Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 24–35 | Cite as

Early Maladaptive Schemas as Moderators of the Association between Bullying Victimization and Depressive Symptoms in Adolescents

  • Julen AlbaEmail author
  • Esther Calvete
  • Laura Wante
  • Marie-Lotte Van Beveren
  • Caroline Braet
Original Article


This study examined whether early maladaptive schemas (EMS) moderate the predictive association between bullying victimization and depressive symptoms in adolescents. For this purpose, a sample of 572 adolescents (314 males; Mage = 15.78, SDage = 0.94) completed measures of bullying victimization and EMS (Disconnection and Rejection, Impaired Autonomy and Other-Directedness domains) at the beginning of the study, and measures of depression in four consecutive waves every 4 months. Latent growth curve modelling was used to test the study hypothesis. The results indicated that both bullying victimization and EMS significantly predict a higher level of depressive symptoms. All schema domains moderated the association between bullying victimization and level of depressive symptoms. In addition, Disconnection and Rejection and Other-Directedness moderated the predictive association between bullying victimization and the trajectory of symptoms. Namely, in adolescents who scored high in theses schema domains, the level of depressive symptoms at T1 and T2 was higher when bullying victimization was high than when it was low. These findings suggest that EMS are relevant and make adolescents vulnerable when faced with bullying victimization.


Depression Bullying victimization Early maladaptive schemas Adolescents 



This research was supported by a grant from the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (Spanish Government, Ref. PSI2015-68426-R) and from the Basque Country (Ref. IT982-16).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Julen Alba, Esther Calvete, Laura Wante, Marie-Lotte Van Beveren, Caroline Braet declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research Involving Human and Animal Participants

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This paper does not include any studies with animals.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study and their parents.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Deusto-Department of Personality, Psychological Assessment and TreatmentBilbaoSpain
  2. 2.University of Ghent-Deparment of Developmental, Personality and Social PsychologyGhentBelgium

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