Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 627–644 | Cite as

The Structure of Maladaptive Schemas: A Confirmatory Factor Analysis and a Psychometric Evaluation of Factor-Derived Scales

  • Asle HoffartEmail author
  • Harold Sexton
  • Liv M. Hedley
  • Catharina E. Wang
  • Harald Holthe
  • Jon A. Haugum
  • Hans M. Nordahl
  • Ole Johan Hovland
  • Arne Holte


One thousand and thirty-seven psychiatric patients and non-patients from six different sites completed the 205-item Young Schema Questionnaire or its shortended form, the 75-item Young Schema Questionnaire-S. Among 888 of the subjects, who all were patients, a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of the 75 items included in both forms of the questionnaire clearly yielded the 15 Early Maladaptive Schema (EMS) factors rationally developed by J. E. Young (1990). Confirmatory factor analyses, testing three models of the higher-order structure of the 15 EMSs, indicated that a four-factor model was the best alternative. The results slightly favored a correlated four second-order factor model over one also including a third-order global factor. The four factors or schema domains were Disconnection, Impaired Autonomy, Exaggerated Standards, and Impaired Limits. Scales derived from the four higher-order factors had good internal and test–retest reliabilities and were related to DSM-IV Cluster C personality traits, agoraphobic avoidance behavior, and depressive symptoms.

Key Words

maladaptive schemas Young Schema Questionnaire factor structure confirmatory factor analysis validation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Asle Hoffart
    • 1
    Email author
  • Harold Sexton
    • 2
  • Liv M. Hedley
    • 1
  • Catharina E. Wang
    • 3
  • Harald Holthe
    • 4
  • Jon A. Haugum
    • 4
  • Hans M. Nordahl
    • 5
  • Ole Johan Hovland
    • 6
  • Arne Holte
    • 7
  1. 1.Research InstituteVikersundNorway
  2. 2.Psychiatric Research Center for Finnmark and TromsÅsgård HospitalTromsøNorway
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TromsøTromsøNorway
  4. 4.Psychiatric Outpatient ClinicInnherred HospitalLevangerNorway
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway
  6. 6.Nordhordland Outpatient ClinicIsdalstøNorway
  7. 7.Department of PsychologyUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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