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Shame and resilience among mental health trainees: A scale construction study

Claire T Hauser, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Contemporary research has revitalized interest in the construct of shame, and the pervasive nature with which it impacts psychological functioning. It has been argued that mental health professionals encounter shame regularly in the therapeutic milieu and must be equipped to assist clients in developing shame resilience. The process of learning to provide shame attendant therapy begins during graduate training, as mental health trainees (MHTs) gain first hand experience with feeling shame through the evaluative nature of the training process. Although shame in the MHT role has been discussed in prior literature, it is difficult to study due to lacking instrumentation. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to construct a quantitative instrument for measuring shame and shame resilience among graduate students in mental health training. Using a mixed methods approach, this study included item generation, exploratory factor analysis, and validity estimates with previously published scales. The result is the Shame and Resilience Among Mental Health Trainees Scale (SRMHT), a four-factor, scenario-based instrument, that measures shame proneness as well as shame resilience. The SRMHT demonstrated strong internal consistency reliability and construct validity, and produced a factor structure that closely aligns with the tenets of shame resilience theory. Overall, this study provides support for prior research and theory, while generating a novel tool for use in mental health trainee development.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Counseling Psychology|Psychology

Recommended Citation

Hauser, Claire T, "Shame and resilience among mental health trainees: A scale construction study" (2016). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI10139917.