Objective: In this study, individual differences in brain electrophysiology during positive and negative
affective valence processing in women with different neuroticism scores are quantified.
Methods: Twenty-six women scoring high and low on neuroticism participated on this experiment. A
support vector machine (SVM)-based classifier was applied on the EEG single trials elicited by high arousal
pictures with negative and positive valence scores. Based on the accuracy values obtained from subject
identification tasks, the most distinguishing EEG channels among participants were detected,
pointing which scalp regions show more distinct patterns.
Results: Significant differences were obtained, in the EEG heterogeneity between positive and negative
valence stimuli, yielding higher accuracy in subject identification using negative pictures. Regarding
the topographical analysis, significantly higher accuracy values were reached in occipital areas and in
the right hemisphere (p < 0:001).
Conclusions: Mainly, individual differences in EEG can be located in parietooccipital regions. These differences
are likely to be due to the different reactivity and coping strategies to unpleasant stimuli in individuals
with high neuroticism. In addition...
Side effects from antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV disease can deter treatment, impact quality of life, and impede medication adherence. Individual differences in neuroticism may account for variations in the experience of side effects and perceptions of health status. Cross-sectional assessments were conducted with 258 HIV-infected participants with confirmed HIV infection and current ART regimen. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to evaluate a model of self-reported ART side effect frequency and severity and perceived health status, as related to symptoms of neuroticism. Symptoms of neuroticism were associated with greater reports of ART side effects and poorer perceived health but unrelated to reported CD4 count and viral load. A structural model was supported in which greater symptoms of neuroticism are linked to poorer perceived health through greater side effect frequency and severity. Individual differences in symptoms of neuroticism can explain variations in side effect reporting and consequential impairments in perceived health in the context of HIV treatment. Identification and intervention with individuals high in symptoms of neuroticism may be warranted to alleviate side effect-related concerns and maximize treatment benefit.
The polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene promoter region (5-HTTLPR) is by far the most studied variant hypothesized to influence Neuroticism-related personality traits. The results of previous studies have been mixed and appear moderated by the personality questionnaire used. Studies that used the TCI to assess Harm Avoidance or the EPQ to assess Neuroticism have found no association with the 5-HTTLPR. However, studies that used the NEO-PI-R or related instruments (NEO-PI, NEO-FFI) to measure Neuroticism have found some evidence of association. This study examines the association of variants in the serotonin transporter gene in a sample from a genetically isolated population within Sardinia (Italy) that is several times larger than previous samples that used the NEO-PI-R (N=3,913). The association was also tested in a sample (N=548) from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), in which repeated NEO-PI-R assessments were obtained. In the SardiNIA sample, we found no significant association of the 5-HTTLPR genotypes with Neuroticism or its facets (Anxiety, Angry-Hostility, Depression, Self-Consciousness, Impulsiveness, and Vulnerability). In the BLSA sample, we found lower scores on Neuroticism traits for the heterozygous group...
The personality trait of neuroticism refers to relatively stable tendencies to respond with negative emotions to threat, frustration, or loss. Individuals in the population vary markedly on this trait, ranging from frequent and intense emotional reactions to minor challenges to little emotional reaction even in the face of significant difficulties. Although not widely appreciated, there is growing evidence that neuroticism is a psychological trait of profound public health significance. Neuroticism is a robust correlate and predictor of many different mental and physical disorders, comorbidity among them, and the frequency of mental and general health service use. Indeed, neuroticism apparently is a predictor of the quality and longevity of our lives. Achieving a full understanding of the nature and origins of neuroticism, and the mechanisms through which neuroticism is linked to mental and physical disorders, should be a top priority for research. Knowing why neuroticism predicts such a wide variety of seemingly diverse outcomes should lead to improved understanding of commonalities among those outcomes and improved strategies for preventing them.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) regulates synaptic plasticity and neurotransmission, and has been linked to neuroticism, a major risk factor for psychiatric disorders. A recent genome-wide association (GWA) scan, however, found the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism (rs6265) associated with extraversion but not with neuroticism. In this study, we examine the links between BDNF and personality traits, assessed using the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R), in a sample from SardiNIA (n=1560) and the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA; n=1131). Consistent with GWA results, we found that BDNF Met carriers were more introverted. By contrast, in both samples and in a meta-analysis inclusive of published data (n=15251), we found no evidence for a main effect of BDNF Val66Met on neuroticism. Finally, on the basis of recent reports of an epistatic effect between BDNF and the serotonin transporter, we explored a Val66Met × 5-HTTLPR interaction in a larger SardiNIA sample (n=2333). We found that 5-HTTLPR LL carriers scored lower on neuroticism in the presence of the BDNF Val variant, but scored higher on neuroticism in the presence of the BDNF Met variant. Our findings support the association between the BDNF Met variant and introversion and suggest that BDNF interacts with the serotonin transporter gene to influence neuroticism.
Neuroticism has been hypothesized to be a nonspecific risk factor for both anxiety and unipolar mood disorders whereas some cognitive and personality-cognitive vulnerabilities have been hypothesized to be more specific to depression. Using a retrospective design with a sample of 575 high school juniors, we tested three competing models of the associations among these variables. Both neuroticism and the cognitive and personality-cognitive vulnerabilities had significant zero-order associations with rates of past diagnoses of both anxiety and unipolar mood disorders. Neuroticism had significant unique associations with past anxiety disorders and comorbid anxiety and unipolar mood disorders whereas the other vulnerabilities did not. In addition, gender interacted with neuroticism but not with the other vulnerabilities in associating with past diagnoses of mood disorders, showing that neuroticism is more highly associated with past unipolar mood diagnoses in males than in females. Finally, the cognitive and personality-cognitive vulnerabilities overlapped with substantial portions of the variance that neuroticism shared with diagnoses. These results suggest that, at least for retrospective associations with past anxiety and unipolar mood disorders...
Neuroticism is a moderately heritable personality trait considered to be a risk factor for developing major depression, anxiety disorders and dementia. We performed a genome-wide association study in 2,235 participants drawn from a population-based study of neuroticism, making this the largest association study for neuroticism to date. Neuroticism was measured by the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. After Quality Control, we analysed 430,000 autosomal SNPs together with an additional 1.2 million SNPs imputed with high quality from the Hap Map CEU samples. We found a very small effect of population stratification, corrected using one principal component, and some cryptic kinship that required no correction. NKAIN2 showed suggestive evidence of association with neuroticism as a main effect (p<10−6) and GPC6 showed suggestive evidence for interaction with age (p≈10−7). We found support for one previously-reported association (PDE4D), but failed to replicate other recent reports. These results suggest common SNP variation does not strongly influence neuroticism. Our study was powered to detect almost all SNPs explaining at least 2% of heritability, and so our results effectively exclude the existence of loci having a major effect on neuroticism.
Research chronicling links between a polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) and neuroticism has yielded inconsistent results. One possible explanation for this inconsistency is that any gene-phenotype association is obscured by a gene-X-environment (GXE) interaction. We studied a healthy non-clinical sample (N = 118) to determine whether the 5-HTTLPR interacts with current life events in predicting neuroticism. The differential-susceptibility hypothesis led to the prediction of such an interaction, reflecting the fact that individuals with short alleles would be affected more by both negative and positive life events than those homozygous for long alleles. Participants completed questionnaires concerning recent life events and neuroticism. The 5-HTTLPR was genotyped using a standard protocol with DNA extracted from oral fluid. For those homozygous for the short allele, more negative life events proved related to greater neuroticism, whereas more positive life events proved related to less neuroticism. No such association emerged in the case of those homozygous for the long allele. Whereas neuroticism is likely to be an especially stable trait in individuals homozygous for the long allele, this may be less so the case for those carrying short alleles.
Neuroticism has been linked to a functional polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR), with short-allele carriers being overrepresented among high-scorers on neuroticism. Studies evaluating neuroticism-related personality traits in relation to the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism among patients with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and are lacking. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between PMDD and neuroticism-related personality traits, and secondly, to relate the personality trait scores of PMDD patients to experienced symptom severity and to the 5-HTTLPR short allele. Thirty PMDD patients and 55 asymptomatic healthy controls were included in the study. The Swedish Universities Scale of Personality was used to evaluate personality traits. Genotype analyses were available in 27 PMDD patients and 18 healthy controls. Women with PMDD displayed higher levels of neuroticism-related personality traits (psychic trait anxiety, somatic trait anxiety, embitterment, stress susceptibility and mistrust) than healthy controls, and these effects were most prominent in women with more severe luteal phase symptoms. Furthermore, PMDD patients with at least one copy of the short allele of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism scored higher on psychic trait anxiety and lack of assertiveness than PMDD patients who were homozygous for the long allele. PMDD patients who suffer from more severe luteal phase symptoms also display increased scores of neuroticism-related personality traits in comparison with healthy controls. Within the group of PMDD patients...
Life stress is a robust risk factor for later development of mood disorders, particularly for individuals at familial risk. Likewise, scoring high on the personality trait neuroticism is associated with an increased risk for mood disorders. Neuroticism partly reflects stress vulnerability and is positively correlated to frontolimbic serotonin 2A (5-HT2A) receptor binding. Here, we investigate whether neuroticism interacts with familial risk in relation to frontolimbic 5-HT2A receptor binding. Twenty-one healthy twins with a co-twin history of mood disorder and 16 healthy twins without a co-twin history of mood disorder were included. They answered self-report personality questionnaires and underwent [18F]altanserin positron emission tomography. We found a significant interaction between neuroticism and familial risk in predicting the frontolimbic 5-HT2A receptor binding (p=0.026) in an analysis adjusting for age and body mass index. Within the high-risk group only, neuroticism and frontolimbic 5-HT2A receptor binding was positively associated (p=0.0037). In conclusion, our data indicate that familial risk and neuroticism interact in their relation to frontolimbic 5-HT2A receptor binding. These findings point at a plausible neurobiological link between genetic and personality risk factors and vulnerability to developing mood disorders. It contributes to our understanding of why some people at high risk develop mood disorders while others do not. We speculate that an increased stress reactivity in individuals at high familial risk for mood disorders might enhance the effect of neuroticism in shaping the impact of potential environmental stress and thereby influence serotonergic neurotransmission.
Neuroticism is associated with greater susceptibility to the adverse effects of stress and greater exposure to the stressors associated with acculturation in U.S. born Mexican Americans. Neuroticism and acculturation have been associated with injury to crucial stress response systems and are known risk factors for certain mood and anxiety disorders. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of neuroticism, and acculturation on the cortisol awakening response (CAR) in healthy Mexican-American adults. Salivary cortisol samples were collected at awakening and 30, 45, and 60 minutes thereafter, on two consecutive weekdays from 59 healthy Mexican American adult males (26) and females (33), ages 18 to 38 years. Participants were assessed for level of neuroticism and acculturation. Data were analyzed using a mixed effects regression model with repeated measures at four time points. Results showed a significant Neuroticism × Acculturation × Time interaction. The CAR was virtually eliminated in highly acculturated Mexican Americans with greater Anglo orientation and high neuroticism compared with less acculturated Mexican Americans with greater Mexican orientation and lower neuroticism. Findings suggest that some Mexican Americans with high levels of neuroticism may be particularly susceptible to certain challenges and stressors associated with acculturation leading over time to the development of allostatic load...
Although research has established a negative association between trait neuroticism and cognition, little is known about the mechanisms that underlie this relationship. We examined the tendency to experience intrusive thoughts and negative affect as potential mediators of the relationship between neuroticism and cognitive performance. We hypothesized that the tendency to experience intrusive thoughts reflects ineffective attentional control and would account for the relationship between neuroticism and cognitive performance over and above the mediating effect of negative affect. Three hundred seventeen adults (Mage =49.43) completed a series of attention-demanding cognitive tasks as well as self-report measures of intrusive thoughts, negative affect, and neuroticism. Intrusive thoughts mediated the association between trait neuroticism and cognitive performance beyond negative affect. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the tendency to experience intrusive thoughts is a mechanism through which trait neuroticism influences cognitive performance.
A lifetime history of alcohol dependence has been associated with elevations in neuroticism in Mexican American young adults. The identification of genetic markers associated with neuroticism and their influence on the development of alcohol use disorders (AUD) may contribute to our understanding of the relationship between personality traits and the increased risk of AUD in Mexican Americans. The purpose of this study was to investigate associations between neuroticism and 13 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the nicotinic acetylcholine (nAChR) α5-subunit (CHRNA5) and α3-subunit (CHRNA3) genes in young adult Mexican American men and women. Participants were four hundred sixty-five young adult Mexican American men and women who are literate in English and are residing legally in San Diego County. Each participant gave a blood sample and completed a structured diagnostic interview. Neuroticism was assessed using the Maudsley Personality Inventory. The minor alleles of four CHRNA5 polymorphisms (rs588765, rs601079, rs680244 and rs555018) and three CHRNA3 polymorphisms (rs578776, rs6495307 and rs3743078) showed associations with neuroticism. Several of these SNPs also displayed nominal associations with DSM-IV alcohol and nicotine dependence...
Several cognitive-affective constructs, including pain catastrophizing and pain-related anxiety, have been implicated in the onset and progression of chronic pain, and both constructs have been identified as key targets for multidisciplinary pain treatment. Both neuroticism and depression have been linked to these constructs (and to each other), but how each may contribute to the pain experience is unknown. This study tested associations between neuroticism, depression, and indices of catastrophizing and pain-related anxiety among persons seeking treatment for chronic non-malignant pain. We hypothesized, as a higher-order personality trait, neuroticism would remain uniquely associated with both pain catastrophizing and pain-related anxiety, even after accounting for current symptoms of depression. A retrospective study design assessed depression (as measured by the Centers for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression scale), neuroticism (measured with the Neuroticism-Extraversion-Openness Personality Inventory), the Pain Catastrophizing Scale, and the Pain Anxiety Symptom Score in a consecutive series of patients (n=595) admitted to a 3-week outpatient pain treatment program from March 2009 through January 2011. Hierarchical regression indicated that neuroticism was independently associated with greater pain catastrophizing and pain-related anxiety...
Neuroticism is associated with cardiovascular disease, autonomic reactivity, and depression. Here we address the extent to which neuroticism accounts for the excess heart disease risk associated with depression and test whether cardiac autonomic tone plays a role as mediator. Subjects were derived from a nationally representative sample (n = 1,255: mean age 54.5, SD = 11.5). Higher neuroticism was associated with reduced heart rate variability equally under rest and stress. The baseline structural equation model revealed significant paths from neuroticism to heart rate variability, cardiovascular disease and depression, and between depression and cardiovascular disease, controlling for age, sex, height, weight, and BMI. Dropping both the neuroticism to heart rate variability, and neuroticism to heart disease paths significantly reduced the model fit (p < .001 in each case). We conclude that neuroticism has independent associations with both autonomic reactivity and cardiovascular disease, over and above its associations with depression and other related variables.
Events in the life history of an individual such as childhood stressful events alter the strategies that guide behavior, specifically sexual strategies. Evolutionary Developmental Psychology suggests that development must be studied through the integration of various aspects, such as Attachment, Sexual strategies, and Personality. Important and stable part of psychology, personalitys factor Neuroticism reflects how people react to stress. Considering this, in the present thesis we analyzed the relationship between childhood stressful life events, neuroticism and adult attachment. We interviewed 173 people, 99 women and 74 men, aged from 18 to 45 years old (M= 29.51; SD= 7.3), that had a family income range from 1 to 3 Brazilian MW. We applied a Stressful Events Inventory, a Neuroticism Test, and an Attachment Scale. It was found an average of 16,59 of occurrence of stressful events (SD = 5.82). In addition to this high frequency, it was found that the greater the number of stressful events, the greater the perceived stress; and participants perceived the events as more stressful than expected. There were sex differences, with men experiencing more events related to violence and authority, and women, more events that are social. Women also tended to perceive all events as more stressful and to have higher Neuroticism. 42% of the sample had a secure attachment style...
Objective: Binge eating has been found to be associated with anger suppression. However, the anger suppression measure used in previous research is highly saturated with trait neuroticism. Furthermore, the dichotomised view of anger coping as either 'in'
The purpose of this study is to observe the level of neuroticism in special education teachers working with children with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders (EBD) and how it is related to the level of burnout (i.e., chronic state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion; Center & Steventon, 2001) they experience. Two surveys, Friedman's Questionnaire on Teacher Burnout and Eysenck's Personality Questionnaire Brief Version, were delivered to special education teachers working with EBD students in self-contained classrooms in Western New York. The data were analyzed by correlating the teachers' level of neuroticism with their level of burnout. Results indicated a significant correlation between neuroticism and burnout.
Background and Objectives: An interaction between neuroticism and burden of illness supports depressive symptoms even at subclinical level. We have assessed its effect in groups of patients with different kind of somatic illness. Methods: Depressive symptoms (SCAN 2.1) and a level of neuroticism (EPQ-R) were assessed in inpatients from 3 different hospital wards, namely the general internal, hematological and infectious wards, and in controls from the general population. Results: A total of 184 adult subjects were examined (45 with haematological malignancies, 46 treated for other, non-malignant internal diseases, 48 with HCV infection before treatment and 45 healthy persons as control). Differences in mean neuroticism scores were not statistically significant (ANOVA, F = 1.44, p = 0.23) whereas differences in mean depression scores were statistically significant (ANOVA, F = 6.34, p < 0.001). Results of ANCOVA for separate-slopes model analysis revealed a statistically significant level of interaction between groups and neuroticism in their influence on depression mean scores (F = 22.9, p < 0.001). The residual effect of the group variable was weak (F = 0.54, p = 0.21). Conclusions: The interaction is a significant factor related to depressive symptoms and can be used in estimating the extent of the psychological impact of a burden of illness.