Social Sciences


Shame is a potential adverse effect which can occur following a traumatic experience, such as being a survivor of sexual and physical abuse. Demonstrating the prevalence and levels of shame resulting from sexual and physical abuse can be of interest to those professionals working with survivors of trauma. The purpose of this study was to separately evaluate the prevalence of shame within sexual and physical abuse. This study tested the following hypotheses: hypothesis 1, shame will be more prevalent and demonstrate higher levels in sexual abuse survivors than in physical abuse survivors and hypothesis 2, survivors of both sexual and physical abuse will demonstrate higher prevalence and higher levels of shame than those who only experienced sexual or physical abuse. Participants completed a questionnaire that assessed any history of sexual and physical abuse and a questionnaire that assessed prevalence and levels of shame. Data was analyzed by running a Univariate ANOVA through SPSS. Mean scores for the ISS were utilized to draw comparisons between abuse types and shame prevalence. The post-hoc analysis displayed significant differences between different abuse types and the ISS mean. Both hypotheses in this study were supported by the data analysis. Shame was found to exist at higher levels for survivors of sexual abuse than survivors of other abuse types.

Mentor Name

Theresa Botts

Mentor Email