Differences in Pride and Shame in Maltreated and Nonmaltreated Preschoolers

Steven M. Alessandri, Michael Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


This study examined the expression of shame and pride in maltreated and nonmaltreated preschool children. 84 4-5-year-old children and their mothers participated in the study: 42 had a history of child maltreatment and 42 served as matched controls. Children were presented with easy and difficult tasks and their emotional responses of shame and pride were observed. No shame was shown when subjects succeeded on the tasks and no pride was shown when they failed. Maltreating mothers offered more negative feedback, particularly to their daughters, than nonmaltreating mothers. Maltreated girls showed more shame when they failed and less pride when they succeeded than nonmaltreated girls. The relation between differential socialization practices and the self-conscious emotions is explored as it relates to observed gender differences in emotionality and self-concept.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1857-1869
Number of pages13
JournalChild development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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