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Compr Psychiatry. 2013 May;54(4):346-53. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2012.10.009. Epub 2012 Dec 4.

Temperament and character traits in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder: a case-control study.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. marcelozappitelli@yahoo.com.br

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate temperament and character traits using the Junior Temperament and Character Inventory (JTCI) in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD) in comparison with healthy control subjects (HC), and to verify if comorbidity with disruptive behavioral disorders and being currently depressed influence JTCI scores.

METHODS:

A case-control study comprising 41 MDD children/adolescents matched to 40 HC by gender and age (8-17years). All participants were assessed diagnostically with the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia - Present and Lifetime (K-SADS-PL). Temperament and character traits were measured with the parent and child versions of JTCI, and depression was evaluated with the Children's Depression Rating Scale (CDRS).

RESULTS:

According to child and parent data, MDD subjects had significantly higher scores on harm avoidance and novelty seeking, and lower scores on reward dependence, persistence, self-directedness and cooperativeness compared with HC. According to parent data only, MDD subjects significantly differed from HC on self-transcendence (lower spirituality scores and higher fantasy scores). Comorbidity with disruptive behavioral disorders exerted influence on almost all dimensions, in general increasing the mean differences between MDD and HC subjects. Also, being currently depressed did not influence the results, except for reward dependence according to parent data.

LIMITATIONS:

The cross-sectional nature of the study and its limited sample size.

CONCLUSIONS:

MDD children/adolescents have a different temperament and character profile compared to HC subjects. This study supports previous findings of trait-like characteristics of harm avoidance and self-directedness.

PMID:
23218681
DOI:
10.1016/j.comppsych.2012.10.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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