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Keywords:

  • self-schema;
  • cognitive psychotherapy;
  • schizophrenia;
  • personality disorders

Although several suggestions have been made concerning the content and characteristics of cognitive/emotive schemata held by people with different disorders, there is still a scarcity of suitable instruments for verifying or measuring such constructs. This is particularly true of schemata postulated to be present in patients with personality disorders or a schizophrenic disorder. This article deals with the development of a new scale for assessing dysfunctional internal working models of self and others (DWM-S) in psychiatric patients. Preliminary results obtained in a sample of patients (n= 110) and healthy subjects (n=40) suggest that the scale has a highly satisfactory internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha=0.97), and satisfactory test-retest reliability (rho coefficient=0.90 in healthy subjects and 0.86 in patients). Moreover, the DWM-S is able to discriminate between patients and healthy subjects and between patients suffering from various disorders. Further studies are in progress to assess the cross-national generalizability of the findings obtained so far.