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Shame about past alcoholism predicts relapse and declining health in recovering alcoholics
Date:2/4/2013

vidence that feeling shame about one's addiction can directly promote relapses.

"Treatment providers have long suspected that shame is a barrier to recovery, but this is the first time we've seen this link evidenced so robustly," note Tracy and Randles.

The results have clear implications for anyone who struggles with addiction or who has loved ones struggling with addiction, and it also has implications for researchers and clinicians who study emotion and addiction.

The findings are also important in light of the fact that some policymakers and judges have argued for the use of public shaming as a punitive measure against crime.

"Our research suggests that shaming people for difficult-to-curb behaviors may be exactly the wrong approach to take," Tracy and Randles argue. "Rather than prevent future occurrences of such behaviors, shaming may lead to an increase in these behaviors."

The researchers are conducting additional studies to test whether the effect of shame on behavior change generalizes to problematic behaviors beyond addiction.


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Contact: Anna Mikulak
amikulak@psychologicalscience.org
202-293-9300
Association for Psychological Science
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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