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Original Research

JCBPR. 2013; 2(2): 98-105

Early Maladaptive Schemas in Depressed Women and Its Relationship with Depression



Objective: Objective: Schemas are deep enduring cognitive structures that are the source of dysfunctional cognitions, emotions
and behaviors, activate after critical incidents in depression. A subset of schemas called Early Maladaptive Schemas (EMS) which are hyphotised to arise from early traumatic and adverse life events are also claimed to be related with not only personality disorders but also mood disorders. In this study we aimed to investigate the relationship between early maladaptive schemas and depression and relationship between schema scores and depression severity in depressed women and compare it with non-depressed controls.
Methods: 40 women attending to an outpatient psychiatry clinic and 30 healthy controls participated. All participants were assessed with SCID-1. Data were obtained by using a Sociodemographic Questionnaires, Young Schema Questionnaire-Short Form 3 (YSQ) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).
Results: All except one (enmeshment/undeveloped self) maladaptive schema scores of depressed women were higher than controls. BDI was correlated to some schema and schema domain scores in both depressed and control groups but the correlations were stronger in control group. Mean emotional deprivation, negativism, abandonment and instability, failure EMS
scores showed the highest difference between two groups. The schema domains most related to depression symptom severity
were disconnection and rejection, impaired autonomy and performance.
Conclusions: Almost all early maladaptive schemas are related to depression, and some schemas are related to depression symptom severity but these correlations are weaker in control group. This may mean that EMS are stable and mood independent
structures. Although other schemas are related to depression, mostly related EMS in women might be emotional deprivation
schema. These schemas may also overlap with Beck’s unlovability core belief or sociotropy dimension (Journal of Cognitive
Behavioral Psychotherapy and Research 2013, 2: 98-105).

Key words: Schema, therapy, depression, cognitive

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