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Chronobiol Int. 2012 May;29(4):491-501. doi: 10.3109/07420528.2012.668995. Epub 2012 Apr 12.

Associations between chronotypes, psychopathology, and personality among incoming college students.

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Department of Psychiatry, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.


Chronotye is associated with age, sex, personality, and parental monitoring during childhood. The evening type is associated with poor school performance, sleep problems, anxious/depressive symptoms, tobacco smoking, caffeine consumption, alcohol drinking, and suicidality in adolescents. The present study tested the relationships between chronotype and a wide range of psychopathology and personality traits among 2919 incoming undergraduate students. Each participant completed a self-administered questionnaire that included demographics, plus the Morningness-Eveningness (M-E) scale, Brief Symptom Rating Scale (BSRS), Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire, and Maudesley Personality Inventory. The t-score distribution of the M-E scale was used to form the morning (t-score >60, n = 419), evening (t-score <40, n = 371), and intermediate (40 ≤ t-score ≤ 60, n = 2129) groups. Multivariable regression was employed for data analysis. For males, the evening type scored higher on all subscales of the BSRS than the morning type, except phobic anxiety. For females, the evening type had higher scores than the other two types on all subscales, except in obsession/compulsion and phobic anxiety, where the evening type only scored higher than the intermediate type. The evening type of both sexes also scored higher than the morning type in novelty seeking, harm avoidance, and neurotic personality characteristics, but lower than the morning type in extraversion and social desirability. In reward dependence, the evening type scored lowest for males, but there was no difference for females. The findings of the evening type being associated with possible psychopathology and certain types of personality have public health implications, that is, chronotype needs to be taken into account in the development of mental health prevention programs and assessment of and intervention for mental problems in young adults.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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