The dispositional tendency to experience guilt is inversely related to disordered alcohol use, while dispositional shame-proneness appears to share a positive relationship with alcohol problems. The Perceptions of Drinking Scale (PODS) was developed by collaborator Dr Matt Treeby to assess for alcohol use related shame and guilt. In the PODS validation study, four subscales were identified assessing alcohol-related: shame, blame, guilt and unconcern. Alcohol use-related shame was not clearly related to taking action to address problematic alcohol use, but was positively related with measures of negative affect and using avoidance-based coping strategies. Conversely, alcohol use related guilt was generally unrelated to measures of negative affect and was clearly associated with the taking of action to address problematic alcohol use. Both alcohol use-related shame and guilt appear to be positively associated with the contemplation of changing one’s alcohol use-related behaviors. Only alcohol use-related guilt was clearly linked to the taking of action to address problematic drinking behavior.
The PODS is freely available for non-commercial use, and downloadable here:
Treeby, M. S., Rice, S. M., Wilson, M., Prado, C. E., & Bruno, R. (2020). Measuring alcohol use-related shame and guilt: development and validation of the perceptions of drinking scale. Substance Use & Misuse, 55(3), 441-451. https://doi.org/10.1080/10826084.2019.1683203
Example publications citing the PODS:
Treeby, M. S., Rice, S. M., Wilson, M. J., Crowe, S. F., Kealy, D., Prado, C. E., & Bruno, R. (2021). Are shame and guilt personality styles associated with different alcohol use-related outcome expectancies?. Journal of Substance Use, 1-4.
Kealy, D., Treeby, M. S., & Rice, S. M. (2021). Shame, guilt, and suicidal thoughts: The interaction matters. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 60(3), 414-423.
Bilevicius, E., Clark, C. C., Johnson, E. A., & Keough, M. T. (2020). Ashamed and alone—Risk factors for alcohol craving among depressed emerging adults. Alcohol and alcoholism, 55(5), 540-546.
Bilevicius, E., Kempe, T., Pankratz, L., Wardell, J. D., Johnson, E. A., & Keough, M. T. (2021). Shame’s Associations with Depression and Problem Drinking: An Ecological Momentary Study. Substance Use & Misuse, 56(11), 1715-1725.
Lear, M. K., Lee, E. B., Smith, S. M., & Luoma, J. B. (2022). A systematic review of self‐report measures of generalized shame. Journal of Clinical Psychology.