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Cogn Ther Res (2013) 37:97–108

DOI 10.1007/s10608-012-9455-6


The Role of Positive Schemas in Child Psychopathology
and Resilience
L. Keyfitz • M. N. Lumley • K. H. Hennig •

D. J. A. Dozois

Published online: 5 April 2012
Ó Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Abstract Cognitive models of child psychopathology Introduction
rarely consider positive schemas in models of risk. This
study presents the new Positive Schema Questionnaire Decades of research have established negative cognitive
(PSQ) for youth, evaluating relations of positive schema schemas as potent vulnerability factors for various negative
themes to depression, anxiety, and resilience. Adolescent developmental outcomes, particularly vulnerability to
boys (n = 84) and girls (n = 88), aged 9–14 (M = 11.44), psychopathology (see Abela and Hankin 2008 and Dozois
completed the PSQ, and measures of negative schemas, and Beck 2008, for reviews). Yet, little research has
depression, anxiety, and resilience. Exploratory factor focused on how positive core beliefs such as ‘‘I can trust
analyses of the PSQ supported a five-factor structure others’’ or ‘‘Things will turn out well for me’’ relate to
including themes of: Self-Efficacy, Optimism, Trust, Suc- psychopathology and emotional well being. This paucity of
cess, and Worthiness. Supporting its discriminant validity, research continues despite findings that support the relation
the PSQ predicted additional variance in depression, anx- between positive cognition and psychopathology (e.g.,
iety, and resilience, beyond that predicted by negative Jaenicke et al. 1987; Prieto et al. 1992; Shirk et al. 1998).
schemas. Furthermore, the content specificity model as These studies typically focus on positive states on a broad
envisioned for negative schemas, was found to apply to level across all content domains, and may consequently
positive schemas, with themes of Worthiness most pre- miss important information regarding the relations of spe-
dictive of depression and Self-Efficacy most predictive cific schema themes to various forms of psychopathology
of anxiety and resilience. Findings have implications for or to emotional well being. Although measures of positive
incorporating positive schemas into cognitive models of cognition have been developed (e.g., Positive Automatic
psychopathology. Thoughts Questionnaire, Ingram and Wisnicki 1988), the
field currently lacks a measure of specific core positive
Keywords Positive schemas  Cognitive vulnerability  schema themes. By developing a positive schema ques-
Depression  Resilience tionnaire for youth, the aim of the current study is to
contribute to a deeper understanding of the role of positive
schema themes in relation to depression, anxiety, and
resilience in early adolescence.

Current Cognitive Models of Child Psychopathology
L. Keyfitz  M. N. Lumley (&)  K. H. Hennig
Department of Psychology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Cognitive theories of psychopathology typically focus on
ON N1G 2W1, Canada negative cognitive schemas as a central vulnerability factor
e-mail: (e.g., Beck 1967). Schemas here are defined as mental
structures that guide the interpretation, categorization and
D. J. A. Dozois
Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, evaluation of one’s experiences (James et al. 2007;
London, ON, Canada Schmidt et al. 1999) and may be referred to as ‘‘filters,’’ as


He proposed that a child’s early identified by surveying the developmental literature on experiences impact the development of core beliefs. The favorable. and social groups. amongst youth (see Abela and Hankin 2008. for symptoms (Lumley et al. developmental outcomes in early adolescence (beyond that MacLeod and Byrne 1996. and suggests that the selected include: Worthiness. MacLeod et al. and worth as a person (Mruk 2006). 1979). having negative future expectations Schema Theory literature (e. or good rather than bad (Scheier and Carver current study is poised to develop a more comprehensive 1985). Cognitive schemas are theorized to be comprised of negative cognitions as well as the absence of positive both structure and content (Beck 1967). cognitive thology. Young proposes 18 EMS. the unique con- continua at various levels of analysis including affective.. the does not exclude having positive future expectations. and Social Con- nectedness. that enables a person to feel a vulnerability to child psychopathology may in part result sense of belongingness (Lee and Robins 1995). 2011).e. the tendency to anticipate that understanding of cognitive risk by developing an under. 1993. becomes increasingly evident. a sense of closeness to others including family. research indicates that absorbed (Beck and Dozois 2011. a feeling that one can pathology and well being. and cognitive (Clark et al. it is tent-specificity hypothesis notes that the specific content of important to focus on elucidating particular positive sche- one’s schemas are important in determining various emo. 1996). The goal of the current study is to evaluate how et al. Indeed. Self-efficacy. Young et al. ‘‘beliefs tant role in the diathesis to various forms of psychopa. Schema themes of interest were schema development. Furthermore. one cannot assume an understanding of structure. Hankin and Optimism. mas that may play an important role in child psychopa- tional outcomes (Beck 1976.98 Cogn Ther Res (2013) 37:97–108 they guide the way in which information is interpreted and (MacLeod et al. when triggered by a negative life event. whereas anxiety is more typically characterized refers to how information related to the self is organized in by the presence of negative cognitions alone (e. 1998. (Wigfield and Eccles 2002). one’s belief that outcome expectancies will be Abela 2005. Beck and Dozois 2011. self-concept and positive psychology and by searching for resulting in the development of early maladaptive schemas themes that resonated with the research team. positive schemas through knowledge of negative schemas. behavioural. to test the premise that positive cognition is not positive and negative experiences represent two separate simply the inverse of negative cognition. For example. Thus. p. researchers have demonstrated that more. Young et al. for reviews). in one’s capabilities to mobilize the motivation. ‘‘I am worthy of love’’) rather than tive experiences. and resilience. and positive future expectancies themes of positive schemas in early adolescence. 2007. and recent research suggests that the structure of and Byrne 1996. Beck’s con. Beck thology.g. one’s performance will typically be followed by success standing of the role of positive schemas in youth psycho. Yet. and negative expectancies for the future. This study from the common perception that positive cognition is examines how each of these schema themes relates dif- simply the inverse of negative cognition (MacLeod and ferentially to depression. The dearth of research on the role of positive schemas in friends. and the other that influences approach behav. tribution that positive schemas play in predicting various motivational. Consistent with the anxious individuals. Muris and Heiden 2006). 1994. result in the processing of information in a way consistent Given that the presence of positive cognitions cannot with one’s preexisting beliefs.g. core beliefs acknowledging the distinction between positive and nega- about self. 123 . Thus. likely be inferred from a lack of negative cognitions. 408). The themes (EMS). Lakdawalla et al. Trust. anxiety. 2003). 395). No single measure currently exists to examine particular iour. Success/Competence. These cognitive models of psychopathology have resources and courses of action needed to meet given sit- been researched extensively and have garnered support uational demands’’ (Wood and Bandura 1989. Young (1999. Theory explained by negative schemas) was evaluated. Beck’s (1967. MacLeod et al. suggests that human behaviours might be considered in terms of two systems: one that influences avoidance Positive Schema Questionnaire behaviour. Further- Moore 2000). Kendall and MacDonald depression is often characterized by both the presence of 1993). 1996). rely on others and ‘‘accept vulnerability based upon posi- tive expectations of the intentions or behaviours of Unique Contribution of Positive Schemas another’’ (Rousseau et al. Schema structure cognitions. p. negative affect. positive affect. 1983) influential model of psychopa. such as. By current paper focuses on schema content (i. MacLeod and positive and negative schemas predicts youth depression Salaminious 2001. 2003) elaborated specific positive schema themes relate to child psychopa- on Beck’s theories by focusing on factors implicated in thology and resilience. the importance of developing an understanding of the thology posits that maladaptive schemas develop in early role that positive schemas play in child psychopathology childhood and. a sense that one has value specific EMS possessed by an individual plays an impor. MacLeod the mind..

vulnerability to anxiety is a result of both negative schemas mas are implicated in childhood depression (e. Young Schema cognitions. but the majority of this research argues that one’s self-efficacy regarding coping ability evaluates positive schemas on a broad level in which plays a role in determining one’s perception of danger. Positive Schemas and Resilience (1992) found that young adults with depression possessed fewer positive schemas than those who were not depressed. Fredrickson and Joiner 2002).. McClain and phobia.. 2003) Schema Theory. 1999. Whitman mas with themes of control. Thus. whereas anxiety is naire was constructed to evaluate positive core schemas in only associated with negative behavioural (e. positive states are assessed across all situations and con.. research cognitions surrounding danger and positive cognitions suggests that depression is negatively related to various surrounding self-efficacy. Clark and Watson 1991.Cogn Ther Res (2013) 37:97–108 99 the almost exclusive focus on negative rather than positive Positive Schemas and Anxiety cognitive schemas is reflected in previous attempts to develop schema measures (e. Fredrickson 2004. By contrast. 1997. Indeed.. Specifically. Matsuo and and Leitenberg. Puskar bility to anxiety disorders in youth (e.g. (1985) propose that There is some evidence that low levels of positive sche.. a indicates that depression is associated with both high developmentally appropriate Positive Schema Question. Young 1994). Diener and Diener 1996. Matsuo and Arai 1998. schema content for youth. To gain a more comprehensive picture of the cope with adversity (Wagnild and Young 1993). Clark et al.g. Shirk et al. for example.. Stallard and Rayner 2005). Prieto et al. Bogels and Zigterman 2000. Muris and Heiden 2006). Schema Questionnaire has also been neglected in favor of a focus on negative for Children. Stallard and Rayner 2005. separation anxiety disorder and generalized anxiety Abramson 1995. While some research does emphasize 1987. 1997). Based on Young’s (1999. affective (e. Whitman disorder (e. (e. For psychometrically sound tool for evaluating positive sche. there have been some the conceptualization of anxiety disorders (Casey et al. Muris 2002. Thus.g. Bandura (1988) and Leitenberg 1990). Muris 2002. 2004. low self-efficacy has been implicated more important role than negative schemas in the diathesis in various childhood anxiety disorders including social for youth depression symptoms (e.g.g.. however. and severely schema level. Shirk et al. positive cognitive constructs across a wide variety of Low levels of positive cognitions regarding control and domains. MacLeod et al. MacLeod et al. recent research indicates that an understanding Questionnaire. b. Further emphasizing the importance of positive schemas in vulnerability to depression. attempts to develop an inventory to evaluate children’s 2004a. terman 2000.. Jaenicke et al. negative and low positive experience. Yue 1996). of positive schemas might make important contributions to Young et al. negative schemas. youth. evaluations have typically been conducted at a tive schemas and resilience. Examining the global depression exhibited problems processing positive. What role of positive schemas in depression. Prieto et al. 1992.. 1992.g. 1994). McClain and Abramson (1995) also mask more complex relationships that exist at the specific found that non-dysphoric.g. 1998). Research 123 . Furthermore.. Muris 2002. Jaenicke surrounding threat combined with a lack of positive sche- et al.g.. Research has investigated how the absence of positive but nonetheless identified more positive than negative schemas impacts child development (e. A large body of evidence indicates negative schemas (e. or one’s ability to adaptively global level.g. Cecero et al. research comparing anxiety and depression often mas for further articulating models of risk and resilience.g.g.g. Muris 2002). Early Maladaptive Schema Although the role of positive cognition in anxiety disorders Questionnaire. Garber coping self-efficacy do appear to play a role in vulnera- et al. Given the importance of a MacLeod and Byrne 1996. generalizations. found that children with Arai 1998. example. Marshall and Lang 1990. Prieto et al. Cole 1991. Bandura et al.g. Whitman and Leitenberg 1990). the field is lacking a comparable measure of positive tive systems are not (e. 1990). schemas overall. that negative systems are related to anxiety whereas posi- Yet. 1998.. it is important to research is available supports the idea that positive states look at specific schema content areas rather than broad facilitate future resilience (e. vulnerability to anxiety may relate to both negative tent domains (Dykman et al. Clark and Watson 1991) and cog- nitive systems (e. Bogels and Zig- et al. 1997. 1987.. few the importance of positive schemas in vulnerability to studies explicitly investigate links between specific posi- depression. 1989). MacLeod Positive Schemas and Depression and Salaminiou 2001. Beck et al. Yue Lacking positive global self-schemas may play an even 1996). MacLeod and Byrne 1996. SQC. mildly dysphoric. evaluating relations between specific dysphoric undergraduate students could be differentiated schemas and anxiety may be more illuminating with only based on their levels of positive schemas and not regards to how positive schemas relate to anxiety. but not relationship between positive schemas and anxiety may negative information.

The internal consistency esti- Participants mate for the SQC in the current sample was . success. 1983. and items for each domain were constructed edness as they relate to emotional well being in youth. We hypothesized that a global measure of positive and these items were administered to 172 youth aged 9–14. schemas (derived from Positive Schema Questionnaire. Participants were 172 adolescent boys (n = 84) and girls Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children-10 (MASC- (n = 88). The remaining 23 % of the participants (n = 39) were from The MASC is a 10-item. in grades 10. African of children’s anxiety. consistently suggests that most individuals possess posi- tively biased self-views (e. psycho. 1999. Diener and Diener 1996). Further information on scale devel- positively related to resilience. To by a group of graduate and undergraduate researchers. we hypothesized that when the covari- ance among the various schemas was accounted for. 1979. Coyne and Gotlieb is a measure of positive core schema themes in youth. Greenwald 1980. to cope with adversity. beyond that explained by negative schemas.100 Cogn Ther Res (2013) 37:97–108 on positive cognition indicates that positive cognitions are reported clinically elevated anxiety symptoms. Social Anxiety. Fleming and Darley 1986. standing of positive schemas with themes of worthiness. By examining which particular such as ‘‘I look at the bright side of things. Ruehlman et al. and resilience. A Factor Analysis was conducted to validate the factor PSQ) would be negatively associated with depression. we will in myself. Participants were 77 % Caucasian (n = 130). The scale possesses adequate face validity. optimism. Following factor analysis. schema definitions were generated for each identified self-efficacy. aged 9–14 (M = 11. Fur.’’ Schema domains assessed included: (a) wor- gather knowledge that may help improve children’s ability thiness (b) self-efficacy (c) optimism (d) success (e) trust.g.g. Participants rated how much they agree with statements Watson and Clark 1984). facilitate this goal. Taylor and Measures Brown 1988). 8. 4-point Likert self-report measure ethnically diverse backgrounds including Asian.44. anxiety. Each item in the scale depression. March 1997) 5–8.5 % of the sample experienced a unidimensional measure that combines the four anxiety clinically elevated depression symptoms. with scores scales including Physical Symptoms. 6-point Likert-type self-report questionnaire health (e. a developmentally sensitive. as well as convergent validity for 12 of the 15 Method SQC items as compared to the Young Schema Question- naire (Stallard and Rayner). exaggerated beliefs regarding personal con- trol (e. and that relations would opment and the results of the factor analysis are provided in also exist between anxiety and specific rather than global the results section of the paper. with scores not only necessary for mental health and happiness.22). to predict unique variance in depression and resilience scores. and (f) social connectedness. Golin et al. Hispanic/Latino. Schema Questionnaire for Children (SQC: Stallard thermore. recruited from four elementary schools from in south- oppo et al. The participants were perhaps even to maintain a neutral emotional state (Caci. trust.. schema theme. After surveying the literature. Research western Ontario.g.. but ranging from 1 to 26 (M = 12. represents a single Early Maladaptive Schema theme pro- posed by Young (1990). that best represented the central features of each schema oped.. and is nicity. Furthermore. given the potentially unique role of each schema and Rayner 2005) theme of interest.73.’’ and ‘‘I believe positive schema themes relate to child resilience. This measure is a shortened version Canadian. Abramson and Alloy 1981. structure of the scale. Schema themes were selected by surveying develop- Hypotheses mental literature and identifying constructs frequently found to play a role in vulnerability to child psychopa- The objective of the current study was to gain an under.93. 6-point Likert self-report measure of ticular schema themes would predict unique variance in children’s negative core schemas. SD = 1. par. or Other eth. 1977. lacking these biases has been linked to negative mental This 36-item. and social connect. This measure 123 . and 16. positive schemas.805). Positive schemas were also hypothesized the internal consistency for the scale was . Harm ranging from 0 to 41 (M = .17). and Separation/Panic items. thology and resilience. The SQC is a 15-item. of the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children.4 % of the sample Avoidance. Clinical psychologists and graduate students selected items metrically sound measure of positive schemas was devel. 1985. First Nations. In fact. Miller and Ross 1975) Positive Schema Questionnaire (PSQ) and unrealistic optimism (Langer and Roth 1975).

and lack of assent to respective factor or cross-loaded greater than . largely on the trust scale. 7-point Likert ques. loading on the same factor. schema questionnaire for youth to be considered with negative schema counterparts (e. and lastly the RS. yet clear and an information package and consent form home to their reliable subscales were confirmed.80 things in stride’’). 1. The instructions. The internal consistency estimate for The first aim of the current study was to develop a positive the CDI in the current sample was . the youth were thanked and naire used to assess children’s behavioural. Within the proposed parents for permission to participate. a widely used cutoff of . Development of the Positive Schema Questionnaire ability. . mouse. technology room). Five Acer Aspire netbook computer stations each equipped with factors appeared as the most conceptually and empirically a chair. and the number of factors extracted. to provide instructions and answer individual questions. The scale assesses two domains of and . confirmed by the second smaller break in beginning of each data collection period the students were the scree plot at five factors accounting for 71. missing data.4 % of the variance. and (2) principal axis factor analysis with varimax rotation. 3-point Likert self-report question. This measure has high internal-consistency and test-retest reli. CDI. Factor acceptance of self and life.g. tionnaire designed to measure beliefs about one’s ability to Based on a review of the literature. a provisional pool of successfully cope with adversity. Items This measure evidenced strong internal consistency within were resubmitted retaining the top five highest loading the current sample (. I am sad many times. 123 .74.2. and were given an opportunity to consent. Children are shown statements related to their moods and asked to endorse sentences that best describe them (e. cognitive symptoms of depression. Schema Questionnaire Resilience Scale (RS. The rooms were set up with 25 in a sixth factor on which none of the items loaded. A final set of the four highest loading items were retained. plete. The connectedness items concurrent validity of the scale (Wagnild and Young 1993). I am sad all the time’’). Psychometric support scale cross-loaded. 2.71).85. an additional 25.40 was set as who were provided with information packages. Extraction of a single factor reflecting a general positive vided with details about the study and encouraged to take schema accounted for 45. 1.40 on their 172 due to absences.. items. netbook. Final sample size decreased to were omitted it they did not load greater than . At the sound solution. as well as strong convergent and predictive validity (Carey et al. The PSQ was completed first.89. The provisional pool of items were submitted to a resilience including (1) personal competence. gymnasium.g. 269 agreed the loading criteria (Costello and Osborne 2005).1 % of the provided with verbal and written information about the variance. MASC-10.g. Wagnild and Young 1993) for Children. sound psychometric properties and potential clinical utility. Extracting six factors resulted library.g. reliability. Missing data were replaced by tional factors (eigen values: 9. Following participation. regardless of has been found for the internal consistency. the SQC. followed by current sample was . the participants completed several self-report internal consistency estimate for the MASQ-10 in the questionnaires. Items to participate in the study. were subsequently dropped from further analyses. Following single general positive schema factor. ‘‘I usually take posed subscales with Cronbach alphas ranging between . The goal was to develop a measure with The RS is a widely-used 25-item.0. Higher scores on the scale loadings were as expected. strongly they agree with statements related to resilience Results indicated strong internal reliability of the six pro- (e. 1987). Respondents rate how thirty-six items were generated.. 1999). ‘‘I can be on my own if I have to’’. Extracting four fac- Data collection took place within an assigned area of tors resulted in the success and worthiness subscales each of the four participating schools (e. ‘‘I’m sad once in a Results while. Stallard and Rayner 2005) for research and clinical purposes. however the connectedness indicate higher levels of resilience. and privacy shield.Cogn Ther Res (2013) 37:97–108 101 exhibits good test-retest reliability (March et al.93). Students from participating elementary schools were pro.40 on addi- participate from the youth. mean values for the participant when less than 15 % of the Alternative factor solutions were examined to determine data were missing.7 % variance over and above the study. Of the 965 students five-factor solution.90. .. six items per subscale. Kovacs 1981) lection. A minimum of five research assistants were present at each data col- Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI.1. the best conceptual and empirical fit. and a further item was replaced to improve simple Procedure structure.1. The procedure took approximately 1 h to com- The CDI is a 27-item. Results of the final principal axis factor analysis are reported in Table 1. affective and given a snack or toy for participating.

56 .19 . all positive schema themes (or subscales).23 .24 . Pearson correlations were schemas accounted for an additional and significant 28 % examined (see Table 2. I do well when I try my best .15 .21 29. p \ . I can deal with tough things .102 Cogn Ther Res (2013) 37:97–108 Table 1 Principal factor analysis of the final positive schema questionnaire Scale item Factor loadings M (SD) 1 2 3 4 5 Factor 1: self-efficacy (alpha = .26 36.39 .69 . If I try hard I can usually do well .30 13.55 .22 . and posi- tive schema total.21 Factor 2: success (alpha = .88) 5.01 .51 . determine whether positive schemas explain additional g2 = . A similar 2 sex (m.10. a = . I usually see the positive side of things .26 .06 . A main effect for sex was found with girls reporting more A hierarchical linear regression analysis was computed to anxiety symptoms than boys.20 . No significant interaction or main effects were found.83 .15 .11 .31 .24 . The predictor variables were entered Positive Schemas and Depression in subsequent steps: sex.07 .19 -.64 .71 .38 .18 .13 18.85) 4.70 .21 .18 Factor 5: worthiness (alpha = 86) 4.70 .93 for total scale score Bolded loadings are those comprising the subscale following the factor analysis To examine potential demographic effects.5 (. right-most column).73 .60 . a 2 sex (m. self- pendent variables (five positive schema subscales and the efficacy. I know how to find something good in every situation .15 . I value myself .21 .25 . I feel comfortable telling people important things about myself .28 23.28 .22 .21 .10 .22 .64 15.29 .02 .12 4. I value many things about myself .60 . significant variance in depression.04 . Depression sures (resilience. Consistent of variance beyond that accounted for by negative schemas 123 . optimism. Results indicated that negative schemas The Relation Between Positive Schemas and Depression predicted an additional 25 % of variance in depressive symptoms.66 .20 . I believe in myself .39 .63 . Subsequent analyses controlled for sex.14 11.96) 35. f) 9 4 between depression and global positive schemas.16 .15 . Model 1: To evaluate the hypothesis that positive schemas would be Total Score Level).20 .24 . When things are bad I can still think of something good . I think I have many good qualities .21 . First.18 .07 . a strong negative correlation was found multivariate tests were examined. F (1. success.10 31.28 Factor 4: optimism (alpha = 83) 4.74 33.39 Factor 3: trust (alpha = .35 .07 -.05.10 . as well as age (grades 5–8) ANOVA was conducted across all inde.56 . positive related to depressive symptoms.82) 4. I can adapt to new situations .09 .26 .75 . I can deal well with difficult situations .18 . and worthiness.28 .37 .18 34. after controlling for sex (see Table 2.1 (. negative schema total.27 .24 .21 . I can respond well to challenges .25 7.24 . depression and anxiety symptoms). a series of with hypotheses.27 .30 .25 .15 .4 (1. negative schema scale). trust. beyond that explained by negative schemas.35 . I trust other people .07) 16.31 .98) 12.01.00) 19.18 .46 N = 170.23 . I feel comfortable depending on other people .8 (1. f) 9 4 age (grades Unique Contribution of Positive Schemas for Predicting 5–8) ANOVA was conducted across the dependent mea.21 24. including. I have the ability to be successful . 162) = 8.34 .3 (1. If I try I will succeed .56 3.18 .11 .09 . I believe things will turn out well . Consistent with hypotheses.28 . I feel I can depend on people to keep my secrets .00) 27.10 10.

21** Step 3 Positive schemas (total) . The data were entered in three The Relation Between Positive Schemas and Anxiety steps: sex.25 54.64*** Self-efficacy -.44*** Success -.41 .20** Self-efficacy -.41** . Pearson correlation analyses were again conducted regression accounted for an additional 28 % of variance.50 32.53*** Optimism .02 -. and worthiness.01 .00 .09 -.10* -.06 2. Contrary to hypotheses.16 .81* -. Worthiness . trust. The total model accounted for 53 % of variance in the subscale level.02 .01 -.05 9. The To evaluate relations between positive schemas and anxi- positive schemas subscales entered at the third step of the ety. and DR2 F change b1 DR2 F change b2 resilience Depression Step 1 Sex .56*** * p B .11 -. At (see Table 2. Model 2: Subscale Level).36*** .28 97.19* Step 2 Negative schemas .57*** *** p \ . optimism.01 -.30** -.24 – -.12 -.97 .19* .81*** .57 .01 Success .00 . success.01.02 -.13* -. anxiety.72*** -. in the third step.35*** .06 Step 3 Positive schemas (total) .19* Resilience Step 1 Sex .15* .06 .04 -.16 .00 . 123 . ** p \ . The theme of Hierarchical linear regression analyses were also con. worthiness emerged as a strong and depression scores.47*** Trust -.57 .41*** .68** Self-efficacy .09 .17 – -.01 Step 2 Negative schemas .70*** .40*** Success .19* .04 6.50*** Worthiness .25 54.05.62*** Anxiety Step 1 Sex . self- efficacy.01 -.10 -.21** .10 . negative schema total and.53*** Optimism -. ducted at the subscale level to evaluate whether specific schema themes would emerge as unique predictors of Positive Schemas and Anxiety depressive symptoms among adolescents (see Table 2.Cogn Ther Res (2013) 37:97–108 103 Table 2 Hierarchical Variables Model 1: total score level Model 2: subscale level r regression analyses predicting depression.19* Optimism -.001 alone.04 .49*** Step 3 Positive schemas (total) .10 -.05 9.12* .00 .24** Trust .55*** .19* Worthiness -.02 3.00 . unique predictor of depression symptoms.29 20.13 . right-most column).22* -. trust was marginally significant.00 .41 – .20* .46 140.66*** Trust .02 Step 2 Negative schemas .08 -.97*** .04 6.

Furthermore.104 Cogn Ther Res (2013) 37:97–108 low negative correlations were found between global efficacy. specific positive schema themes to psychopathology and ative schemas. Pearson correlation analyses were significantly with negative cognitive schemas and mea- conducted (see Table 2. between symptom profiles. and worthiness. theme of self-efficacy emerged as the strongest predictor of puted to evaluate whether any particular schema theme resilience in this multivariate context. Discussion sion accounted for an increased 6 % of variance in anxiety. The schema Another hierarchical linear regression analysis was com. and the schema theme of Self-Efficacy was found to act as The present study is the first to evaluate the relation of a significant unique predictor of anxiety scores over neg.049. positive schemas accounted Model 1: Total Score Level). In the third step. positive schemas contribute confirmed that positive schemas predict unique variance in depres- significantly to the prediction of depression. To evaluate relations between child reported resilience These factors possess good face validity and correlate and positive schemas. success. Furthermore. sures of youth emotional functioning including depression. Consistent with hypotheses.1 resilience in youth. including self. success. analyses Consistent with hypotheses. resilience. displayed strong predictive validity and differentiated ience and each positive schema theme.05). Model 2: Subscale Level). optimism. trust. 166) = . mas accounted for an increased 5 % of variance in anxiety. The total positive schemas and anxiety. optimism. as global positive schemas anxiety. Positive schemas accounted for an increased 50 % of variance in resilience. The total model accounted for 11 % of for Predicting Resilience variance in anxiety scores. linear regression analyses were conducted controlling for resilience while regressing (1) depression and (2) anxiety symptoms on positive and for setting and evaluating intervention targets in cog- schemas.904. anxiety. between anxiety and the subscales. Again. predictor variables were entered in 3 nitive behaviour therapy. In the first block. and resilience. sex for an increased 46 % of variance in resilience (see accounted for 4 % of variance in anxiety. In these analyses. the data were entered in three steps. F(1. beyond that explained To determine whether positive schemas explain additional by negative schemas. success. Similar relations were found model accounted for 46 % of variance in resilience scores. the third step of the regression. In hierarchical linear regression was conducted (see Table 2. accounting for 8 % would account for significant variance in anxiety (see of unique variance in resilience. and trust. self-efficacy. Once these results are extended to a clinical sample. The factor analysis The Relation Between Positive Schemas and Resilience supported 5 of the apriori schema categories including: self-efficacy.01] and anxiety [DR2 = . and in the directions supported by increased so too did child-reported resilience. Neither sex nor negative schemas significant variance in anxiety. The contribution of positive schemas approached signifi. The results of the first empirical examination of the new PSQ provide convincing evi- Positive Schemas and Resilience dence of its promise as a psychometrically sound tool for evaluating positive schemas in youth.02. p \ . Table 2. Model 1: Total Score Level). and positive schemas. previous research. with the schema themes entered separately in the third step. p \ .32. To support from the PSQ may have important use in clinical settings positive schemas as theoretically distinct from resilience. No significant relation was Unique Contribution of Positive Schemas for Predicting found between anxiety and trust. steps: sex. a hierarchical linear regression anal- for Predicting Anxiety ysis was conducted. 166) = . The third block of the regres. hierarchical both for assessment of youth vulnerability and strength. optimism. the positive schema profile derived 1 Positive schemas and resilience are related constructs. Table 2). explaining variance in these constructs beyond constructs. suggesting distinct resilience. and sion [DR2 = . that explained by negative schemas. Resilience Unique Contribution of Positive Schemas for Predicting A hierarchical linear regression analysis was computed to Anxiety determine whether positive schemas explain additional significant variance in resilience.01] beyond resilience. Negative sche. worthiness. These findings support 123 . To evaluate the relative strength of each schema theme in The Contribution of Individual Schema Themes predicting resilience. individual schema themes significant positive correlations were found between resil. beyond negative schemas. and worthiness. The Contribution of Individual Schema Themes cance (p = . a accounted for significant variance in resilience scores. F(1.

a negative relationship was found between models (Beck 1976) within the positive schema domain. This finding is consistent cognitive bias. Interestingly. 1999. Clark and Watson beyond negative schemas. specificity Positive Schemas and Depression emerged in a multivariate model with only self-efficacy found to account for significant variance in anxiety beyond Consistent with hypotheses and past research (e. which sufficient for positive emotional functioning.’’ with theory that positive self-views may serve a protective Consistent with research implicating low self-worth as a role. may create depression vulnerability through Self-efficacy emerged as the schema theme most strongly similar mechanisms. A Yue 1996). MacLeod and Moore 2000). global positive schemas. how he/she reacts emotionally illuminate mechanisms of risk. this result is con. positive schema themes evidence unique associations with when examining relations between specific schema themes each outcome provides support for content specificity and anxiety. trust. data suggest that positive (versus negative) schemas may sion (Clark et al. for youth. not account for significant variance in resilience. the world. and later. Bandura et al. Consistent with hypotheses. appraises positive schemas into cognitive models of depression to the situation. and underscore the importance of considering low In an evaluation of relations between positive schemas and levels of positive schemas as an important diathesis to anxiety. 1990). cantly negatively related to depression scores in youth. 1999. particular strength of the current study is the multivariate Taken together. Intriguingly. Consistently. with a lens in one’s ability to control outcomes may increase ability to that does not enable positive experiences to positively cope with life stress. control. 1989.g. 1997. Tripartite model. low positive schemas associated with resilience. and self-mastery may be most as well as particular schema themes of worthiness. Matsuo and Arai 1998. coping self-efficacy. 1992. Cole et al. positive schemas did (accounting for approximately 50 % thiness was found most strongly associated with depression of the variance in each of our resilience models). 1987... This finding is themes that differentially predict the disorders. negative schemas did 2009. global positive schemas psychopathology. self-efficacy. Impor- symptoms in our sample. Puskar et al. Importantly.. the finding that specific were significantly associated with anxiety. Muris 2002. Consistent with hypotheses. 1990). anxiety.g.g. salient for understanding anxiety symptoms (e.. those with higher self-efficacy are 123 . being and competence. and Zigterman 2000. Whitman themes of self-efficacy linked to anxiety. schemas. it may be the specific positive schema tional 28 % of the variance in our model. Positive schemas. Theory suggests that were conducted to examine whether positive schemas positive cognitions may help to differentiate anxiety from contribute to the cognitive vulnerability to depression.. Cole Positive Schemas and Resilience 1991. Thus. sistent with research suggesting that cognitions related to Whitman and Leitenberg 1990). the schema theme of wor. Although these data suggest that global positive were associated with more variance in depression scores schema themes are more strongly related to depression than than negative schemas. and success. Muris 2002. Furthermore. depression (e. Further analyses positive schemas into models of risk..g. Bogels optimism. and Leitenberg) and positive cognitive constructs in depression in youth (e.g.g. success. self-perceptions of effi- influence views of the self.g. Interestingly. specifically explaining an addi. It is not surprising that the belief may impact interpretations of positive events. positive schemas 1991). worthiness. and optimism and anxi- ety symptoms. whereas Lumley and Harkness 2007). self-efficacy. Shirk et al. Garber and Hilsman 1992. these results suggest that cognitive approach in which positive and negative schemas were theories of anxiety would benefit from incorporating jointly considered in models of risk. having low levels of negative schemas may not be gruent with Beck’s content specificity hypothesis. (Bandura 1982). and further sug- gests that lacking sufficiently positive global self-sche. For example. these theorizes that low self-views are characteristic of depres. or the future. 1998. with consistent with past research which highlights the schema themes of worthiness linked to depression and important role of global positive schemas (e. In fact. Prieto et al. Garber et al. contrary to hypotheses..Cogn Ther Res (2013) 37:97–108 105 the theory that positive schemas exist on a separate con. This finding is con- Jaenicke et al. tantly. global positive schemas and mas may at times serve as a stronger predictor for particular schema themes were also positively associated depression in youth than the characteristic ‘‘negative with child-reported resilience. although be most instrumental in promoting resilience in the face of theorized to lie on a separate continuum from negative life stress. were signifi. Positive Schemas and Anxiety tinuum from negative schemas (e. other positive and negative schemas. These cacy have been theorized to influence the way one responds results highlight the importance of more fully incorporating to adversity by impacting the way a person copes. potentially contributing to an increased sense of well vulnerability factor to depression (e.

L. possibly depression (pp. for many youth. Handbook of child and adolescent anxiety symptoms below the clinical ranges. If replicated in a clinical sample. success. & Hankin. develops into of these important relations in youth between schemas and chronic mood psychopathology. treatment and prevention. differentially related to various forms of psychopathology PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. children’s perceptions are valued as the key aspect of infrastructure and his computer-programming expertise. findings provide evidence that the content depression: Old controversies and new approaches (pp. (1967). 436–447. beyond negative schemas. 1990). Harrington et al. Findings that positive schemas predict additional ation and as a result may not experience as much distress.). negating the possibility of evaluating the negative schemas indicates that positive schemas may play theoretically implied causal relations. While it is suspected that significant ethnicity.. depression and anxiety. R. Saylor et al. Clayton & J. 122–147.). perhaps even more importantly. self-efficacy. Cognitive therapy: Current the theme of worthiness most predictive of depression and status and future directions. L. and age differences. (2011). and resilience. and anxiety are strong predictors of future clinical symp. Still. In J. A. Cognitive therapy and the emotional disorders. Cognitive therapy of depression: New perspec- anxiety. (1981). Bandura. Anxiety tomatology (e. careful lon. A. while the CDI. Depression: Causes and treatment. the current study did suggests that developing positive schemas may be neces- not have sufficient power to evaluate fine-grained questions sary to produce long-term mental health and resilient of risk and resilience. 1986. the positive schema Sample size was not sufficiently large to adequately findings here may have implications for intervention with evaluate gender.. As such. V. 110. A. We are also grateful to all the research highlights the limitations of self-report measures of members of the Resilient Youth Research Group for their research efforts in the schools and in particular to Rachel Tomlinson and psychopathology (e. an important area for future coping strategies in the face of future stressors. Self-efficacy mechanisms in human agency. A.g. J. and trust are Beck. Beck. and RS possess adequate Acknowledgments This research was supported by the Ontario Mental Health Foundation New Investigator Fellowship (second reliability and validity. T. Hankin (Eds. Journal of Experimental Psychology. cognitions but. 258–269. 76(2). an even more important role than negative schemas in the gitudinal research will be required to establish the unfolding early detection of what. resilience. (1988). with Beck. Barrett (Eds. positive schemas predict significant variance in depression. Self-efficacy conception of anxiety. Treatment of Furthermore. New York: Raven Press. on the indicating that girls may be more vulnerable to anxiety development of positive cognitions. R. negative schemas through therapy may play an important sex and age differences exist in the development and pre. Although parents who participated in this project. & Caprara. 123 . current study provides very important information regard. New York: The Guilford Press. Personality useful research tool for evaluating how positive schemas of Processes and Individual Differences. Finally. the current results sentation of positive schema themes. and peutic focus not only on identifying and targeting negative sex accounted for significant variance in anxiety scores. We also wish symptoms (Edelbrock et al. 77–98. (2008). limiting generalizability to clinical populations. J.. E. Abela in which most participants experienced depression or & B. C.. L. and cognitive illusions: A reply to Schwartz.106 Cogn Ther Res (2013) 37:97–108 more likely to use effort to react to the demands of the situ. youth. Y. 35–78). These results emphasize the importance of a thera- yses revealed higher anxiety rates for girls than boys. Research. & Dozois. 1. G. ing factors that play a role in the early stages of childhood Bandura. Depression in children and adolescents: Causes. The finding that positive schemas appear the predictor and outcome variables were measured at one to be a stronger associate of depression symptoms than time point. C. A. B. the Abramson. specificity model may also apply to positive schemas. Beck. Sex anal. A. this inquiry. as sub-clinical levels of depression American Psychologist. We are very grateful to the Wellington Catholic District may be impacted by youth difficulties reporting internal School Board for their support of our research and to the youth and states or by mood or social desirability biases. T. J.. A. (1982). & Alloy. The initial validation of the PSQ indicates that it may be a Self-efficacy pathways to childhood depression. Philadelphia. Annual Review of Medicine. self-report bias cannot easily account for our findings that particular schema themes arose References as more central to particular outcomes. ethnicity. and resilience in youth. In P. variance in childhood outcomes emphasize the importance There are several limitations to the current study that of incorporating positive schemas into cognitive models of provide important implications for future research.. this study used a volunteer community sample Abela. optimism. Segal 1988). Furthermore. psychopathology.g. This study provides convincing evidence that New York: Basic Books. B. 62. T. role in decreasing aversive symptoms. L. 37(2).. Depression. worthiness. Bandura. the theme of self-efficacy most predictive of anxiety and 397–409. symptoms. Thirdly. these measures are self-report and author).. T. 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