Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

A longitudinal study of personality and major depression in a population-based sample of male twins

  • AYMAN H. FANOUS (a1) (a2) (a3), MICHAEL C. NEALE (a3), STEVEN H. AGGEN (a3) and KENNETH S. KENDLER (a3)
Abstract
ABSTRACTBackground

The relationship between personality and psychiatric illness is complex. It is not clear whether one directly causes the other.

Method

In a population-based sample of male twins (n=3030), we attempted to predict major depression (MD) from neuroticism (N) and extraversion (E) and vice versa, to evaluate the causal, scar, state, and prodromal hypotheses. In a longitudinal, structural equation twin model, we decomposed the covariation between N and MD into (a) genetic and environmental factors that are common to both traits, as well as specific to each one and (b) direct causal effects of N at time 1 on subsequent MD, as well as between MD and subsequent N.

Results

E was negatively correlated with lifetime and one-year prevalence of MD. N predicted the new onset of MD, and was predicted by both current and past MD. It did not predict the time to onset of MD. All of the covariation between N and MD was due to additive genetic and individual-specific environmental factors shared by both traits and a direct causal path between MD and N assessed later. No genetic factors were unique to either trait.

Conclusions

In men, N may be a vulnerability factor for MD but does not cause it directly. However, MD may have a direct causal effect on N. The genetic overlap between N and MD in men may be greater than in women.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: Ayman H. Fanous, M.D., Washington VA Medical Center, 50 Irving St NW, Washington, DC 20422, USA. (Email: ayman.fanous@med.va.gov)
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

V. Abkevich , N. J. Camp , C. H. Hensel , C. D. Neff , D. L. Russell , D. C. Hughes , A. M. Plenk , M. R. Lowry , R. L. Richards , C. Carter , G. C. Frech , S. Stone , K. Rowe , C. A. Chau , K. Cortado , A. Hunt , K. Luce , G. O'Neil , J. Poarch , J. Potter , G. H. Poulsen , H. Saxton , M. Bernat-Sestak , V. Thompson , A. Gutin , M. H. Skolnick , D. Shattuck & L. Cannon-Albright (2003). Predisposition locus for major depression at chromosome 12q22-12q23.2. American Journal of Human Genetics 73, 12711281.

H. Akaike (1987). Factor analysis and AIC. Psychometrika 52, 317332.

P. Boyce & G. Parker (1985). Neuroticism as a predictor of outcome in depression. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 173, 685688.

P. Boyce , G. Parker , B. Barnett , M. Cooney & F. Smith (1991). Personality as a vulnerability factor to depression. British Journal of Psychiatry 159, 106114.

K. P. Burnham & D. R. Anderson (1998). Model Selection and Inference: a Practical Information – Theoretic Approach. Springer-Verlag: New York.

W. M. Cox (1985). Personality correlates of substance abuse. In Determinants of Substance Abuse: Biological, Psychological, and Environmental Factors (ed. M. Galizio and S. A. Maisto ), pp. 209246. Plenum Press: New York.

S. A. Czerwinski , M. C. Mahaney , J. T. Williams , L. Almasy & J. Blangero (1999). Genetic analysis of personality traits and alcoholism using a mixed discrete continuous trait variance component model. Genetic Epidemiology 17 (suppl. 1), S121S126.

C. F. Duggan , A. S. Lee & R. M. Murray (1990). Does personality predict long-term outcome in depression? British Journal of Psychiatry 157, 1924.

H. J. Eysenck & M. W. Eysenck (1985). Personality and Individual Differences. A Natural Science Approach. Plenum Press: New York.

B. Floderus-Myrhed , N. Pedersen & I. Rasmuson (1980). Assessment of heritability for personality, based on a short-form of the Eysenck Personality Inventory: a study of 12898 twin pairs. Behavior Genetics 10, 153162.

I. I. Gottesman & T. D. Gould (2003). The endophenotype concept in psychiatry: etymology and strategic intentions. American Journal of Psychiatry 160, 636645.

R. M. Hirschfeld , G. L. Klerman , P. J. Clayton & M. B. Keller (1983 b). Personality and depression. Empirical findings. Archives of General Psychiatry 40, 993998.

R. M. Hirschfeld , G. L. Klerman , P. Lavori , M. B. Keller , P. Griffith & W. Coryell (1989). Premorbid personality assessments of first onset of major depression. Archives of General Psychiatry 46, 345350.

K. L. Jang , W. J. Livesley & P. A. Vernon (1996). Heritability of the big five personality dimensions and their facets: a twin study. Journal of Personality 64, 577591.

K. S. Kendler , M. C. Neale , R. C. Kessler , A. C. Heath & L. J. Eaves (1993). A longitudinal twin study of personality and major depression in women. Archives of General Psychiatry 50, 853862.

R. C. Kessler , K. A. McGonagle , S. Zhao , C. B. Nelson , M. Hughes , S. Eshleman , H. U. Wittchen & K. S. Kendler (1994). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders in the United States. Results from the National Comorbidity Survey. Archives of General Psychiatry 51, 819.

J. C. Krieg , C. J. Lauer , L. Hermle , U. von Bardeleben , T. Pollmacher & F. Holsboer (1990). Psychometric, polysomnographic, and neuroendocrine measures in subjects at high risk for psychiatric disorders: preliminary results. Neuropsychobiology 23, 5767.

C. J. Lauer , T. Bronisch , M. Kainz , W. Schreiber , F. Holsboer & J. C. Krieg (1997). Pre-morbid psychometric profile of subjects at high familial risk for affective disorder. Psychological Medicine 27, 355362.

G. T. Macaskill , J. L. Hopper , V. White & D. J. Hill (1994). Genetic and environmental variation in Eysenck Personality Questionnaire scales measured on Australian adolescent twins. Behavior Genetics 24, 481491.

W. Maier , D. Lichtermann , J. Minges & R. Heun (1992). Personality traits in subjects at risk for unipolar major depression: a family study perspective. Journal of Affective Disorders 24, 153163.

W. Maier , J. Minges , D. Lichtermann , P. Franke & M. Gansicke (1995). Personality patterns in subjects at risk for affective disorders. Psychopathology 28 (suppl. 1), 5972.

A. G. Mezey , S. I. Cohen & E. J. Knight (1963). Personality assessment under varying physiological and psychological conditions. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 7, 237240.

M. C. Neale & L. R. Cardon (1992). Methodology for Genetic Studies of Twins and Families. Kluwer Academic: Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

M. C. Neale & L. J. Eaves (1993). Estimating and controlling for the effects of volunteer bias with pairs of relatives. Behavior Genetics 23, 271277.

J. I. Nurnberger Jr., T. Foroud , L. Flury , J. Su , E. T. Meyer , K. Hu , R. Crowe , H. Edenberg , A. Goate , L. Bierut , T. Reich , M. Schuckit & W. Reich (2001). Evidence for a locus on chromosome 1 that influences vulnerability to alcoholism and affective disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry 158, 718724.

S. Nystrom & B. Lindegard (1975). Predisposition for mental syndromes: a study comparing predisposition for depression, neurasthenia and anxiety state. Acta Psychiatrica Scandanavica 51, 6976.

B. P. Riley & P. McGuffin (2000). Linkage and associated studies of schizophrenia. American Journal of Medical Genetics 97, 2344.

K. J. Sher & T. J. Trull (1994). Personality and disinhibitory psychopathology: alcoholism and antisocial personality disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 103, 92102.

K. Tambs , J. M. Sundet , L. Eaves , M. H. Solaas & K. Berg (1991). Pedigree analysis of Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) scores in monozygotic (MZ) twin families. Behavior Genetics 21, 369382.

R. J. Viken , R. J. Rose , J. Kaprio & M. Koskenvuo (1994). A developmental genetic analysis of adult personality: extraversion and neuroticism from 18 to 59 years of age. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 66, 722730.

M. M. Weissman , R. Bland , P. R. Joyce , S. Newman , J. E. Wells & H. U. Wittchen (1993). Sex differences in rates of depression: cross-national perspectives. Journal of Affective Disorders 29, 7784.

A. M. Zeiss & P. M. Lewinsohn (1988). Enduring deficits after remissions of depression: a test of the scar hypothesis. Behavioral Research Therapy 26, 151158.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 4
Total number of PDF views: 71 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 222 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.