Background: Young's contention that early maladaptive schemas mediate the relationship between adverse parenting and later emotional difficulties has been lrttle tested. Also, most relevant research focuses only on depression, and on maternal parenting. Methods: One hundred and fifty-five non-clinical adults completed the Young Parenting Inventory (YPI) regarding both their mothers and fathers, Young's Schema Questionnaire (YSQ), the State/Trait Anger Scale (STAS) and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21). Results: Young's suggested 17-factor YPI structure was not supported. Rather, participants differentiated between recalled paternal and maternal parenting, with rejecting and controlling components emerging for each parent. There was an indirect effect of rejecting fathering on symptoms of depression, via the social isolation schema, in support of Young's theory. However, despite some significant relationships between parenting and schemas, and schemas and emotions, most effects of parenting on emotions were direct. Rejecting fathering had a direct positive effect on trait anger, and controlling mothering on symptoms of depression and anxiety. Controlling fathering had a negative effect on anxiety symptoms. Limitations: The study was cross-sectional, limited to participants in a single city, and had a preponderance of female respondents. Conclusions: Most effects of adverse parenting seem to be direct rather than operating through schemas. Prevention through early parenting programs, and adult cognitive therapies that draw on a broad range of schemas, seem to be called for.
- Maladaptive schemas
- Parenting styles