Investigation of schema modes in the eating disordered population
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Many eating disordered patients fail to respond to traditional cognitive behaviour therapy. As a result it has been suggested that further research needs to be completed to determine the cognitive processes and mechanisms that underpin these disorders. This research aims to empirically test Young’s Schema Mode concept (Young et al., 2003) within the eating disordered population and determine the relationship between schema modes and early maladaptive schemata, experience of invalidation of emotion during childhood and symptoms of anxiety and depression. In total 15 patients from an outpatient eating disorders service and 28 non patient controls completed the Schema Mode Inventory, The Young Schema Questionnaire, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, The Invalidating Childhood Environment Scale, and measures of eating disordered pathology. Non parametric analyses were completed to determine the differences between the two groups. The relationship between all measures was determined using correlation analyses. The eating disordered group were significantly more dysfunctional than the control group across all schema modes and early maladaptive schemata. Both groups did not display uniformity in their dysfunctional schema modes. The eating disordered group had raised scores in the detached self soother, the compliant surrender and the vulnerable child mode, whereas the control group had lower scores in the detached protector and the vulnerable child modes. The measure if eating pathology was not associated with the total score on any questionnaire measure. This research indicates that the schema mode concept may be a useful addition to the schema model of eating disorders.