Journal of Family Violence June 1995, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 141–157
The relationship between an abusive environment within the family and proneness to shame, guilt, anger, and hostility in college students revealed that greater exposure to emotional abusiveness was significantly related to higher shame, overt and covert hostility, and expressed and unexpressed anger. Greater exposure to physical abusiveness was significantly related to overt hostility and a tendency to experience anger without a specific provoking situation. Women reported higher shame and guilt, whereas men reported higher levels of overt hostility and expressed anger. Shame proneness was related to covert hostility and unexpressed anger for both men and women. However, guilt proneness was not related to exposure to family abusiveness or, with one exception, to the anger and hostility variables. Implications for therapy with adult survivors of child abuse are discussed.