The effect of mood on responses to the Young Schema Questionnaire: Short form

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The schema concept has had an important role in both early and more recent accounts of psychopathology. Schemas are underlying cognitive structures that are thought to create vulnerability to disorders, because they act as templates for the perception, encoding, storage, and retrieval of information. Recent approaches to the understanding and treatment of personality disorders give schemas particular prominence, and the concept of early maladaptive schemas forms the cornerstone of Young's (1999) schema-focused cognitive therapy. The aim of this paper is to examine the effect of mood on responses to the Young Schema Questionnaire – short form (YSQ-S; Young, 1998). A sample of 50 non-clinical participants completed the YSQ-S on three different occasions: in neutral mood, and following happy and depressed mood inductions. The results of 30 participants with full data sets showed that emotional deprivation and defectiveness scores increased after the depressed mood induction, whereas entitlement scores increased after the happy mood induction. The results are discussed in relation to cognitive theories of vulnerability to psychopathology, and future directions for research are suggested.

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