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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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144. Do certain personality traits interact to predict psychopathology symptoms? A replication and extension

Although bivariate and additive relations between various personality traits and psychopathology constructs have received attention in the literature, researchers have begun to investigate interactions between two or three personality traits in relation to psychopathology. In particular, there is evidence for a three-way interaction between Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Conscientiousness (and associated lower-order traits) in predicting depression. On the other hand, there is a lack of support for personality interactions in predicting other internalizing disorders (e.g., Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder). These previous studies, however, have used disorder-based scores of internalizing psychopathology, rather than dimensional symptom domains. As well, there has been even less focus on other psychopathology domains (e.g., externalizing, thought disorders). In a large, combined sample of patients and students (N = 880), the Five Factor Model of personality was assessed using the Revised NEO Personality Inventory, and psychopathology domains were assessed using the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2-RF. Building off of past research, the present study is concerned with two goals. First, we will attempt to replicate and extend previous personality interactions with depression by considering other internalizing symptom domains (e.g., hopelessness, self-doubt, suicide/death ideation, etc.). Second, we will attempt to explore personality domain interactions for the prediction of externalizing and thought disorder psychopathology (e.g., substance abuse, aggression, ideas of persecution, aberrant experiences, etc.). Significant higher-order interactions will be examined using simple slopes analyses and the Johnson-Neyman technique. Results may further emphasize the complex relations between personality traits and psychopathology domains, and provide clinicians with information regarding differential personality profiles of those with varying degrees of psychopathology.

Michael Carnovale
University of Toronto Scarborough

R. Michael Bagby
University of Toronto


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