Two promising shame and guilt scales: a construct validity comparison

J Pers Assess. Winter 1990;55(3-4):729-45. doi: 10.1080/00223891.1990.9674108.


This study compared the validity of two promising measures of shame and guilt proneness: revisions of the Harder Personal Feelings Questionnaire (PFQ2; Harder & Lewis, 1987) and the Hoblitzelle Adapted Shame and Guilt Scale (ASGS; Hoblitzelle, 1982). Internal consistency, test-retest stability, factor structure, and construct validity with convergent and discriminant personality dimensions were examined for both scales. In addition to the shame and guilt measures, 63 (37 male, 26 female) mostly freshman college students completed a randomly ordered battery of personality scales theoretically relevant to shame and guilt proneness. Results support the reliability and shame/guilt factor structure of each scale. ASGS Shame correlations appeared marginally more valid with 11 external construct variables than PFQ2 Shame, whereas PFQ2 Guilt was clearly more valid than its corresponding ASGS subscale. New, potentially improved scales were constructed from the factor analyses and from item analyses. However, the resulting scales did not show improved validity.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Defense Mechanisms
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Guilt*
  • Helplessness, Learned
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Development
  • Personality Tests*
  • Shame*