Therapy of anorexia and Young’s early maladaptive schemas. Longitudinal study
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Submission date: 2015-07-15
Final revision date: 2015-09-29
Acceptance date: 2015-09-29
Online publication date: 2015-10-14
Publication date: 2015-12-01
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2015;3(4):203–213
Young’s early maladaptive schemas are defined as convictions about oneself acquired in childhood, formed by a child in response to deprivation of his or her basic needs, especially in the area of relationships. In the case of anorexia, the role of the family and relations is emphasized as crucial for the genesis of this disorder. The aim of the research was to investigate whether Young’s early maladaptive schemas change during the therapy, which would prognosticate higher treatment efficiency.

Participants and procedure
The study group included 30 women suffering from anorexia, starting their 6-week therapeutic program. The procedure included double measurement: during the administration and discharge. The respondents filled in the Young Schema Questionnaire in its short form (YSQ-S3) (twice), the Acceptance of Illness Scale (AIS) adapted by Juczyński (twice), and a demographic chart (once).

The intensity of all schemas decreased after completion of the therapeutic program; the differences were mostly statistically significant. The composition of the most intense schemas did not change significantly: unrelenting standards and abandonment were the highest during both measurements. What changed were the interrelations between the schemas. They are also connected with the acceptance of the illness (the weaker they are, the greater the acceptance, and the stronger the relations) and with psychological well-being, especially during the post-therapy measurement.

The schemas seem to be significant from the perspective of understanding anorexia. They are susceptible to be changed by integrative therapies. Nevertheless, it seems that in order to achieve a durable change, schema therapy should be applied.
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