Changes in neuroticism following trauma exposure.
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Using longitudinal data, the present study examined change in midlife neuroticism following trauma exposure. Our primary analyses included 670 participants (M(age) = 60.55; 65.22% male, 99.70% Caucasian) who completed the NEO Personality Inventory at ages 42 and 50 and reported their lifetime exposure to traumatic events approximately 10 years later. No differences in pre- and post-trauma neuroticism scores were found among individuals who experienced all of their lifetime traumas in the interval between the personality assessments. Results were instead consistent with normative age-related declines in neuroticism throughout adulthood. Furthermore, longitudinal changes in neuroticism scores did not differ between individuals with and without histories of midlife trauma exposure. Examination of change in neuroticism following life-threatening traumas yielded a comparable pattern of results. Analysis of facet-level scores largely replicated findings from the domain scores. Overall, our findings suggest that neuroticism does not reliably change following exposure to traumatic events in middle adulthood. Supplemental analyses indicated that individuals exposed to life-threatening traumas in childhood or adolescence reported higher midlife neuroticism than individuals who experienced severe traumas in adulthood. Life-threatening traumatic events encountered early in life may have a more pronounced impact on adulthood personality than recent traumatic events.
Life Change Events
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Surveys and Questionnaires
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1111/jopy.12037
Publication InfoOgle, Christin M; Rubin, David C; & Siegler, Ilene C (2014). Changes in neuroticism following trauma exposure. J Pers, 82(2). pp. 93-102. 10.1111/jopy.12037. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/9761.
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Juanita M. Kreps Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
For .pdfs of all publications click here My main research interest has been in long-term memory, especially for complex (or "real-world") stimuli. This work includes the study of autobiographical memory and oral tra
Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
My research efforts are in the area of developmental health psychology and organized around understanding the role of personality in health and disease in middle and later life. My primary research activity is as Principal Investigator of the UNC Alumni Heart Study (UNCAHS) a prospective epidemiologic study of 5000 middle aged men and women and 1200 of their spouses that evaluates the role of personality on coronary heart disease and coronary heart disease risk, cancer, and normal a
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