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Acceptance of Shame and Embarrassment: Scale development and initial findings in a clinical sample

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Neda Sedighimornani, Katharine Rimes, Bas Verplanken, Jeremy Gauntlett-Gilbert

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Contextual Behavioral Science
Early online date3 Jan 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jan 2019

King's Authors


The ability to accept painful feelings is associated with decreased distress and better functioning. We set out to design an instrument that specifically measures acceptance of shame and embarrassment, as this may be important for the social functioning and mood of people with chronic conditions.

An item set was presented to 415 non-clinical adults and to 200 people with chronic pain. Item and factor analysis were used in the creation of an instrument; the reliability and validity of this instrument were examined. Regression analysis was used to examine the ability of this instrument to predict social functioning and mood in the clinical group.

A 17-item unifactorial instrument was created that had good psychometric properties in both groups (the Acceptance of Shame and Embarrassment Scale, ASES). It correlated with other measures of acceptance, and of social discomfort. It had specific predictive power in the prediction of social functioning and mood in the clinical group.

The ASES is a reliable and valid instrument measuring the ability to accept shame and embarrassment. This ability is associated with better social functioning and mood in people with chronic pain; this form of acceptance should be targeted in treatment.

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