Early maladaptive schemas associated with non-suicidal self-injury and childhood emotional abuse

Marguerite Y Shashoua, Fordham University

Abstract

Although the association between child maltreatment and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) has been demonstrated in the literature, additional examination is needed to investigate cognitive processes that contribute to the development of NSSI. Four early maladaptive schemas (Emotional Deprivation, Mistrust/Abuse, Social Isolation/Alienation, and Insufficient Self-Control) have been found to be related to NSSI history (Castille et al., 2007) and have also been investigated as cognitive processes associated with the development of NSSI. The aim of the current study was to test if Emotional Deprivation, Mistrust/Abuse, Social Isolation/Alienation, and Insufficient Self-Control early maladaptive schemas (EMS) statistically predict NSSI in the context of childhood emotional abuse (CEA) and also to test whether the each of the four relevant EMS mediated the association between CEA and NSSI in a community adult sample. Participants were 516 U.S. adults recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk, aged 18 and 74. Emotional Deprivation, Mistrust/Abuse, Social Isolation/Alienation, and Insufficient Self-Control EMS and CEA severity differed significantly by NSSI history status. Although Emotional Deprivation, Mistrust/Abuse EMS did not statically predict NSSI frequency, Social Isolation/Alienation and Insufficient Self-Control EMS were found to be associated with NSSI history and frequency. As CEA was not associated with NSSI frequency, models investigating Emotional Deprivation, Mistrust/Abuse, Social Isolation/Alienation, and Insufficient Self-Control EMS as mediators of the association between CEA and NSSI frequency were not testable. However, CEA was found to statistically predict NSSI history, and Social Isolation/Alienation and Insufficient Self-Control EMS were identified as mediators of this relationship, although Emotional Deprivation and Mistrust/Abuse EMS were not. These findings can guide treatment providers by identifying relevant EMS, and informing how the related cognitive distortions may be organized, and how cognitive restructuring can be used to target the EMS and related cognitions to decrease triggers and maintenance of NSSI behaviors, especially in the context of CEA.^

Subject Area

Developmental psychology|Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Shashoua, Marguerite Y, "Early maladaptive schemas associated with non-suicidal self-injury and childhood emotional abuse" (2015). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10186345.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI10186345

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