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Shame and guilt in youth at ultra-high risk for psychosis

 Hye Yoon Park  ;  Eunchong Seo  ;  Kyung Mee Park  ;  Se Jun Koo  ;  Eun Lee  ;  Suk Kyoon An 
 COMPREHENSIVE PSYCHIATRY, Vol.108 : 152241, 2021-07 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Adolescent ; Emotions ; Empathy ; Guilt* ; Humans ; Psychotic Disorders* / diagnosis ; Shame
Emotions ; Empathy ; Schizophrenia ; Self-conscious emotions ; Theory of mind
Objective: Feelings of shame and guilt have rarely been investigated in people at ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis. We aimed to outline differences in shame and guilt in relation to empathy and theory of mind (ToM) in young people, particularly those at UHR for psychosis.

Methods: First, 166 young healthy controls were assessed for their proneness to shame and guilt using the Test of Self-Conscious Affect, empathy and its four subdomains (perspective taking, fantasy, empathic concern, and personal distress) using the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), ToM using the ToM picture stories task, and neurocognitive performance using the Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM). Next, we evaluated shame and guilt in 24 UHR individuals comparing them to 24 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Finally, we explored relationships for shame and guilt in relation to empathy and ToM in the UHR individuals.

Results: In the healthy youth, a regression analysis showed fantasy and personal distress in IRI to be significant determinants of shame, while perspective taking and empathic concern in IRI, ToM, and SPM were independent predictors of guilt. Meanwhile, compared to the healthy controls, individuals with UHR exhibited higher levels of shame, which was associated with increased personal distress.

Discussion: Our findings showed that four subdomains of empathy, ToM, and neurocognition were differentially associated with shame and guilt in healthy young people. Given the correlation between excessive feelings of shame and high levels of the personal distress dimension of empathy in UHR for psychosis, redressing the tendency to focus on self-oriented negative emotions upon witnessing distress of others could possibly reduce self-blame or self-stigma of help-seeking individuals.
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Appears in Collections:
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Psychiatry (정신과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Park, Hye Yoon(박혜윤) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9579-8112
Seo, Eunchong(서은총) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2644-266X
An, Suk Kyoon(안석균) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4576-6184
Lee, Eun(이은) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7462-0144
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