A longitudinal idiographic investigation of the relationship of self-schema to depressive and anxious symptoms



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Texas Tech University


Nomothetic approaches have identified the variables and the relationships of variables for diatheses-stressor models of anxiety and depression. The strength of findings is somewhat unclear, and meaning has potentially been clouded by methodological problems (Coyne & Whiffen, 1995; L. A. Clark, Watson & Mineka, 1994). At the individual level, detailed understanding of the interactions of processes resulting in depressive or anxious symptoms remains relatively unexamined. The present study employed a series of single-subject designs to clarify the relationship between schema activation, negative cognitions, and behaviors and symptoms, while accounting for the effects of coping. Results suggest facets of the tripartite model (L. A. Clark and Watson, 1991) may be repHcated at the level of the individual. Idiographic symptom items were often associated with tripartite model factors; however, these items also loaded on unique factors in addition to the factors of the tripartite model. P-technique factor analysis of coping strategies suggested similarity across individuals' patterns of coping. In all participants, limhed concurrent and/or lagged relationships between symptoms and coping strategies and schema activation were detected. Additionally, associations of symptom severity at various lags with symptom severity at lag zero were detected in three participants.