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J Abnorm Psychol. 1998 May;107(2):252-62.

The relation between personality and anxiety: findings from a 3-year prospective study.

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Department of Psychology, University of Missouri-Columbia 65211, USA.


The authors tested the extent to which the personality dimensions of neuroticism, extraversion, and psychoticism (H. J. Eysenck & S. B. G. Eysenck, 1975) prospectively predicted global anxiety (assessed by items from the Brief Symptom Inventory: L. R. Derogatis & M. S. Spencer, 1982). The authors also examined prospective relations among these personality dimensions and depression to evaluate the specificity of findings. Participants were 466 young adults, primarily undergraduate students, assessed twice over a 3-year interval. An interaction between neuroticism and extraversion predicted both global anxiety and depression 3 years later. Findings indicated that personality, in particular the combination of high neuroticism and low extraversion, may play an important predisposing, etiological role in anxiety. Interpretations and implications of the predictive importance of the Neuroticism x Extraversion interaction in anxiety are discussed, and further speculations about the relation between anxiety and depression are put forth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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