The relation between parenting patterns, childhood events, and cognitive schema
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Drawing on the work of Bowlby (1969, 1980) and Parker (1983), Barlow (2002) suggests a diathesis model of the pathogenesis of anxiety that includes the nature of the parenting relationship. This study further investigated the relationships between parenting style, and adult depression and anxiety and the moderating effects of cognitive schema. Fifty-five outpatients in treatment for depression or anxiety completed retrospective measures of parenting-style and childhood abuse, and self-report measures of current cognitive schema, levels of depression, and anxiety. Overall, there was a significant relationship between a pattern of poor parenting, marked by high maternal control and low maternal care, with depression (t (53) = 2.3, p < .05) and anxiety (t (53) = 2.5, p < .05) when compared with people raised with other parenting styles. A correlation also existed between depression and child abuse (p < .01). Both depressed and anxious participants met criteria for a variety of maladaptive cognitive schemas such as the emotional inhibition, unrelenting standards and vulnerability to harm schemas. An overall relationship emerged between various poor parenting techniques and particular negative core beliefs. Specifically, low care scores on the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI), including both maternal and paternal care, were most strongly associated with elevations in the abandonment, emotional deprivation, mistrust and abuse, and social isolation schemas. A model for the interaction of a poor early home environment, cognitive schema and adult depression and anxiety was suggested.