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Behav Res Ther. 2004 Jan;42(1):105-14.

Neuroticism and self-criticism associated with posttraumatic stress disorder in a nationally representative sample.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Manitoba, PZ-430 PsycHealth Centre, 771 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3E 3N4.


Broad and specific psychological traits may uniquely differentiate trauma victims with PTSD from trauma victims without PTSD, but there is a need for representative, population-based research. We investigated elevated neuroticism and self-criticism in association with the presence versus absence of PTSD in a nationally representative sample of adults who experienced a traumatic stressor. Respondents were from the National Comorbidity Survey Part II (N=5877) (). Individuals who experienced one or more traumatic events were selected (N=3238). In separate regression analyses, elevated levels of neuroticism and self-criticism were each significantly associated with PTSD among men and women who had experienced one or more traumatic events. After controlling for types of traumas experienced and other previously identified factors (Bromet, Sonnega, & Kessler, 1998. American Journal of Epidemiology, 147, 353-361), neuroticism remained significantly associated with PTSD in women and both neuroticism and self-criticism remained significant in men. Evidence from this nationally representative sample of adults who experienced traumatic events suggests that self-criticism and especially the broad personality domain of neuroticism may represent robust psychological dimensions associated with the presence of PTSD.

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