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Psychopathology. 2007;40(5):338-44. Epub 2007 Jul 13.

Personality dimensions in schizophrenia: associations with symptoms and coping concurrently and 12 months later.

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  • 1Roudebush VA Medical Center, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA. plysaker@iupui.edu



Research has indicated that stable individual differences in personality exist among persons with schizophrenia, and that they likely predate the onset of illness. Less is known about whether individual differences in personality are related to levels of psychopathology and function.


This study tested the hypotheses that levels of neuroticism, extraversion and agreeableness are associated with symptomatology and coping in schizophrenia both concurrently and as measured 12 months later for 46 participants with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Baseline assessments were conducted, which included measurements of the personality dimensions of neuroticism, extraversion and agreeableness measured using the NEO, coping preferences using the Ways of Coping Questionnaire and symptoms using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. The symptom and coping measures were repeated 12 months after the date of the baseline assessment.


Univariate correlations comparing baseline assessments suggested that higher neuroticism and lower extraversion were concurrently linked to more emotional discomfort and avoidant coping. Agreeableness was linked only to positive symptoms. Correlations controlling for baseline levels revealed greater levels of neuroticism at baseline, predicted a preference for resigning when under stress and higher emotional discomfort 12 months later. Lesser levels of agreeableness continued to predict greater positive symptoms 12 months later. No long-term associations were found between coping and symptoms at 12 months with levels of extraversion.


The results suggest individual differences in personality are associated with psychopathology in schizophrenia and may affect function over time. More research is needed with broader samples and with more frequent follow-up assessments.

Copyright (c) 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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