Early maladaptive schemas and intimate partner violence victimization and perpetration: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Pamela D. Pilkington, Clare Noonan, Tamara May, Rita Younan, Ruth A. Holt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Young's early maladaptive schemas represent a possible pathway between childhood adversity and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). The aim of this review was to synthesize the evidence on early maladaptive schemas and IPV. PubMed, PsycInfo, and CINAHL databases were searched, in compliance with PRISMA, to identify peer reviewed studies that reported on the relationship between schema or schema domain scores and IPV victimization or perpetration. Based on nine included studies, meta-analyses indicated that IPV victimization showed a moderate association with the Disconnection and Rejection and Impaired Autonomy domains, and a small association with Other-Directedness. The Mistrust Abuse and Vulnerability to Harm schemas were moderately correlated with victimization. Mistrust Abuse was also implicated in perpetration but insufficient data were available for meta-analysis. The evidence suggests that being a victim of IPV is associated with an expectation that one's needs for love and safety will not be met and doubt regarding one's capacity to handle responsibilities or succeed in life.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Psychology & Psychotherapy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • early maladaptive schemas
  • intimate partner violence
  • meta-analysis

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