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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2001 Mar;189(3):154-61.

Phobic, panic, and major depressive disorders and the five-factor model of personality.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA.


This study investigated five-factor model personality traits in anxiety (simple phobia, social phobia, agoraphobia, and panic disorder) and major depressive disorders in a population-based sample. In the Baltimore Epidemiologic Catchment Area Follow-up Study, psychiatrists administered the Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry to 333 adult subjects who also completed the Revised NEO Personality Inventory. All of the disorders except simple phobia were associated with high neuroticism. Social phobia and agoraphobia were associated with low extraversion. In addition, lower-order facets of extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness were associated with certain disorders (i.e., low positive emotions in panic disorder; low trust and compliance in certain phobias; and low competence, achievement striving, and self-discipline in several disorders). This study emphasizes the utility of lower-order personality assessments and underscores the need for further research on personality/psychopathology etiologic relationships.

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