The effects of early maladaptive schemas and religiosity on adjustment and mood among African American college students

Napoleon D Wells, Fordham University


Early Maladaptive Schemas (EMS) were developed for the study and treatment of personality disorders, major depression and many other forms of psychopathology, and though the research done with EMS has expanded to include more non-clinical samples, none of the studies have included racially diverse samples. This study sought to extend the existing research concerning the utility of EMS Domains with an African-American sample which consisted of college students. Specifically, the purpose for the study was to examine the effect that EMS would have on mood and adjustment within this population, and the ways in which religiosity would moderate those relationships. The Young Schema Questionnaire, Short Form 3 (YSQ-S3), the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire (SACQ), the Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS), the Daily Spiritual Experience Scale (DSE) and the Spiritual Well-Being Scale (SWB) were administered to an African-American, undergraduate sample (N = 129) at two colleges located in the Northeast. It was found that EMS Domains were inversely related to level of positive affect and college adjustment. It was also found that the EMS Domains were positively related to negative affect. Additionally, it was found that Daily Spiritual Experience was found to moderate the relationship between the EMS Domains, mood and college adjustment, but Spiritual Well-Being did not moderate those relationships. The results suggest that EMS can be used as a means of treating both undergraduate and African-American people in counseling centers as they can reliably give an idea of how these populations are functioning. Furthermore, the results suggest that with African-Americans students, religiosity can have an impact on functioning such that higher levels of religiosity lead to improved mood and adjustment, even when faced with some of the issues that contribute to EMS. These results also can influence the ways in which academic institutions understand and treat African-American students, making it necessary to incorporate an understanding of how this population makes use of religion as a means of dealing with stressors, adjustment and many other concerns.

Subject Area

Black studies|Clinical psychology|African American Studies

Recommended Citation

Wells, Napoleon D, "The effects of early maladaptive schemas and religiosity on adjustment and mood among African American college students" (2007). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3286425.