Neglected children may be at increased risk for depressive symptoms. This study examines shame-proneness as an outcome of child neglect and as a potential explanatory variable in the relation between neglect and depressive symptoms. Participants were 111 children (52 with a Child Protective Services [CPS] allegation of neglect) seen at age 7. Neglected children reported more shame-proneness and more depressive symptoms than comparison children. Guilt-proneness, in contrast, was unrelated to neglect and depressive symptoms, indicating specificity for shame-proneness. The potential role of shame as a process variable that can help explain how some neglected children exhibit depressive symptoms is discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- child neglect
- depressive symptoms