Diane Sholomskas is currently affiliated with Yale University, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. Comments regarding this article should be sent to Diane Sholomskas at 82 Russett Drive, Guilford, CT 06437.
The Spinal Cord Injured Revisited: The Relationship Between Self-Blame, Other-Blame and Coping
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 20, Issue 7, pages 548–574, April 1990
How to Cite
Sholomskas, D. E., Steil, J. M. and Plummer, J. K. (1990), The Spinal Cord Injured Revisited: The Relationship Between Self-Blame, Other-Blame and Coping. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 20: 548–574. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1990.tb00427.x
1This article is based on the first author's doctoral dissertation research completed at the Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, Adelphi University, Garden City, New York. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 58th annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, Arlington, Virginia, April 9, 1987. Special thanks to the patients of Lyman II and the staff of the departments of Nursing, Occupational and Physical Therapy of Gaylord Hospital, Wallingford, CT for making this research possible. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of Cheryl McCarthy and Curtland C. Brown. They thank Priya Wickamaratne, Patrick Ross, and Deborah Browning for their help and Charles M. Judd for his comments on a draft of this article.
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Self-blame has been viewed as functional for victims' adjustment to negative life events. This perspective has been primarily based on the findings of Bulman and Wortman's 1977 study of the spinal cord injured. The present study replicates and extends the Bulman and Wortman study, using similar measures on a comparable sample and comparable life event. Patients did not differentiate among the concepts of responsibility, fault, and blame for the cause of the accident. Patients were behavioral rather than characterological self-blaming and alcohol use prior to the accident was the best predictor of self-blame. Attributions of responsibility for the cause of the event versus responsibility for rehabilitation (sequelae of the event) did not distinguish effective from ineffective copers. Bulman and Wortman's (1977) single-item measure of coping correlated with this study's multidimensional assessment of coping. There was no relationship between patients' attributions of self-blame and nurse's ratings of patients' coping but other-blame was associated with poorer coping.