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Schema Modes, Trauma, and Disordered Eating

Goddard, Hayley; Hammersley, Richard; Reid, Marie


Hayley Goddard

Richard Hammersley

Marie Reid


Maladaptive schema modes may mediate between trauma and disordered eating, however there is little relevant evidence. This study aimed to predict disordered eating from modes, trauma, and age and gender. Also, to re-examine the factor structure of the Schema Mode Inventory for Eating Disorders, using an online cross-sectional survey of 612 volunteer participants aged 18 to 65, recruited from online eating disorder support groups, including people with and without diagnosed eating disorders. Measures were sociodemographic variables, the Schema Mode Inventory for Eating Disorders (Short Form; SMI-ED-SF), the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q), and the Trauma History Questionnaire (THQ). Confirmatory factor analysis produced 16 factors similar to the 16 modes. Differences were that Vulnerable Child, Happy Child, and Healthy Adult appeared as a one factor, that all ED items appeared as one factor, and that Bully & Attack and Self-Aggrandizer modes appeared combined. In stepwise linear regression, EDE-Q scores was predicted by Total maladaptive mode score (37.3% of variance), Total adaptive mode score (1.5%) variance, Vulnerable Child (2.8%), Detached Self-Soother (1.5%). Other modes accounted for 1% or less of variance. Schema modes predicted EDE-Q, but the stable existence of discrete persona-like modes was less clear. Further research should refine the structure of SMI-ED-SF and relate modes to interpersonal traumas.


Goddard, H., Hammersley, R., & Reid, M. (2022). Schema Modes, Trauma, and Disordered Eating. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 36(1), 70-95.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 31, 2021
Publication Date Feb 1, 2022
Deposit Date Nov 22, 2022
Publicly Available Date Feb 2, 2023
Journal Journal of cognitive psychotherapy
Print ISSN 0889-8391
Electronic ISSN 1938-887X
Publisher Springer Publishing Company
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 36
Issue 1
Pages 70-95
Public URL


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