Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Michael Nash

Committee Members

Kristina Coop Gordon, Jenny Macfie


Limited research has explored relationships between specific Early Maladaptive Schemas (EMS) and depression, with equivocal findings. This study examined the incremental validity of EMS domains in accounting for depression severity among college undergraduates (N = 82) after controlling for gender, cognitive vulnerability, rumination, experiential avoidance, social problem-solving ability, and trait anxiety. Based on the Beck Depression Inventory—II (Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1996), self-reported depression among students ranged from 0-47 (no depression to severely depressed). Based on hierarchical regression analyses, gender, rumination, and EMS Domains I (Disconnection and Rejection) and II (Impaired Autonomy and Performance) significantly predicted self-reported depression severity, with the latter two variables accounting for the most variance. Post hoc analyses indicated the Abandonment/Instability, Social Isolation/Alienation, Defectiveness/Shame (Domain I) and Failure, Dependence/Incompetence, and Vulnerability to Harm schemas (Domain II) were most predictive of depression severity. Results strongly support the incremental validity of EMS Domains in that these domains accounted for significant additive variance in predicting depression severity (Domain I: 7%, Domain II: 8%, combined Domains I and II: 10%). Implications for the conceptualization, assessment, and treatment of depression are discussed.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."

Included in

Psychology Commons