The profile and familiality of personality traits in mood disorder families

Pei Jung Wu, Sheng Mao Chang, Ming Kun Lu, Wei J. Chen, Yen Kuang Yang, Tzung-Liehyeh, Shin Cheng Liao, Ru Band Lu, Po Hsiu Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Personality traits have impacts on individuals' response to stress and mood expression. The current study aimed to investigate the profile of personality traits in patients with bipolar disorders and major depressive disorder (MDD). Familial aggregation of personality traits in mood disorder families was also evaluated. Methods: We recruited 260 clinical patients of MDD (92), bipolar disorder-I and II (BP-I = 111, BP-II = 57), 190 first-degree relatives, and 180 controls. Four personality traits were assessed using the Eysenck and Tridimensional Personality Questionnaires, including Extraversion (E), Neuroticism (N), Harm Avoidance (HA), and Novelty Seeking (NS). The magnitude of familiality of personality traits in mood disorder families was evaluated by mixed models and intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC). Results: Patients with mood disorders had lower E, and higher N, HA and NS than controls. Unaffected relatives were not differed from controls in the four personality traits. BP-I had higher E, NS and lower N, HA than MDD patients (p < 0.01). The scale N further distinguished BP-I from BP-II (p = 0.02) with lower N among BP-I patients. There exhibited moderate familiality in E (ICC = 0.184-0.239) and HA (ICC = 0.355) in bipolar disorder families. Limitation: Personality traits were accessed cross-sectionally without quantitatively controlled severity of mood symptoms. Conclusion: Different patterns of personality traits distinguish patients from unaffected individuals as well as separate diagnoses of mood disorders, indicating the usage of more comprehensive evaluation of personality traits in clinical settings. Familiality of extraversion and harm avoidance in bipolar disorder families provides insights for further investigating correlates of comorbid behavioral problems in bipolar disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-374
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 May 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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