Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. Clinical Psychology




College of Science & Mathematics


Haugh, Jim A.

Committee Member 1

Joppa, Meredith

Committee Member 2

Fife, Dustin


Depression, Early Maladaptive Schemas, Health Behaviors


Health behavior; Depression, Mental


Clinical Psychology


Chronic disease continues to predominate the leading causes of death and account for the majority of healthcare expenditures in the United States. Researchers have identified that engagement in negative health behaviors, such as eating a poor diet, physical inactivity, risky sexual activity, nicotine and illicit drug use, and excessive alcohol consumption is a key risk factor for developing chronic disease later in life. In order to help motivate individuals to adhere to a healthy lifestyle, understanding why an individual might engage in negative health behaviors is warranted. Young's schema theory is a social cognitive theory that explores early maladaptive schemas in relation to mental health and maladaptive behaviors. The current exploratory study offers direct examination of the differential relationships between depressive symptoms, early maladaptive schemas, and a range of negative health behaviors. The sample consisted of 518 participants, with an age range of 18 to 66 (M=20.5; SD=4.9). Participants completed the Young Schema Questionnaire-3, Short Form (YSQ-S3), the Center for Epidemiologic Studies for Depression Scale, 10-item (CES-D-10), and a survey to assess engagement in negative health behaviors. Results identified eight specific early maladaptive schemas as important predictors for engagement in negative health behaviors. Clinical implications and future directions are discussed.