A systematic review of the relationship between early maladaptive schemas and borderline personality disorder/traits

Hoda Barazandeh, David W. Kissane, Naysun Saeedi, Michael Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a common mental disorder in clinical practice. Research on its phenomenology and psychopathology is still limited. Cognitive structures called schemas prove useful, both in conceptualizing a case and in implementing change strategies. The aim of this review was to synthesize the evidence on the relationship between BPD and schemas. A comprehensive literature search using keywords and subject headings was performed with 9 electronic databases, resulting in 17 studies. These papers underwent methodological quality assessment. Schemas of the disconnection/rejection domain were the most prevalent, endorsed in at least ten studies. Highly endorsed schemas in BPD populations were: abandonment, mistrust/abuse, social isolation, emotional deprivation and defectiveness/shame. The patterns of association between schemas and BPD were examined in clinical, offender, substance using and non-clinical populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-139
Number of pages10
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • Early maladaptive schema
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Systematic review

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