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Depress Res Treat. 2012;2012:925372. doi: 10.1155/2012/925372. Epub 2012 Jul 15.

Temperament, character, and adolescents' depressive symptoms: focusing on affect.

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Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Wallinsgatan 8, 431 41 Gothenburg, Sweden.


Positive (PA) and negative affect (NA) are two separate systems markers of subjective well-being and measures of the state depression (low PA combined with high NA). The present study investigated differences in temperament, character, locus of control, and depressive symptoms (sleep quality, stress, and lack of energy) between affective profiles in an adolescent sample. Participants (N = 304) were categorized into four affective profiles: "self-fulfilling" (high PA, low NA), "high affective" (high PA, high NA), "low affective" (low PA, low NA), and "self-destructive" (low PA, high NA). Personality was measured by the Temperament and Character Inventory and affective profiles by the Positive Affect and Negative Affect Schedule. The "self-fulfilling" profile was characterized by, compared to the other affective profiles, higher levels of sleep quality, less stress and more energy and also higher levels of persistence and a mature character (i.e., high scores in self-directedness and cooperativeness). "Self-destructive" adolescents reported higher levels of external locus of control, high scores in harm avoidance and reward dependence combined with less mature character. The results identify the importance of character maturity in well-being and suggest that depressive state can be positively influenced by promoting positive emotions which appears to be achieved by character development.

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