Psychosocial Factors, Maladaptive Cognitive Schemas, and Depression in Young Adults: An Integration
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The present study examined a psychosocial-cognitive model that integrates recent findings on the independent effects of early maladaptive cognitive schemas (EMSs; Young, 1994) and psychosocial factors/stressors; viz., social support, expressed emotion, stressful life events and daily hassles, on level of depressive symptoms in young adults. Consistent with Beck's theory of depression, the expectation was that individuals with the EMSs would be more likely to respond to psychosocial stressors with higher levels of depression. Questionnaires measuring the selected psychosocial factors and EMSs were administered to 244 (82 male and 162 female) undergraduate students, mean age 19. Previous findings on the direct relationships between stressful life events, social support and EMSs, and level of depression were replicated. Except for daily hassles, the moderator role of the EMSs was largely disconfirmed when a conservative statistical test (Bonferroni correction) was applied to moderator analyses. With regard to perceived social support received from family and friends, present results were promising for the moderator effect of the EMSs of self sacrifice, functional dependency/incompetence and abandonment. The prediction equation to the criterion of depression indicated independent contributions of stressful life events, and the EMSs of abandonment, functional dependency/incompetence, and insufficient self control, accounting for half of the variance in depression. Taken together, the present data provided little support for the moderator effect of the EMSs rather supported Young's theory (1990) that maladaptive cognitions in themselves can produce increased levels of depression regardless of the presence of triggering stressors.
- Masters Theses