The relationship between positive affect and early maladaptive schemas (emotional deprivation – Disconnection – Uncompromising standards) in patients with clinical depression

Author Name(s): Vajiheh Ghobadi rad*, Narjes Rahmati
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Background: Depression is one of the most common mental disorders and one of the most common psychiatric disorders among adults. Psychological factors and variables representing the depression due to the debilitating process is a necessary condition which should be deemed.

Method: In this research project, using the diagnostic interview SCID-1, only patients with a clinical diagnosis of depression on axis 1, were included. The population studied included all patients with depressive disorders only in axis one and the other axes had no other diagnosis. And the sample, 75 patients with depression in ebneSina hospital in Mashhad and Rouzbeh psychiatric hospital in tehran. The project was performed in 1391-1392. From the patient, Young Schema questionnaire (3schemas, emotional deprivation – abandonment – uncompromising standards ) , Beck Depression Inventory 2 and positive affect – negative scale were taken . The statistical method used to evaluate the research hypotheses was multiple regressions.

Results: The data obtained from this study were analyzed using SPSS statistical software. The given schemas had meaningful contribution in predicting the positive affect of depressed patients.

Results: As EMS theory suggests that schemas, had a significant contribution in emotion, in this study Early maladaptive schemas had an ability to predict the positive affect of patients.


Early Maladaptive Schema – clinical depression, positive affect, emotional deprivation,Disconnection, Uncompromising standards


Depression is one of the most common psychiatric disorders (Watts and Markham, 2005; quoted Montazeri et al., 2012) and one of the most common psychiatric disorders among adults. The text revised of fourth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV) (Kaplan and Sadock, 2007) defines major depression disorder as a mental illness in which a person stably experiences a continuous deep sadness and diminished interest in all the activities for a period of at least two-week. A person with Major Depression Disorder (MDD)often experiences frustration, hopelessness, worthlessness, difficulty in thinking and concentrating, and even sometimes suicide.

Identification of psychological factors and variables constituting the depression is seen as essential due to the debilitating process of the disease. Up to date, researchers in psychology have found many psychological factors and variables in the process of formation and development of the disorder. Perhaps the first works done can be attributed to Aaron T Beck’s cognitive theory that raised four factors in depressed patients: automatic thoughts, schemas, logical errors and cognitive triangle (Frey, 1999). After that, many researchers raised several theories in relation to depression. It might be said that most important and most efficient assumptions associated with depression are as follows: theory of positive affect and early maladaptive schemas.


This study aimed to investigate the relationship between early maladaptive schemas and positive affect in depressed patients admitted to Ebn’eSina Hospital in Mashhad and Roozbeh Hospital in Tehran. As mentioned earlier, the importance of early maladaptive schemas in the etiology and maintaining the most emotional disorders has been proven by empirical data (Quinta Gomes &Nobre, 2012). However, less research has been done on positive affect and its relationship with early maladaptive schemas. As observed in results, three schemas of emotional deprivation, unrelenting standards and abandonment schemes, in order from high to low, have a significant role in the prediction of positive affect. This finding was in line with several studies (Bancroft, Carnes, Johssen, Goodrich & Long, 2005; Di Bartolo& Barlow, 1996). All these variables also in their solidarity with the variable positive affect have an inverse relationship, meaning that higher scores in this schemas predicted the lower positive affect and higher negative affect in depressed patients. These findings suggest that there is a cognitive model of stability in people with low positive affect that the core of this cognitive model is the rejection and marginalization by others.

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