Early maladaptive schemas and depression in adulthood : A systematic review and meta-analysis

Journal article


Bishop, Amy, Younan, Rita, Low, Jennifer and Pilkington, Pamela. (2022). Early maladaptive schemas and depression in adulthood : A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy. 29(1), pp. 111-130. https://doi.org/10.1002/cpp.2630
AuthorsBishop, Amy, Younan, Rita, Low, Jennifer and Pilkington, Pamela
Abstract

Background
Improved understanding of the specific cognitive risk factors associated with depression is needed to inform prevention and treatment approaches. Recent research has examined the relationship between early maladaptive schemas (EMSs) and depression, but the findings were yet to be integrated using meta-analytic methods. The aim of this review was to synthesize the evidence on the relationship between depression and EMS.

Method
A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement, by searching the PsycINFO, PubMed and CINAHL databases. Included studies were peer-reviewed journal articles that examined the relationship between one or more EMS and depression in adulthood in participants aged 18 years or older.

Results
A total of 51 studies were included (k = 743; pooled N = 17,830). All 18 EMSs were positively correlated with depression, with effect sizes ranging from small (r = .23 [.17, .29]; Entitlement) to large (r = .53 [.46, .60]; Social Isolation; r = .50, 95% CI [.45, .54]; Defectiveness/Shame).

Conclusion
The evidence suggests that individuals who feel like they do not belong, or that they are flawed, bad or unlovable, report higher levels of depression. However, most studies used cross-sectional designs, and further longitudinal research is needed to establish the direction of the relationship between EMS and depression. These findings can guide preventative and treatment approaches. Focusing treatment on the Social Isolation and Defectiveness/Shame EMS may aid in relieving depressive symptoms.

Keywordscognitive risk factor; depression; early maladaptive schemas; meta-analysis; schema therapy
Year2022
JournalClinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
Journal citation29 (1), pp. 111-130
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd
ISSN1063-3995
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1002/cpp.2630
PubMed ID34131990
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85110093581
Page range111-130
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online16 Jul 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted09 Jun 2021
Deposited23 Jun 2023
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