Deakin University

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Recollections of Parental Mental Illness and Substance Use and Early Maladaptive Schemas in Adulthood

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-20, 03:21 authored by PD Pilkington, T May, Gery KarantzasGery Karantzas
Several adverse childhood experiences, such as abuse and neglect, are established risk factors for early maladaptive schemas in adulthood. The aim of this study was to examine the associations between adults’ recollections of caregiver mental illness and substance use in childhood and current early maladaptive schemas. A total of 404 participants residing in Western countries (M age = 40.69 years, SD = 15.68; 45.8% female) completed the Young Schema Questionnaire – Short Form Version 3 and items from the Adverse Childhood Experiences International Questionnaire via an online survey. Regression analyses indicated that having a caregiver who was too drunk or high to take care of the family, showed small to moderate associations with all five schema domain scores, whilst controlling for covariates. Caregiver mental illness showed small associations with disconnection rejection and impaired autonomy and competence domain scores, but not when parental substance use was included in the models. The finding that parental substance use that impacted caregiving was more strongly associated with schemas is consistent with Young’s theory that thwarted emotional needs are fundamental to schema formation.



International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal