PhD Scientific Days 2023

Budapest, 22-23 June 2023

Mental Health Sciences IV.

Early maladaptive schemas, maladaptive personality traits and personality functioning in body representations and body dysmorphic disorder

Dorottya Szily, Doctoral School of Mental Health Sciences, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
Rebeka Kelemen, Independent researcher, Budapest, Hungary
Zita S. Nagy, OMINT-National Institute of Medical Rehabilitation, Budapest, Hungary
Dominik Szabó, Doctoral School of Mental Health Sciences, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
Zsolt Unoka, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary

Text of the abstract

Although the body is an essential component of our self and identity, it is often neglected in personality studies. Different representations of the body develop throughout childhood and can be disturbed in various mental disorders, such as body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). We hypothesized that disturbances in body representations (e.g. attitudinal body image, perceptual body image and body schema) and BDD will be associated with maladaptive personality traits and schemas and personality dysfunctioning
Our study included 64 patients diagnosed with different mental disorders (46 women, 18 men) Attitudinal body image was measured by using factors of the Body Attitude Test (BAT). Body schema and perceptual body image were measured by two conditions of a body representation task, the Body Portraying Method. BDD was measured with Body Dysmorphic Disorder Structured Interview. We measured early maladaptive schemas using YSQ-S2, maladaptive personality traits using PID-5, and personality functioning using LPFS-SR questionnaires.
We found a significant positive relationship between Other-directedness schema domain and each BAT factors. Disconnection and rejection schema domain is associated with the severity of the disturbed body schema. We found a significant positive correlation between Impaired limits schema domain and body schema and perceptual body image disturbances. BDD was positively correlated with schema domains, maladaptive personality traits, and personality dysfunctioning as well. Psychoticism showed the strongest correlation between body representation variables and BDD. Intimacy associated with body schema and perceptual body image.

Our results suggest that early maladaptive schemas may play an important role in body representation disturbances and BDD. We also suggest that unusual beliefs and experiences, cognitive and perceptual dysregulation might have a key role in body-related disturbances. Moreover, a disturbed level of personality functioning appears to affect each level of body representation.