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Early Maladaptive Schemas and Personality Disorder Traits in Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 February 2014

Carmen Corral
Universidad de Deusto (Spain)
Esther Calvete*
Universidad de Deusto (Spain)
*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Esther Calvete. Universidad de Deusto. Department of Psychology. Apdo. 1. 48080. Bilbao (Spain). Phone: 34–944139000 (Ext. 2847). Fax: 34–944139089. E-mail:


Personality disorders (PDs) are highly prevalent among perpetrators of intimate partner violence (IPV). Schema Therapy proposes a number of early maladaptive schemas (EMSs) that are involved in the development of PDs. This study examined the prevalence of PD traits in a sample of men who committed violence against their partners and the relationship between EMSs domains and PD traits. With this aim, a sample of 119 convicted men completed the Young Schema Questionnaire-Short Form (YSQ-SF; Young & Brown, 1994) and the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI-III; Millon, Millon, & Davis, 1994). The results showed that the most prevalent PD traits were narcissistic (24.6%), obsessive-compulsive (21.9%), and paranoid (17.5%). These PD traits were linked to several EMSs in ways consistent with the Schema Therapy model. Namely, narcissistic PD traits were positively associated with schemas of the impaired limits domain and were negatively associated with the other-directedness domain. The paranoid PD traits were associated with the disconnection and rejection domain and the impaired autonomy and performance domain. Finally, both borderline and antisocial PD traits were associated with the disconnection and rejection domain and the impaired limits domain. These findings suggest that the assessment and modification of EMSs should be a factor to consider for inclusion in the treatment programs for perpetrators of IPV in order to provide comprehensive intervention of this population.

Research Article
Copyright © Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid 2014 

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