CUP Undergraduate Research

Date of Award

Spring 4-1-2019

Document Type



College of Arts & Sciences



Degree Name

English, BA

First Advisor

Keryn Neary, MFA


This thesis looks at the role of shame in academic failure in order to shed light on a mostly ignored topic. The author brings a new angle to shame research by considering past literature on shame and fear of failure (FoF) alongside their own experience of failure in Nursing school. Society believes that shame is a negative experience but researchers find that shame can help in growth and maturity if the person experiencing it is willing to talk about it (Brown, 2012). Combined with FoF, shame leads to a self-perpetuating spiral of failure and shame (McGregor and Elliot, 2005). The author uses this opportunity to tell their story to start the process of healing and growth.

Included in

Nonfiction Commons