How important is temperament? The relationship between coping styles, early maladaptive schemas and social anxiety

Kathleen Mairet*, Simon Boag, Wayne Warburton

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Young's schema theory provides a theoretical framework that relates temperament, coping styles and Early Maladaptive Schemas to social anxiety and Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). The current study explored the relationship between these variables in a sample of 360 non-clinical adults. Results indicated that individuals higher in social anxiety display higher levels of schemas themed around Disconnection and Rejection than individuals low in social anxiety. Temperament appears to influence the type of coping style some individuals adopt with more introverted individuals utilising more avoidant strategies. Nevertheless, neuroticism appears to have a stronger relationship with Disconnection and Rejection schemas than coping strategies linked to either avoiding or overcompensating for stressors. Path analysis was used to test three models of the data based on the relationships proposed by Young and colleagues. Results provide preliminary evidence that the impact of maladaptive schemas on coping strategies is stronger than the influence of coping strategies on such schemas. The implications of the findings for both theory and treatment concerning social anxiety and SAD are discussed, along with suggestions for future research.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)171-190
    Number of pages20
    JournalInternational Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy
    Volume14
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Keywords

    • Coping styles
    • Early maladaptive schemas
    • Schema therapy
    • Social anxiety
    • Temperament

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