Early maladaptive schemas and personality dysfunction in adolescence: An investigation of the moderating effects of coping styles

Jason A Lewis, Fordham University

Abstract

The interrelations among perceived negative early childhood experiences, coping styles, and adolescent personality dysfunction was investigated within a sample of 103 male and female adolescents in outpatient mental health treatment. It was hypothesized that there would be a pattern of significant associations between the perceived negative early childhood experiences, assessed by the Early Maladaptive Schema Questionnaire-Research Version (Young & Ball, 1999) and adolescent personality dysfunction, measured by the Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory (Millon, Millon, & Davis, 1993). Furthermore, it was hypothesized that coping style, measured by the COPE (Carver, Scheier, & Weintraub, 1989) would act as a moderator, such that the relationships between the Early Maladaptive Schemas and personality styles would be weaker under conditions of high levels of both Problem Focused and Emotion Focused coping than under low levels of these two coping styles and stronger under conditions of high levels of Dysfunctional coping than under conditions of low levels of Dysfunctional coping. As expected, some perceived negative early childhood experiences were associated with some aspects of adolescent personality dysfunction. Specifically, the Borderline personality style was positively correlated with the Disconnection/Rejection schema domain as well as two other schemas, whereas the Unruly personality style was positively correlated with the Insufficient Self-Control and Emotional Inhibition schemas. Using hierarchical multiple regression, it was demonstrated that coping strategies sometimes play a moderating role in the relationships between perceived negative early childhood experiences and adolescent personality dysfunction. Limitations of the study, such as the issue of coping with controllable versus uncontrollable situations, as well as the implications of the results to the clinical areas of Young's schema-focused theory, adolescent personality dysfunction, and coping were all addressed. Finally, suggestions for future research, such as further investigation into the appropriateness of the measures within adolescent clinical populations as well as the use of individual coping subscales rather than the composite scales were discussed. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical|Psychology, Personality

Recommended Citation

Jason A Lewis, "Early maladaptive schemas and personality dysfunction in adolescence: An investigation of the moderating effects of coping styles" (January 1, 2005). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3169385.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3169385

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