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Neuroticism developmental courses - implications for depression, anxiety and everyday emotional experience; a prospective study from adolescence to young adulthood

Aldinger, Maren ; Stopsack, Malte ; Ulrich, Ines ; Appel, Katja ; Reinelt, Eva ; Wolff, Sebastian ; Grabe, Hans Jörgen ; Lang, Simone ; Barnow, Sven

In: BMC Psychiatry, 14 (2014), Nr. 210. pp. 1-13. ISSN 1471-244X

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Download (588kB) | Lizenz: Creative Commons LizenzvertragNeuroticism developmental courses - implications for depression, anxiety and everyday emotional experience; a prospective study from adolescence to young adulthood by Aldinger, Maren ; Stopsack, Malte ; Ulrich, Ines ; Appel, Katja ; Reinelt, Eva ; Wolff, Sebastian ; Grabe, Hans Jörgen ; Lang, Simone ; Barnow, Sven underlies the terms of Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Germany

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Abstract

Background: Neuroticism is frequently discussed as a risk factor for psychopathology. According to the maturity principle, neuroticism decreases over the course of life, but not uniformly across individuals. However, the implications of differences in personality maturation on mental health have not been well studied so far. Hence, we hypothesized that different forms of neuroticism development from adolescence to young adulthood are associated with differences in depression, anxiety and everyday emotional experience at the age of 25. Methods: A sample of 266 adolescents from the general population was examined three times over ten years (age at T0: 15, T1: 20 and T2: 25) using questionnaires, interviews and ecological momentary assessment (EMA). At all measurement points, neuroticism was assessed with the NEO inventory. At T2, diagnoses of major depression and anxiety disorders were captured with a structured clinical interview (M-CIDI). Phone-based EMA was used to assess emotional experience and affective instability over a two-week period at T2. Results: The best fitting model was a latent class growth analysis with two groups of neuroticism development. Most individuals (n = 205) showed moderate values whereas 61 participants were clustered into a group with elevated neuroticism levels. In both groups neuroticism significantly changed during the ten year period with a peak at the age of 20. Individuals with a higher absolute level were at 14-fold increased risk for depression and 7-fold risk for anxiety disorders at the age of 25. In EMA, increased negative affect and arousal as well as decreased positive emotions were found in this high group. Conclusions: Other than expected, personality did not mature in our sample. However, there was a significant change of neuroticism values from adolescence to young adulthood. Further, over 20% of our participants showed a neuroticism development which was associated with adverse outcomes such as negatively toned emotional experience and a heightened risk to suffer from depressive and anxiety disorders in young adulthood. These high-risk persons need to be identified early to provide interventions supporting continuous personality maturation.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: BMC Psychiatry
Volume: 14
Number: 210
Publisher: BioMed Central; Springer
Place of Publication: London; Berlin; Heidelberg
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2016 07:46
Date: 2014
ISSN: 1471-244X
Page Range: pp. 1-13
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies > Institute of Psychology
Subjects: 610 Medical sciences Medicine
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