The Mediating Role of Early Maladaptive Schemas in the Relationship between Temperament and Depressive Symptoms

2023 34(3): 162-172
DOI: 10.5080/u26316
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Objectives: Personality traits and early maladaptive schemas (EMSs)
play an active role in the emergence, maintenance, and treatment of
depressive mood. Studies draw attention to the close relationship
between temperament and character traits, EMSs, and depression.
The first aim of this study is to examine the relationships between
temperament, character traits, and EMSs. Secondly, we were interested
to observe whether or not these variables explained depressive symptoms.
Lastly, based on the previous findings and the idea that the development
of EMSs is affected by temperament traits, the mediating role of EMSs
in the relationship between harm avoidance and depressive symptoms
was investigated.
Method: Personal Information Form, Temperament and Character
Inventory, Young Schema Questionnaire Short Form-3, and Beck
Depression Inventory were applied to 205 undergraduate students
(68% women).
Results: Results showed the significant correlations among harm
avoidance temperament trait, self-directedness, cooperativeness
character traits, and with most of the EMSs. The disconnection schema
domain, harm avoidance, and self-directedness personality traits
predicted depressive symptoms. Moreover, controlling the gender effect,
disconnection and unrelenting standards mediated the relationship
between harm avoidance and depressive symptoms.
Conclusion: The findings supported the idea suggested by the schema
theory that the temperament traits affect EMSs. We believe that these
findings can support studies towards depression-prevention as well as
the treatment of depressive individuals. Even without interfering with
temperament characteristics of individuals, depressive symptoms might
be reduced by working only with some of the EMSs.
Keywords: Temperament, character, personality, early maladaptive
schemas, depression, harm avoidance.