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Child Abuse Negl. 2015 Jun;44:18-25. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2014.10.013. Epub 2014 Dec 23.

Childhood trauma is associated with maladaptive personality traits.

Author information

1
Departamento de Psicologia, Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
2
Serviço de Psiquiatria, Hospital São Lucas da Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
3
Faculdade de Medicina, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
4
Hospital Presidente Vargas, Fundação Faculdade Federal de Ciências Médicas de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
5
Serviço de Psiquiatria, Hospital São Lucas da Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil; Faculdade de Medicina, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil; Faculdade de Biociências, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Abstract

The association between childhood trauma and personality traits has been poorly characterized and reported. Our aim was to evaluate whether distinct types of childhood abuse and neglect are associated with various personality dimensions using data from a large web-based survey. A total of 12,225 volunteers responded anonymously to the Internet versions of the Temperament and Character Inventory-Revised (TCI-R) and the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) via our research website, but only 8,114 subjects (75.7% women, mean age 34.8±11.3yrs) who met the criteria for validity were included in the analysis. Childhood trauma was positively associated with harm avoidance and was negatively associated with self-directedness and, to a lesser extent, with cooperativeness. The associations were robust with emotional abuse and neglect but were non-significant or mild with physical trauma. Emotional neglect was associated with reduced reward dependence and persistence. All types of abuse, but not neglect, were associated with increased novelty seeking scores. Reporting of childhood trauma, especially of an emotional nature, was associated with maladaptive personality traits. Further investigation of the effects of different types of childhood trauma on psychological and neurobiological parameters is warranted.

KEYWORDS:

Character; Childhood trauma; Internet research; Personality; Temperament; Traits

PMID:
25541148
DOI:
10.1016/j.chiabu.2014.10.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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