Korean J Schizophr Res.  2020 Apr;23(1):29-37. 10.16946/kjsr.2020.23.1.29.

Characteristics of Early Maladaptive Schemas in Individuals with Schizophrenia: A Comparative Study Relative to Major Depressive Disorder

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu, Korea


This study aimed to investigate the characteristics of early maladaptive schemas and their associations with clinical symptoms in patients with schizophrenia.
Forty-eight patients with schizophrenia, 49 patients with major depressive disorder, and 50 healthy controls completed the Young Schema Questionnaire and symptom measures including the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale-Expanded (BPRS-E).
The schizophrenia group had significantly higher scores than the healthy controls and lower scores than the depression group in most schemas. Compared with healthy controls, the schizophrenia group exhibited higher scores in 10 schemas, i.e., mistrust, social isolation, failure, dependence, vulnerability to harm, enmeshment, insufficient self-control, subjugation, emotional inhibition, and negativity schemas (all p<0.001). Moreover, vulnerability to harm, enmeshment, subjugation, and negativity schemas were correlated with total scores of the BPRS-E (0.37≤r≤0.43, all p<0.05). Regarding the five BPRS domains, emotional deprivation schema showed significant relationships with negative (r=0.50, p=0.005) and disorganization (r=0.39, p=0.033) symptoms, while no schemas showed correlations with positive symptoms.
These results suggest that most schemas in patients with schizophrenia pertain to impaired autonomy and performance as well as disconnection and rejection domains and may improve our understanding and the treatment of schizophrenia from a perspective of schema therapy focused on these domains.


Early maladaptive schemas; Major depressive disorder; Schema therapy; Schizophrenia
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