A Study of Maladaptive Schemas and Borderline Personality Disorder in Young People

Research paper by Katherine A. Lawrence, J. Sabura Allen, Andrew M. Chanen

Indexed on: 21 Jan '10Published on: 21 Jan '10Published in: Cognitive therapy and research


Maladaptive schemas are hypothesized to play a significant role in the development and maintenance of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). This study investigates which maladaptive schemas are present early in the course of BPD and whether specific maladaptive schemas are associated with particular BPD diagnostic criteria during this phase. Thirty outpatients (aged 15–24) diagnosed with BPD and 28 community controls completed the Young Schema Questionnaire—Short Form. Compared to controls, the BPD group had significantly higher scores for most maladaptive schemas and their scores were clinically elevated across all schema domains. BPD diagnostic criteria and schema profiles showed substantial heterogeneity and were not related to one another. These findings do not support the association of specific maladaptive schemas with BPD and emphasize the importance of individual case formulation of diagnostic and schema features in the early phase of BPD.