Thinking about feeling: using trait emotional intelligence in understanding the associations between early maladaptive schemas and coping styles

Ke, Tianyuan, and Barlas, Joanna (2020) Thinking about feeling: using trait emotional intelligence in understanding the associations between early maladaptive schemas and coping styles. Psychology and Psychotherapy: theory, research and practice, 93. pp. 1-20.

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Objectives: Maladaptive interpersonal schemas can trigger distressing emotions and drive dysfunctional behaviour that leads to difficulties in interpersonal relationships and perpetuates the original maladaptive schemas. This study sought to identify patterns of association between trait emotional intelligence (TEI), early maladaptive schemas (EMS), and coping styles in a non‐clinical sample. Emotionality profiles were hypothesized to be associated with EMS severity and poorer coping, as early experiences can shape an individual's self‐perceptions through reinforcement by maladaptive responses.

Design: Cross‐sectional study with 142 undergraduate students.

Methods: We obtained self‐reports of TEI, coping styles, and EMS.

Results: Disengagement coping was strongly correlated with EMS severity (r = .565, p < .01). TEI was negatively correlated with EMS (r = −.660, p < .01) and Disengagement (r = −.405, p < .01). Emotionality, Impaired Autonomy, and Overvigilance partially mediated the relationship between Disconnection and Emotion‐Focused Disengagement. Self‐Control fully mediated the relationship between Impaired Limits and Problem‐Focused Disengagement.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that lower TEI is associated with the likelihood for maladaptive coping in response to EMS. The preference for certain coping styles associated with a particular domain of EMS may be explained by an individual's perceived metacognitive ability to regulate their stress and emotions. When individuals’ needs for love, safety, and acceptance from others are not met, there might be poorer perceived self‐efficacies in Emotionality and the tendency to cope through emotional avoidance. Individuals with difficulties establishing internal limits are more likely to respond with problem avoidance, possibly due to deficient distress tolerance. Longitudinal studies with a clinical population are warranted to replicate these findings.

Item ID: 56078
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2044-8341
Keywords: early maladaptive schemas, schema therapy, coping, metacognition, trait emotional intelligence
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2018 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2018 23:19
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520304 Health psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920209 Mental Health Services @ 100%
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