Symptoms of mental health disorders and early maladaptive schemas - assessment of dependencies
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Katedra Psychologii Klinicznej, Instytut Psychologii, Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II
Dorota Mącik   

Catholic University of Lublin, Al. Racławickie 14, 00-950 Lublin, Polska
Submission date: 2017-01-20
Final revision date: 2017-03-13
Acceptance date: 2017-03-20
Publication date: 2017-05-24
Psychoter 2017;180(1):33–47
The therapy practice shows that some patients report various symptoms that do not constitute any syndrome corresponding to particular disorders. In these recounts often there is no information about the events or diseases that may explain the existence of symptoms. The aim of the study was to assess whether and to what degree the early maladaptive schemas are related to experiencing symptoms of mental health problems and if they can explain them.

476 people from the non-clinical group were the study subjects. Persons having any serious somatic illnesses or under psychological support were excluded from further analysis. Two questionnaires were used: Young’s YSQ-S3 (short version) for early maladaptive schemas, and the Goldberg’s General State of Health Questionnaire GHQ-28 for the symptoms of health’s disorders.

A number of significant correlations of average strength were found. Symptoms of depression and anxiety were related with schemas from Disconnection and Impaired autonomy domains. For other health’s dimensions correlations with schemas were also significant, but with a weaker strength. The regression analysis indicated that schemas explain from 5% (for functioning disorders) up to 18% (depression) of the disorders symptoms’ variability. Concurrently, for different groups of symptoms, there are different maladaptive schemas significant in regression models.

Early maladaptive schemas seem to be important in explaining health disorders. In some situations when symptoms persist despite implemented treatment strategies, or when there are no clearly visible the possible causes of the symptoms, working on the schemas is worth considering.