Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology
Eric M. Sauer, Ph.D.
Beverly Vandiver, Ph.D.
Tiffany Lee, Ph.D.
Guilt, self-forgiveness, shame, substance use
Previous research has highlighted the relationship between shame, guilt, and problematic substance use (Gueta, 2013; Luoma et al., 2019; McGaffin et al., 2013; Rahim & Patton, 2015). Self-forgiveness has been associated with positive outcomes for individuals in recovery with substance use disorders (SUDs), though only one prior study has explored the effects of a selfforgiveness intervention for individuals in treatment (Scherer et al., 2011). This study examines the effects of a self-forgiveness intervention on state shame and guilt, state self-forgiveness, and drug avoidance self-efficacy, and it is the first intervention study to focus on self-forgiveness for individuals with SUDs receiving inpatient treatment. State shame and guilt was measured by the State Shame and Guilt Scale (SSGS; Marschall et al., 1994). State self-forgiveness was measured by the State Self-Forgiveness Scale (SSFS; Wohl et al., 2008), and drug avoidance self-efficacy was measured by the Drug Avoidance Self Efficacy Scale (DASES; Martin et al., 1995).
Data was gathered at three points in time (T1, T2, & T3) and analyzed with the use of mixed ANOVAs and correlations. Findings indicated that all participants experienced significant decreases in state shame and guilt and increases in drug avoidance self-efficacy and state selfforgiveness over time, but their experiences did not differ based on their participation in a selfforgiveness intervention. State self-forgiveness scores at T2 were positively and significantly correlated with drug avoidance self-efficacy, while state shame scores at T2 were negatively and significantly correlated with drug avoidance self-efficacy. State guilt was significantly and positively correlated with state shame at T2, but no relationship was found between state guilt and drug avoidance self-efficacy or state-self-forgiveness at T2.
Saltzman, Michael, "Effects of a Self-Forgiveness Intervention on Recovery from Substance Use Disorders" (2023). Dissertations. 4017.