Examining gender differences in reintegrative shaming theory: the role of shame acknowledgment

  • Chivon H. FitchEmail author
  • Zavin Nazaretian


Reintegrative shaming theory operates on the assumption that shaming from important others is gendered: women are more likely than men to conform and desist from offending. This study examines the validity of this assumption using measures of parent shame, peer shame, and shame acknowledgment to determine the impact of shame on offending and conformity. Using waves six and seven of the National Youth Survey Family Study data, zero-inflated negative binomial modeling is employed to examine the impact of reintegrative shaming on female and male offending and non-offending behavior among a probability sample of adults (N = 1227). Parent shaming is not a significant predictor of offending, but peer shaming is influential. The relationship between gender and conformity was mediated by shame acknowledgement. Although the reintegrative shaming process is not as influential as the theory had predicted, the importance of shame for explaining prevalence in women is demonstrated.



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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CriminologyIndiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP)IndianaUSA
  2. 2.Department of CriminologyAdrian CollegeAdrianUSA

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