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02-01-2019 | Original Article | Uitgave 4/2019

Cognitive Therapy and Research 4/2019

Intergenerational Transfer of Early Maladaptive Schemas in Mother–Daughter Dyads, and the Role of Parenting

Tijdschrift:
Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 4/2019
Auteurs:
Madeline Gibson, Andrew J. P. Francis
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Abstract

Expanding limited research on the origins of early maladaptive schemas, this study investigated relations between parental (mother) schemas and parenting styles with child (adult daughter) schemas using cross-sectional methodology. One hundred women (aged 18–88) participated in the study and 39 matched mother–daughter dyads were analysed. The Young Schema Questionnaire, Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale, Parental Bonding Instrument and Parental Authority Questionnaire were used to assess individual schemas, parenting styles from the daughters’ perspective, and depression as a mood-state control variable. Mother schemas predicted a range of daughter schemas. There was also evidence of direct transference (‘selective internalisation’) of some schemas between mothers and daughters. Daughter schemas were associated with parenting styles. In particular, high authoritative parenting predicted lower levels of daughter schemas and high overprotective parenting predicted higher levels of daughter schemas. There was no firm evidence that authoritative parenting mediated the relationship between mother and daughter schemas in this domain. The major limitations of this study are the cross-sectional design and relatively small sample. In conclusion, mother maladaptive schemas and style of parenting predict daughter schemas. The results provide support for interpersonal, intergenerational influences on schema development. In highlighting the possible intergenerational sources of maladaptive core beliefs, this research may open new avenues of therapist–client dialogue.

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