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The Stability and Predictive Capability of Schemas in the Context of Adolescent Mental Health and Well-Being

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Title: The Stability and Predictive Capability of Schemas in the Context of Adolescent Mental Health and Well-Being
Author: Cherry, Kathlyn
Department: Department of Psychology
Program: Psychology
Advisor: Lumley, Margaret
Abstract: Negative schemas are principal vulnerability factors conferring risk for psychopathology, particularly depression. Few studies have examined how positive schemas may provide unique etiological and phenomenological information about an individual’s emotional functioning and well-being. Given risk for depression intensifies across adolescence, examining the course of cognitive vulnerability to depression during this developmental period is also important. Using positive clinical psychology and cognitive-developmental frameworks, this thesis examined a) the prospective associations of positive and negative schemas in relation to youths’ emotional functioning and well-being and b) the stability of schema content over time. One hundred thirty-nine adolescent girls (n = 64), boys (n = 71), and unknown (n = 4) aged 8 to 13 (M = 11.20, SD = 1.21) completed measures of schema content, emotional functioning, depressive symptoms, happiness, and life satisfaction at Time 1 (Fall 2012) and Time 2 (Spring 2013). Negative and positive schemas exhibited stability over time. Positive schemas predicted additional variance in depression, above and beyond negative schemas. Positive schemas did not predict additional unique variance in happiness or life satisfaction. These findings have implications for the incorporation of positive schemas into cognitive models of youth depression and goals for prevention, intervention, and positive youth development.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/10863
Date: 2017-06-15


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