Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Personality and comorbidity of common psychiatric disorders

  • Amir A. Khan (a1), Kristen C. Jacobson (a2), Charles O. Gardner (a2), Carol A. Prescott (a2) and Kenneth S. Kendler (a2)...
Abstract
Background

We know little about the degree to which comorbidity, so commonly seen among psychiatric disorders, arises from variation in normal personality.

Aims

To study the degree to which variation in normal personality accounts for the comorbidity of eight common psychiatric and substance use disorders.

Method

Internalising disorders (major depression, generalised anxiety and panic disorders, phobias), externalising disorders (alcohol and drug dependence, anti-social personality and conduct disorders) and personality dimensions of neuroticism, extraversion and novelty seeking were assessed in 7588 participants from a population-based twin registry. The proportion of comorbidity explained by each personality dimension was calculated using structural equation modelling.

Results

Neuroticism accounted for the highest proportion of comorbidity within internalising disorders (20–45%) and between internalising and externalising disorders (19–88%). Variation in neuroticism and novelty seeking each accounted for a modest proportion (10–12% and 7–14%, respectively) of the comorbidity within externalising disorders. Extraversion contributed negligibly

Conclusions

High neuroticism appears to be a broad vulnerability factor for comorbid psychiatric disorders. Novelty seeking is modestly important for comorbid externalising disorders.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Personality and comorbidity of common psychiatric disorders
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Personality and comorbidity of common psychiatric disorders
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Personality and comorbidity of common psychiatric disorders
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
Amir A. Khan, MD, Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences Service, Providence VA Medical Center, 830 Chalkstone Ave., Providence, RI 02908, USA. E-mail: amir.khan2@med.va.gov
Footnotes
Hide All

See editorial, pp. 182-184, this issue.

Declaration of interest

None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes
References
Hide All
American Psychiatrie Association (1987) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (3rd edn, revised) (DSM–III–R). Washington, DC: APA.
American Psychiatric Association (1994) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edn) (DSM–IV). Washington, DC: APA.
Battaglia, M., Przybeck, T. R., Bellodi, L., et al (1996) Temperament dimensions explain the comorbidity of psychiatric disorders. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 37, 292298.
Bienvenu, O. J., Brown, C., Samuels, J. F., et al (2001) Normal personality traits and comorbidity among phobic, panic and major depressive disorders. Psychiatry Research, 102, 7385.
Clark, L. A., Watson, D. & Mineka, S. (1994) Temperament, personality, and the mood and anxiety disorders. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 103, 103116.
Cloninger, C. R., Przybeck, T. R. & Svrakic, D. M. (1991) The Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire: US normative data. Psychological Reports, 69, 10471057.
Eysenck, S. B. G. & Eysenck, H. J. (1975) Manual of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (Junior and Adult). London: Hodder and Stoughton.
Eyesenck, S. B. G., Eysenck, H. J. & Barrett, P. (1985) A revised version of the psychoticism scale. Personality and Individual Differences, 6, 229.
Heath, A. C., Neale, M. C., Kessler, R. C., et al (1992) Evidence for genetic influences on personality from self-reports and informant ratings. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 8596.
Heath, A. C., Cloninger, C. R. & Martin, N. G. (1994) Testing a model for the genetic structure of personality: a comparison of the personality systems of Cloninger and Eysenck. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 762775.
Hirschfeld, R. M., Klerman, G. L., Clayton, P. J., et al (1983) Assessing personality: effects of the depressive state on trait measurement. American Journal of Psychiatry, 140, 695699.
Jardine, R., Martin, N. G. & Henderson, A. S. (1984) Genetic covariation between neuroticism and the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Genetic Epidemiology, 1, 89107.
Kendler, K. S., Neale, M. C., Kessler, R. C., et al (1992) Major depression and generalized anxiety disorder. Same genes, (partly) different environments? Archives of General Psychiatry, 49, 716722.
Kendler, K. S., Heath, A. C., Neale, M. C., et al (1993a) Alcoholism and major depression in women. A twin study of the causes of comorbidity. Archives of General Psychiatry, 50, 690698.
Kendler, K. S. Neale, M. C., Kessler, R. C., et al (1993b) A longitudinal twin study of personality and major depression in women. Archives of General Psychiatry, 50, 853862.
Kendler, K. S., Myers, J. & Prescott, C. A. (2002) The etiology of phobias: an evaluation of the stress–diathesis model. Archives of General Psychiatry, 59, 242248.
Kessler, R. C., McGonagle, K. A., Zhao, S., et al (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.
Krueger, R. F. (1999) The structure of common mental disorders. Archives of General Psychiatry, 56, 921926.
Krueger, R. F. & Markon, K. E. (2001) The higherorder structure of common DSM mental disorders: internalization, externalization, and their connections to personality. Genetic and environmental relationships between normal and abnormal personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 30, 12451259.
Liang, K. Y. & Zeger, S. L. (1986) Longitudinal data analysis using generalized linear models. Biometrika, 73, 1322.
Merikangas, K. R., Angst, J., Eaton, W., et al (1996) Comorbidity and boundaries of affective disorders with anxiety disorders and substance misuse: results of an international task force. British Journal of Psychiatry, 168 (suppl. 30), 5867.
Neale, M. C., Boker, S. M., Xie, G., et al (1999) Mx: Statistical Modeling (5th edn). Richmond, VA: Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics.
Nyborg, H. (1997) The Scientific Study of Human Nature: Tribute to Hans J. Eysenck at Eighty (lst edn). New York: Elsevier Science.
Pervin, L. A. (1990) Handbook of Personality: Theory and Research. New York: Guilford Press.
Prescott, C. A., Aggen, S. H. & Kendler, K. S. (2000) Sex-specific genetic influences on the comorbidity of alcoholism and major depression in a population-based sample of US twins. Archives of General Psychiatry, 57, 803811.
Robins, L. N. & Helzer, J. E. (1985) Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS). Version III–A. St Louis, MO: Washington University School of Medicine.
Sher, K. J. & Trull, T. J. (1994) Personality and disinhibitory psychopathology: alcoholism and antisocial personality disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 103, 92102.
Spitzer, R. L. & Williams, J. B. W. (1985) Structured Clinical Interview for DSM–III–R (SCID). New York: Biometrics Research Department, New York State Psychiatric Institute.
Tyrer, P. (1985) Neurosis divisible? Lancet, i, 685688.
Recommend this journal

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

The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed

Personality and comorbidity of common psychiatric disorders

  • Amir A. Khan (a1), Kristen C. Jacobson (a2), Charles O. Gardner (a2), Carol A. Prescott (a2) and Kenneth S. Kendler (a2)...
Submit a response

eLetters

No eLetters have been published for this article.

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *