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SYMPOSIUM 10 | DAY 2: 10.45 AM - 12.15 PM

Parent-Child Relationships and Early Maladaptive Schemas of Children and Their Parents: Empirical Data and Practical Application

by Maria Galimzyanova, Christof Loose, Laura Schall, Reinhard Pietrowsky, Uliana Rozova, Elena Romanova, and Jeffrey Roelofs

Chairs: Maria Galimzyanova & Christof Loose


This symposium is devoted to the exploration of the connection between the parenting styles, parent-child relationships and the development of Early Maladaptive Schemas in childhood and adolescence. During the symposium the relationship between the parenting style and temperament in childhood with Early Maladaptive Schemas in adulthood, is going to be analyzed, as well as parents’ Early Maladaptive Schemas in connection to their attitude to children. It will be followed with an overview of a naturalistic case-study in the field of Group Schema Therapy with adolescents and concluded by the analysis of the interrelation of Early Maladaptive Schemas, Parent-Child Relationships and Self-Attitude of Adolescents.

Segment 1

Title: Relationship between the parenting style and temperament in childhood with Early Maladaptive Schemas in adulthood

Presenters: Christof Loose, Laura Schall, Reinhard Pietrowsky


In Schema Therapy, it is proposed that ongoing noxious experiences with caregivers during childhood - in combination with temperamental factors - can foster the acquisition of early maladaptive schemas (EMS). According to Baumrind (1971) four unique parenting styles can be differentiated on orthogonal dimensions of Responsivity (R) and Demandingness (D): neglectful style (R-, D-), permissive style (R+, D-), authoritarian style (R-, D+), and authoritative style (R+, D+). We investigated the association of Baumrind’s parenting styles and temperamental factors (“Big Five”, Costa & McCrae, 1992) with the prevalence of EMS. Method: N=327 participants (83% female; age: M 31y; SD: 10,82y; 75% attended high school) filled in YSQ-S3R, and retrospectively indicated their parent’s parenting style, adding statements about their own temperament following Big Five dimensions. 


Significantly higher total sum scores in YSQ were found when the mother’s and father’s parenting style were neglectful (R-, D-), followed by the mother’s permissive (R+, D-), and the father’s authoritarian style (R-, D+). Lowest scores in YSQ were revealed when the parent’s showed the authoritative style (R+, D+). In terms of temperament, significantly lower YSQ scores were found for higher scores in extraversion, emotional stability, openness and agreeableness compared to the negative dimension of the factors. 


On the one hand, higher YSQ total scores were found when participants reported neglectful parenting style, as well as their own introverted, emotionally unstable, disagreeable and not-open temperament. On the other hand, an authoritative parenting style as well as an extraverted, emotionally-stable, tolerant and open temperament can be regarded as EMS protective factors. Limiting factors are that the parenting style and the temperamental factors were assessed retrospectively, and in a self-questioning manner only. Further research will be necessary in the future.

Segment 2

Title: Inter-relations between the parent’s early maladaptive schemas and their attitude to children.

Presenters: Elena Romanova,Uliana Rozova

Inter-relations between the parent’s early maladaptive schemas and their attitude to children. The study describes inter-relations between the parent’s early maladaptive schema and their attitude to their children. Sample: Parents of 96 children took part in the study. All of them live in Saint-Petersburg. There were 25 men and 52 women of different status, education, professions. Methods: Parameters used in the research are: early maladaptive schemas (YSQ-S3R (Young Schema Questionnaire), J.E. Young, adopted by P.Kasiyanik, E. Romanova), mothers’ and father’s attitude to their children («Questionnaire of parent attitude», A. V. Varga, V.V.Stolin, indices of mother’s and fathers’ contribution to forming early maladaptive schemas of children (Questionnaire «Features of child-parent relation» (E. Romanova, U. Rozova) developed on the bases of «Young Parenting Inventory» Questionnaire). Data processing: correlation analysis. Results. Parents emotionally accept their children but have difficulty in limit-setting. Correlation analysis has shown that mothers’ early maladaptive schemas have more correlations with index of acceptance, attitude to children’s failure, insufficient self-control, with indices of attitude that may contribute to development of schemas of «Impaired Autonomy» and «Disconnection and rejection» domains. Fathers’ early maladaptive schemas have more inter-relations with index of cooperation, subjugation, emotional inhibition, with indices of attitude that may contribute to development of schemas of «Other-Directedness» domain. Conclusion Thus, the results confirm the hypothesis of the research: early maladaptive schemas are inter-related with parents’ attitude to their children, the structure of inter-relations is different between mothers and fathers.

Segment 3

Title: Group-schema therapy for adolescents: a naturalistic case study

Presenter: Jeffrey Roelofs

The present study is a naturalistic case study, investigating whether group schematherapy (GST) can be applied to adolescents with personality disorders or personality disorder traits. Four clinically referred patients were included and completed questionnaires on quality of life, symptoms of psychopathology, schema modes, early maladaptive schemas, and schema coping styles. Patients participated in weekly GST sessions complemented by weekly or 2-weekly individual sessions. The parents of the adolescents participated in a separate parent group. From pre- to post-treatment, results demonstrated improvements for some patients in quality of life and symptoms of psychopathology. Changes in a number of modes and schemas were observed in all patients from pre- to post-therapy. In addition to assessing changes from pre- to post-treatment, the current study investigated the temporal changes in modes during therapy as well. Results demonstrated that maladaptive modes decreased, whereas healthy modes increased for all patients across the course of therapy. The present study provides preliminary support for the applicability of GST for adolescents as well as the effectiveness of GST.

Segment 4

Title: Early Maladaptive Schemas, Parent-Child Relationships and Self-Attitude of Adolescents

Presenters: Maria Galimzyanova, Elena Romanova

This study examines the correlation between Early Maladaptive Schemas (EMS), parent-child relationships and self-attitude of adolescents. Sample: 60 adolescents 11 to 16 years old took part in the research. Methods: The EMS were studied by “The Dusseldorf Illustrated Schema Questionnaire for Children” (long version) (C. Loose, F.Meyer, R. Pietrowsky. Indicators of parent-child relationships from the perspective of adolescents studied by “Reflected parental attitude questionnaire” (A.Y. Varga, V.V. Stolin, modification by E.V. Romanova, M.V. Galimzyanova); “Features of parental attitude inventory” (E.V. Romanova, A.N. Sleptsova); “Kinetic family drawing” (R. Burns, S. Kaufman); drawings “My world”, “Mother’s world”, “Father’s world” (E.V. Romanova). Indicators of the self-attitude studied by “Self-esteem inventory” (S.R. Pantileev). Data processing: Mann-Whitney U-test, Wilcoxon T-test, Spearman rank correlation, regression analysis. Results: EMS of the “Disconnection and rejection” domain negatively correlate with the perception of parent’s acceptance. EMS of the “Impaired Autonomy and Performance” domain correlate with the perception of parent’s authoritarianism and cooperation with parents. Girl’s EMS correlate with symbiosis with parents. EMS correlate with such parameters of the self-attitude as internal conflict and self-blame. Conclusion: the results confirm the hypothesis of our research: EMS are linked with cold and rejecting parent attitude or symbiotic relationships with parents and with negative self-attitude.

About the Presenters:

Christof Loose

Christof Loose, PhD, is affiliated with Heinrich Heine University at the Institute of Experimental Psychology in the Department of Clinical Psychology, and has a private practice in Dusseldorf, Germany. He is an Advanced Certified Schema Therapist, Supervisor and Trainer in Individual and Children and Adolescents Schema Therapy. Christof was the chair of the Workgroup for Schema Therapy for Children and Adolescents (ST-CA) for several years, and is the editor and author of several ST-CA books and videos (DVDs) in Germany. He conducts workshops and seminars in ST-CA worldwide.

Elena Romanova

Elena Romanova has been treating patients, training professionals and supervising psychotherapists for more than 27 years. She has also been employing a wide range of experiential interventions from sensory motor therapy to fairy-tales and life rescripting with a strong grounding in developmental psychology and consistency with the Schema Therapy model. Dr. Romanova is an Advanced Schema Therapists and Supervisor Trainer in Individual, Group, and Child-Adolescent Schema Therapy, and directs the Schema Therapy Institute of St Petersburg in Russia.  They have presented advanced Schema Therapy training at EABCT, ISST Conferences and Summer Schools as well as in training programs in 9 countries. 

Maria Galimzyanova

Maria Galimzyanova is an Advanced Schema Therapist and Trainer Supervisor in Individual, Group, and Child-Adolescent Schema therapy. Being an expert and an author in the area of Child-Adolescent ST, she has developed the Group model for Children and Adolescents, consistent with the GST concept by J.Farrell and I.Shaw and C-A ST approach by C.Loose. As a professor of St. Petersburg University she lectures on schema therapy both nationally and internationally to students and professionals. Her extensive private practice is primarily focused on treating children and their parents.

Jeffrey Roelofs

Dr. Jeffrey Roelofs is assistant professor at Maastricht University, The Netherlands. His research is focused on internalizing disorders in children and adolescents. He is specifically interested in the effects of (group) schematherapy in adolescents. He also works as a clinical psychologist at Lucertis Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Maastricht. He is certified cognitive-behavioral therapist, EMDR practitioner, and trainer/supervisor schematherapy CA.

Why Schema Therapy?

Schema therapy has been extensively researched to effectively treat a wide variety of typically treatment resistant conditions, including Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Read our summary of the latest research comparing the dramatic results of schema therapy compared to other standard models of psychotherapy.

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