The Relation of Dysfunctional Cognitive Schemas and Personality Dimensions in Generalized Anxiety Disorder

DOI: 10.1515/amma-2017-0035

Objective: This study investigated whether differences exist in the structural personality dimensions and eighteen maladaptive cognitive schemas among in- and out-patients (Clinical Group) diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and people from the general population without any psychiatric diagnostic (Control Group).
Methods: The Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) sample (N = 100) included 35 (35%) men and 65 (65%) women, with a mean age of 36.4 years (SD = 10.86; age range 18-69). The control sample (N = 100), included 28 (28%) men and 72 (72%) women, with a mean age of 27.1 years (SD = 9.8; age range 19-60). Data were simultaneously analyzed with one-way multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) to measure the effect of group membership on personality dimensions and on dysfunctional cognitive schemas, controlling for participants’ age. Next, univariate analyses of covariance (ANCOVAs) were done on each item with covariate-adjusted post-hoc comparisons.
Results: The results indicate that the Clinical Group participants had unfavorable scores on all five personality dimensions (i.e., Openness, Extraversion; Conscientiousness; Agreeability; and Emotional Stability – Neuroticism) and for almost all of the dysfunctional cognitive schemas in comparison with participants in the Control Group.
Conclusions: These results have general implications in understanding Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) clients and their personality characteristic’s profile and dysfunctional/maladaptive cognitive schemas.

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