The role of psychological inflexibility in Beck’s cognitive model of depression

Francisco J. Ruizq, Paula Odriozola-González


Beck’s cognitive model of depression proposes that depressogenic schemas have an effect on depressive symptoms by increasing the frequency of negative automatic thoughts in response to negative life events. We aimed to test a moderated, serial mediation model where psychological inflexibility, a core concept of the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) model of psychopathology, both mediates and moderates the relationship between depressogenic schemas and the frequency of negative automatic thoughts. A cross-sectional design was used in which 210 undergraduates responded to questionnaires assessing the constructs of interest. Results supported the proposed moderated mediation model. Both psychological inflexibility and negative automatic thoughts were significant mediators of the relationship between depressogenic schemas and depressive symptoms, and psychological inflexibility also moderated the effect of depressogenic schemas on negative automatic thoughts. We conclude that the role of psychological inflexibility in the cognitive model of depression deserves more attention.


cognitive therapy; acceptance and commitment therapy; psychological inflexibility; experiential avoidance; depressogenic schemas

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