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J Head Trauma Rehabil. 1998 Jun;13(3):1-14.

Stability of normal personality traits after traumatic brain injury.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania 19085-1699, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To test the hypothesis that changes in personality traits are evident after traumatic brain injury (TBI) using current models of normal adult personality variation.

DESIGN:

Comparison of inception cohort and control group at two measurement occasions.

SETTING:

A large urban academic medical center.

PARTICIPANTS:

Retrospective personality assessments were obtained from significant others of 21 TBI patients within 30 days of injury and at 6-month follow-up and from a control group of significant others of 25 persons without neurological history twice over a 6-month interval.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Five scales-Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness-from the revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R), Form R, and an observer rating scale for retrospective estimates of change (REC).

RESULTS:

Significant score changes were found for only one of the five trait domains in the patient sample; controls showed minimal changes overall. Patients' Extraversion scores declined to average levels at 6-month follow-up, diminishing premorbid differences between patients and controls on this dimension. Subjective change estimates made by raters after follow-up reflected perceptions of increased neuroticism in patients that were inconsistent with the serial NEO PI-R data the raters provided.

CONCLUSIONS:

The absence of systematic changes in personality trait scores among the patients cautions against presuming that such changes account for the behavior of TBI patients.

PMID:
9582175
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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