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Young Schema Questionnaires:
Informal Clinical Scoring Instructions
The instructions below are written for the YSQ Long Form (Second Edition). However, the scoring of the Short Form is essentially the same, except that all schemas on the Short Form have the same number of items (five), so there is no scoring grid.
Furthermore, one schema, Social Undesirability, is missing from the Short Form, because it did not emerge as a separate factor in two different research studies. Social Undesirability is no longer considered a separate Early Maladaptive Schema, even though it still appears on the Long Form. Social Undesirability is probably a subset of the Defectiveness / Shame schema.
Please note that, on both forms of the YSQ, only 15 of the current 18 Early Maladaptive Schemas are measured. This is because the listing of 18 schemas has been updated and expanded more recently than the YSQ. We do not want to alter the YSQ at this time, because so much research is already ongoing with the current versions. The three schemas that do not appear on the YSQ are: Approval-Seeking/Recognition-Seeking, Negativity/Pessimism, and Punitiveness.
Matching Items To Schemas
Items on the questionnaire are clustered according to specific schemas. These clusters of items are separated by an asterisk and a two-letter code that is an abbreviation for the schema. The abbreviations for the sixteen schemas are listed below. For example, items 1-9 on the Long Form are followed by the abbreviation ed , indicating that these specific items assess the Emotional Deprivation schema. The schemas are defined in the newest listing of Early Maladaptive Schemas.
ed Emotional Deprivation
si Social Isolation
su Social Undesirability (no longer a separate schema)
vh Vulnerability to Harm & Illness
ss Self Sacrifice
ei Emotional Inhibition
us Unrelenting Standards
is Insufficient Self-Control/Self-Discipline
Representing Scores on the YSQ Long Form Grid
Each schema on the YSQ Long Form has a different number of items to measure it. We developed the Schema Grid as a way to adjust for the differences in the number of items by converting the "raw scores" for each schema to a percentage of the total number of items for each schema. When the scores are plotted on the grid, the grid yields a pictorial profile of each patient's high- and low-scoring schemas.
The order in which schemas are clustered on the questionnaire corresponds to their listing on the Schema Grid.
Scores for each schema are found by counting the total number of items within each schema rated either 5 or 6. This number is then entered and graphed in the corresponding row on the Schema Grid. For example, a client who rates one item on the ed cluster with a 5, and two items with 6's, would score 3 on Emotional Deprivation.
This total score of 3 is entered on the Grid by entering 3 in the box next to Emotional Deprivation, then drawing a dot midway between the 2 and 4 in that row. After scores for each schema have been entered this way, a line is drawn connecting the dots. This profile visually presents the relative influence of each of the schemas.
The headings at the top of the Grid convert the total score on any schema into a percentage from 0 to 100%. The percentage of items rated 5 or 6 can be determined using this conversion chart. For example, a client scoring 6 on Emotional Deprivation would have endorsed approximately 70% of the items tapping Emotional Deprivation with 5's or 6's. Percentage scores can be used to directly compare the relative importance of each schema for the client.
Interpreting the Scores
On the Long Form, we generally consider any score of 3 or more on a schema to be meaningful. On the Short Form, any score of 2 or more is usually meaningful. After scoring the YSQ, we explain to the patient which schemas received moderately high scores and which received very high scores. We then explain what each schema means, in everyday language, and encourage patients to discuss how each schema has been relevant to their life. We also encourage patients to read the chapters in Reinventing Your Life that are relevant to their schemas.
If very few schemas, or no schemas, rate high for a particular patient, we usually assume that the patient is a " schema avoider ," and we will not focus on the results of the YSQ with the patient. Instead, we will rely on other assessment strategies to determine which schemas are probably relevant to the patient. At some later point, we will deal directly with the avoidant coping style, at which time we will also administer the YRAI.