Investigating schema therapy constructs in individuals with depression

Barbara Basile, Katia Tenore, Francesco Mancini (2018): Investigating schema therapy constructs in individuals with depression. In: Journal of Psychology and Clinical Psychiatry, 9 (2), pp. 214-221, 2018.


Background: Schema Therapy (ST) has been applied to several psychological disorders. The aim of this study was to further corroborate Renner’s ST model for depression (2012), investigating maladaptive schemas, modes, and avoidant coping styles in a large non-clinical sample and in two sub-groups of subjects with high and low depression rates. Descriptive, correlation and multiple regression analyses were run on the whole sample and in the two sub-groups, with additional analyses comparing ST constructs in highly depressed versus not depressed individuals. Within the total sample, a positive correlation was observed between levels of depression and
most maladaptive schemas, dysfunctional modes and intra-psychic avoidant coping strategies. Significant differences emerged with respect to the two sub-groups. Within the depressed group, positive associations occurred between the disconnection and rejection schema domain, the demanding parent mode and dissociative avoidant coping and symptoms severity. Multiple regression analyses also revealed the role of specific
predictor variables explaining depression levels. Despite some important caveats, like the recruitment of a non-clinical sample, our data further support Renner’s schema model for depression, adding some new evidences about the role of specific modes and avoidant coping strategies that seem to play a role in this psychopathological condition.