Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 93
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Davidson, Sandra K. Dowrick, Christopher F. and Gunn, Jane M. 2016. Impact of functional and structural social relationships on two year depression outcomes: A multivariate analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, Vol. 193, p. 274.

    Fandiño-Losada, Andrés Bangdiwala, Shrikant I. Lavebratt, Catharina and Forsell, Yvonne 2016. Path analysis of the chronicity of depression using the comprehensive developmental model framework. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 70, Issue. 5, p. 380.

    Iacovino, Juliette M. Bogdan, Ryan and Oltmanns, Thomas F. 2016. Personality Predicts Health Declines Through Stressful Life Events During Late Mid-Life. Journal of Personality, Vol. 84, Issue. 4, p. 536.

    Koffel, E. Kramer, M. D. Arbisi, P. A. Erbes, C. R. Kaler, M. and Polusny, M. A. 2016. Personality traits and combat exposure as predictors of psychopathology over time. Psychological Medicine, Vol. 46, Issue. 01, p. 209.

    Lee, Jeong Jin Moon, Eunsoo Park, Je Min Lee, Byung Dae Lee, Young Min Jeong, Hee Jeong and Choi, Yoonmi 2016. Personality Traits Related to Perceived Stress in Mood Disorder. Journal of Korean Neuropsychiatric Association, Vol. 55, Issue. 1, p. 33.

    Lehto, Kelli Mäestu, Jarek Kiive, Evelyn Veidebaum, Toomas and Harro, Jaanus 2016. BDNF Val66Met genotype and neuroticism predict life stress: A longitudinal study from childhood to adulthood. European Neuropsychopharmacology, Vol. 26, Issue. 3, p. 562.

    Noteboom, Annemieke Beekman, Aartjan T.F. Vogelzangs, Nicole and Penninx, Brenda W.J.H. 2016. Personality and social support as predictors of first and recurrent episodes of depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, Vol. 190, p. 156.

    Brett, Zoë H. Humphreys, Kathryn L. Smyke, Anna T. Gleason, Mary Margaret Nelson, Charles A. Zeanah, Charles H. Fox, Nathan A. and Drury, Stacy S. 2015. Serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) genotype moderates the longitudinal impact of early caregiving on externalizing behavior. Development and Psychopathology, Vol. 27, Issue. 01, p. 7.

    Charles, Nora E. Mathias, Charles W. Acheson, Ashley Bray, Bethany C. Ryan, Stacy R. Lake, Sarah L. Liang, Yuanyuan and Dougherty, Donald M. 2015. Increased Pre- and Early-Adolescent Stress in Youth with a Family History of Substance Use Disorder and Early Substance Use Initiation. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Vol. 44, Issue. 10, p. 1954.

    Coolidge, Frederick L. Segal, Daniel L. Estey, Alisa J. Spinath, Frank M. Hahn, Elisabeth and Gottschling, Juliana 2015. Heritability Estimates of Karen Horney’s Core Neurotic Trends in a Young Adult Twin Sample. Psychology, Vol. 06, Issue. 15, p. 2013.

    Rolim-Neto, Modesto Leite Alves Silva, Elizabeth Teixeira Júnior, Antonio Gilvan Sousa Cartaxo, Jesus de Rolim Lima, Nádia Nara Nascimento, Vânia Barbosa Vieira dos Santos, Maria do Socorro Lima da Silva, Cláudio Gleidiston Romero de Sousa, Sonia Izabel Silva Costa, Lucas da and Nascimento Neto, Pedro Januário 2015. Bipolar disorder incidence between children and adolescents: A brief communication. Journal of Affective Disorders, Vol. 172, p. 171.

    Stroud, Catherine B. Sosoo, Effua E. and Wilson, Sylia 2015. Normal personality traits, rumination and stress generation among early adolescent girls. Journal of Research in Personality, Vol. 57, p. 131.

    van Dalfsen, J. H. and Markus, C. R. 2015. Interaction Between 5-HTTLPR Genotype and Cognitive Stress Vulnerability on Sleep Quality: Effects of Sub-Chronic Tryptophan Administration. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, Vol. 18, Issue. 3, p. pyu057.

    Wielpuetz, Catrin Kuepper, Yvonne Grant, Phillip Munk, Aisha Judith Leila and Hennig, Juergen 2015. Variations in central serotonergic activity — Relevance of the 5-HTTLPR, life events and their interaction. Behavioural Brain Research, Vol. 277, p. 245.

    Burles, Ford Guadagni, Veronica Hoey, Felecia Arnold, Aiden E.G.F. Levy, Richard M. O’Neill, Thomas and Iaria, Giuseppe 2014. Neuroticism and self-evaluation measures are related to the ability to form cognitive maps critical for spatial orientation. Behavioural Brain Research, Vol. 271, p. 154.

    Chow, Philip I. and Roberts, Brent W. 2014. Examining the relationship between changes in personality and changes in depression. Journal of Research in Personality, Vol. 51, p. 38.

    Iliceto, Paolo Fino, Emanuele Sabatello, Ugo and Candilera, Gabriella 2014. Personality and suicidal ideation in the elderly: factorial invariance and latent means structures across age. Aging & Mental Health, Vol. 18, Issue. 6, p. 792.

    Low, Lee-Fay Harrison, Fleur and Lackersteen, Steven M. 2013. Does Personality Affect Risk for Dementia? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, Vol. 21, Issue. 8, p. 713.

    McGue, Matt and Matteson, Lindsay K. 2013. Emery and Rimoin's Principles and Practice of Medical Genetics.

    Ormel, Johan Bastiaansen, A. Riese, Harriëtte Bos, Elisabeth H. Servaas, Michelle Ellenbogen, Mark Rosmalen, Judith G.M. and Aleman, André 2013. The biological and psychological basis of neuroticism: Current status and future directions. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, Vol. 37, Issue. 1, p. 59.


Personality and the experience of environmental adversity

  • K. S. KENDLER (a1), C. O. GARDNER (a1) and C. A. PRESCOTT (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 November 2003

Background. While psychiatric epidemiology often focuses on the causal relationship between environmental adversity and the individual (e.g. environment to person), individuals probably make important contributions to the quality of their environments (person to environment).

Method. In a population based sample of >7000 male and female adult twins, we examined the relationship between the personality trait of neuroticism (N) and the occurrence of stressful life events (SLEs) and the quality of interpersonal relationships (IPR). We compared the magnitude of the prediction of twin 1's self-reported SLEs and IPR from: (i) twin 1's self-reported N; (ii) twin 2's report of twin 1's N; and (iii) twin 2's report of twin 2's N in monozygotic pairs.

Results. In our entire sample, self-report N significantly predicted the occurrence of most SLEs and all dimensions of IPR. Using the co-twin's report of N produced associations that were of the same magnitude for SLEs and modestly weaker for IPR. In monozygotic pairs, the level of N in one twin predicted SLEs and IPR in the co-twin at levels similar to those found for the co-twin's report of N. Repeating these analyses with a prospective subsample produced similar results.

Conclusion. An individual's personality in adulthood plays a significant role in influencing exposure to some forms of environmental adversity and this association is not the result of reporting bias. Furthermore, this relationship is largely mediated by a common set of familial factors that predispose both to a ‘difficult’ temperament and to environmental adversity. Developmental models of psychiatric illness should adopt an interactionist view of individuals and their environment (person and environment).

Corresponding author
Professor Kenneth S. Kendler, Department of Psychiatry, PO Box 980126, Richmond, VA 23298-0126, USA.
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? *