An empirical test of schema mode conceptualizations in personality disorders

J. Lobbestael*, M.F. van Vreeswijk, A.R. Arntz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Although the use of schema modes in schema-focused therapy (SFT) has been very popular since its introduction, Young's schema mode concept remained largely empirically untested. In order to provide insight into the mode conceptualization of personality disorders (PDs), the current study assessed the relationships between 14 schema modes and all PDs. Relationships between dimensional PD scores and self-reported mode scores were tested in a mixed study group of 489 participants, consisting of axis I and axis II patients, and non-patients. Psychopathology was assessed by means of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV axis I and axis II disorders (SCID I and SCID 11) or the Structural Interview for DSM-IV Personality Disorders (SIDP-IV), and modes were assessed by the Schema Mode Inventory. Kendall's partial tau coefficients, controlling each PD-mode correlation for all other PD scores, indicated unique mode profiles for all PDs and corroborated most of the hypothesized PD-mode correlations, supporting the construct validity of the mode model. Nevertheless, the high number of correlations found for some PDs raises concerns about the specificity of the mode model. Implications for both research and therapy are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)854-860
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

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