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J Affect Disord. 1992 Mar;24(3):153-63.

Personality traits in subjects at risk for unipolar major depression: a family study perspective.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Mainz, FRG.


Particular patterns of personality (e.g., introversion, neuroticism, obsessionality) have been found to be associated with unipolar depression by a large number of investigators; recent prospective studies have stressed neuroticism as a premorbid risk factor for depression. This study examines whether similar patterns of personality are found in relatives of affective disorder patients and of controls. First-degree relatives of normal controls and of subjects with primary unipolar depression were studied using the Munich Personality Test. Relatives in remission from an episode of unipolar depression had clearly higher levels of neuroticism and rigidity and lower levels of extraversion than controls; healthy relatives of controls had higher levels of rigidity (both sexes) and of neuroticism (males only) than controls. It is proposed that these traits are either risk factors for depression or attenuated forms of depression.

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