Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Arthur Freeman, Ed.D., ABPP

First Advisor

Rosemary Mennuti, Ed.D., Chairperson

Second Advisor

Robert DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

Third Advisor

Glenn Waller, Ph.D.


Cognitive theory suggests that traumatic experiences impact on psychopathology via the development of unconditional negative cognitions (core beliefs or schema). This study examined the links between types of childhood trauma and core beliefs in an eating-disordered population. Chart reviews were conducted for 91 eating-disordered women in treatment. Each woman was asked about a history of 4 types of trauma, and completed a standardized measure of core beliefs. This study failed to find links between those women who reported childhood trauma and their core beliefs. Regression analysis predicted 4 schema (Emotional Deprivation, Mistrust/Abuse, Vulnerability to Harm and Subjugation) that were associated with one type of trauma - childhood sexual abuse. The study also found that age at first occurrence was relevant to the cognitive disturbance experienced, particularly for those who were emotionally abused.