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Eating Disorder Behavior and Early Maladaptive Schemas in Subgroups of Eating Disorders

Unoka, Zsolt MD, PhD*; Tölgyes, Tamás MD, PhD*; Czobor, Pál PhD*†; Simon, Lajos MD, PhD*

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: June 2010 - Volume 198 - Issue 6 - p 425-431
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181e07d3d
Original Articles

To examine relationship between Eating Disorder Behaviors (EDB) and Early Maladaptive Schemas (EMS) across eating disorder (ED) subgroups. EMS and ED behaviors were measured by Young Schema Questionnaire and Eating Behavior Severity Scale, respectively, among patients diagnosed with Restrictive or Binge/purging Anorexia, or bulimia nervosa. Canonical component analysis showed significant association between ED behaviors and EMSs. Canonical factor-pairs (EDB and EMS) revealed specific associations between certain patterns of EDBs, including binge-purging and physical exercise, and certain patterns of maladaptive cognitive schema, including Emotional deprivation, Abandonment, Enmeshments, Subjugation, and Emotional inhibition. ED subgroups significantly differred between the EMS and EDB canonical factors, respectively. Our findings indicate that EMS and EDB are associated, and that the factors that potentially mediate the association differ significantly among ED subgroups. These results are consistent with the notion that EMSs play a specific role in the development and maintenance of ED behaviors.

*Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary; and †Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY.

Send reprint requests to Zsolt Unoka, MD, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Semmelweis University, Balassa u. 6., 1083 Budapest, Hungary. E-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.