prediction, degree of religiosity did not significantly strengthen the relationship between shame and anger suppression and, instead was significantly and negatively correlated with shame, anger suppression, and depression. Similarly, interdependent self construal and ethnic identity did not significantly strengthen the relationship between shame and depression severity. Clinical implications are discussed in the context of risk and protective factors of mental health in Middle Eastern women.
Hanna, Amira, "Shame and depression: Psychological and cultural factors in a sample of Middle Eastern women" (2021). Selected Full-Text Dissertations 2020-. 25.