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Temperament, parenting styles and the intensity of early maladaptive schemas: assessment of correlations in a non-clinical adult group

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 November 2020

Dorota Mącik
Department of Clinical Psychology, Institute of Psychology, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Al. Racławickie 14, 20-950 Lublin, Poland
E-mail address:



Prior research has partially verified the significance of child temperament and styles of upbringing for schema intensity. However, there is still a lack of understanding of the inter-relations between them.


The present study examined how temperament (stable and labile) and style of parenting (positive and negative) are related to each other, and to early maladaptive schemas.


Participants (395 healthy adults) completed the Young Schema Questionnaire YSQ-S3 and the Retrospective Assessment of Parents’ Attitudes and Formal Characteristic of Behaviour – Temperament Inventory (FCB-TI). Structural equation modelling was used to verify hypotheses.


Temperament and parental styles together explain more than 59% of the variance of schema intensity. The obtained path coefficients show one-way directions of inter-relations. Stable temperament connects to schemas directly with a negative path coefficient. Labile temperament shows a significant positive association with negative parental attitudes, but not directly with schemas. Negative parenting is positively connected with schemas. A positive style of parenting is not significantly connected with temperament and schemas.


Results show evidence that negative style of parenting and labile temperament features are more important for schema developing and may be treated as risk factors. Because temperament seems to be a relatively persistent feature, it may play a similar role in adulthood, reinforcing emotions and feelings in the context of environment, and then maintain the schemas.

© British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies 2020

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