First Advisor

Cynthia Mohr

Date of Publication

Winter 4-4-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology






Shame, College students -- Alcohol use -- Psychological aspects, Students -- Employment, Stress (Psychology), Drinking behavior



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 73 pages)


As many as 50% of full time students are employed for pay while enrolled in secondary education (Condition of Education; Planty et al., 2009). It is well documented that college is a vulnerable time for heavy drinking, and similarly, increased consumption among the workforce continues to rise. Student workers, who occupy both roles, therefore may be particularly at risk. The present research explored potential factors related to this stressful dual role experience, which was hypothesized to be related to increased alcohol consumption. One such factor proposed was the self-conscious emotion of shame. According to Hull's (1981) Self Awareness Model, individuals may drink to decrease levels of self-awareness in light of real or perceived failure or intensely negative emotional experiences. Based on this theory, both state and trait shame (shame-proneness) have been linked with alcohol consumption. In line with the literature, it was hypothesized that individuals higher in shame-proneness would report recent experiences of shame, as well higher levels of alcohol consumption. It was additionally proposed that this process might be exacerbated for individuals experiencing workplace role ambiguity. Role ambiguity obfuscates both the process necessary for achieving favorable work outcomes, as well as whether those outcomes are or are not actually achieved. Therefore, individuals experiencing high levels of role ambiguity may exist in a continuous experience of wondering if they are doing their jobs correctly or well. The relation between shame-proneness (a trait) and experiences of shame (a state) was proposed to be moderated by the experience of role ambiguity. The present study revealed, however, that there were no direct, indirect, or conditional effects. The discussion explores possible reasons for these outcomes, and offers thoughts regarding future research directions for further exploring these questions.


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Persistent Identifier

Included in

Psychology Commons