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An Examination of Early Maladaptive Schemas among Substance Use Treatment Seekers and their Parents

Abstract

Early maladaptive schemas, which are cognitive and behavioral patterns of viewing oneself and the world that result in substantial distress, are gradually being documented as important vulnerabilities for substance abuse. Unfortunately, there is limited research on early maladaptive schemas among substance abusers and their family members. Research on this topic may carry important implications for family-focused substance use interventions. The current study examined similarities and differences in early maladaptive schemas among a sample of substance abuse treatment seeking adults (n = 47) and at least one parent (n = 58). Results demonstrated that the substance abusers scored higher than their parents on 17 of 18 early maladaptive schemas, with most differences falling into the large effect size range. There were some similarities in the specific early maladaptive schemas endorsed by both groups despite substance abusers scoring higher on all schemas. Implications of these findings for future research and family-focused substance use treatment programs are discussed.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Because all 18 early maladaptive schemas have been outlined elsewhere (e.g., Shorey et al. 2012; Young et al. 2003), the interested reader is referred to these texts for a detailed description of each schema.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported, in part, by grant K24AA019707 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) awarded to the last author. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIAAA or the National Institutes of Health.

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Correspondence to Ryan C. Shorey.

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Shorey, R.C., Anderson, S. & Stuart, G.L. An Examination of Early Maladaptive Schemas among Substance Use Treatment Seekers and their Parents. Contemp Fam Ther 34, 429–441 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10591-012-9203-9

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Keywords

  • Early maladaptive schemas
  • Substance use
  • Parents
  • Family