In “Shame and Resilience in Adulthood: A Grounded Theory Study”, Van Vliet (2008) studied how resilient adults are effected from experiences of shame. In this grounded theory design, the intent was to contribute to an understanding of shame and be able to inform mental health practice with interventions aimed at ridding and preventing the negative effects of shame. Shame, therefore, is conceptualized as a self-attack. 13 adults; nine women and four men were participants in the study. Their ages ranged from 24 to 70. Ethnic backgrounds of participants included eight Caucasians, two Aboriginals, two South Asians, and one Middle Eastern. All participants were recruited through newspaper and university advertisements in a city in Western Canada.
Data collection began with a telephone screen to ensure selection criteria were met. Each participant was then interviewed at least twice; the first interview lasted approximately 1.5 hours and the second interview, conducted three weeks to five months after, was approximately 45 minutes. The interviewer also kept field notes associated with each interview to record any observations she made (Van Vliet, 2008).
Analysis of the data was done in steps. Van Vliet (2008) began her data analysis by transcribing each interview and reading them several times. She then moved on to analyze the data through open coding. The data from field notes and transcripts were conceptualized line-by-line and compared, and merged into new concepts. This was to determine what areas might need further exploration at the second interview (Buckley, 2010). She then moved into selective coding for the final phase of analysis. A central category, or theme, was conceptualized which ultimately brought together all of the categories. This helped to explain the theory or the relationships between the categories (Van Vliet, 2008). Van Vliet compiled field notes and wrote memos. Those writings also served as analysis tools as the theory evolved.
In accordance with ACA Code of Ethics (2014), confidentiality and informed consent were considered. However, there is no discussion of further counseling or offering additional assistance. Therefore, precautions to avoid injury, specifically the opportunity to be referred to an appropriate counselor for ongoing support if necessary, is an ethical concern (ACA, 2014).
Strengths and Limitations
There were three very evident strengths to this design. Analysis through coding was a strength of this design. Study participants revealed several events from which they felt shame. These events were grouped into four categories: social, moral, or personal transgression; personal failure; social rejection; and trauma (Van Vliet, 2008). This coding assisted Van Vliet with development of the theory that shame is an attack on the self. There was an extensive amount of shame events reported and studied. Throughout the study, the data was compared with evolving categories on a consistent