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Jawaria Zafar
Dr Sadia Malik
Sarosh Tariq
Samreen Umar
Anam Saleemi
Khirman Khadija


early maladaptive schemas, cognitive flexibility, behavioral problems, young adults


Childhood and adolescence are the times when early maladaptive schemas are created. These deeply rooted cognitive patterns affect how people see and react to the world around them. These schemas are often associated with various psychological difficulties, including behavioral problems. So the present research was intended to explore the early maladaptive schemas on behavioral problems of young adults. Further, it was aimed to explore the mediating role of cognitive flexibility among study variables. Cross-sectional survey research design was used. Sample was comprised of young adults (N = 300) with ages ranging from 18 to 24 years (= 19.97, SD = 1.95). Data was collected by using convenient sampling technique from young adults of colleges and universities in Sargodha city. The Young Schema Questionnaire – Short Form developed by (Young & Brown, 1998), the Adult Self-Report (ASR) developed by (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2015), and the Cognitive flexibility scale developed by (Martin & Rubin, 1995) were used for data collection. Correlation, Process Macro, and t-tests were used to analyze the relationship and mediating role of cognitive flexibility. The findings showed a significant positive relationship between young adults' behavioral problems and their early maladaptive schemas. Additionally, it was found that cognitive flexibility partially mediated this relationship, indicating that those with more deeply ingrained early maladaptive schemas typically have lower cognitive flexibility, which in turn plays a role in the development of behavioral issues. T-test analysis revealed a significant mean difference of gender on study variables. These results highlight the need of taking cognitive flexibility into account as a potential mechanism by which early maladaptive schemas affect young adults' behavioral functioning.

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