Personality Traits and Changes in Depression Symptoms in Female University Students

  • Jasminka Bobić Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, Croatia
  • Adrijana Koscec Bjelajac Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, Croatia
  • Marija Bakotić Stadtwerkeprojekt-Spectrum Arbeit Beruf Soziales, Germany
  • Jelena Macan Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, Croatia
Keywords: depression symptoms, Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, female students, neuroticism, Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale

Abstract

The present study aimed to investigate the course of symptoms of depression in female university students over a four-year period, while also exploring the predictive value of four personality traits with regard to symptoms of depression. The sample comprised 74 female first-year university students. Symptoms of depression were assessed using the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale and were collected twice over a four-year interval, while the personality traits of extraversion, neuroticism, psychoticism and lie tendencies were assessed by the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire only at the baseline. The results revealed that after a four-year period the depression symptoms increased in intensity/frequency on 10 out of 20 items as well as in the summary score, and decreased only in diurnal variations, which wasfavourable outcome. Multiple regression analysis indicated that out of the four personality traits only neuroticism was a significant predictor of the summary depression score four years later. This means that young female students with higher scores in neuroticism, although still in the normal or average range, would very probably have a more pronounced and less well-regulated emotional response to a stressful period of their university education.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Babić, Ž., Sabolić Pipinić, I., Varnai, V. M., Kežić, S., & Macan, J. (2016). Associations of TNFα -308G>A, TNFα -238G>A, IL-1α -889C>T and IL-10 -1082G>A Genetic Polymorphisms with Atopic Diseases: Asthma, Rhinitis and Dermatitis. International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, 16(4), 231–240. https://doi.org/10.1159/000445434

Bakotić, M., Radošević-Vidaček, B., & Košćec Bjelajac, A. (2017). Morningness–eveningness and daytime functioning in university students: The mediating role of sleep characteristics. Journal of Sleep Research, 26(2), 210–218. https://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.12467

Barnhofer, T., Duggan, D. S., & Griffith, J. W. (2011). Dispositional mindfulness moderates the relation between neuroticism and depressive symptoms. Personality and Individual Differences, 51(8), 958–962. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2011.07.032

Beck, A. T., Steer, R. A., & Brown, G. K. (1996). Manual for the Beck Depression Inventory BDI-II. Psychological Corporation.

Bobić, J. (2012). Subjective estimation of the quality of life in relation to neuroticism, Arhiv za Higijenu Rada i Toksikologiju, 63(Suppl 1), 17–22. https://doi.org/10.2478/10004-1254-63-2012-2141

Bobić, J., Cvijetić, S., & Macan, J. (2015). Personality and self-perception of physical and emotional health among first-year university students. Društvena istraživanja, 24(2), 219–237. https://doi.org/10.5559/di.24.2.03

Bostanci, M., Ozdel, O., Oguzhanoglu, N. K., Ozdel, L., Ergin, A., Ergin, N., Atesci, F., & Karadag, F. (2005). Depressive symptomatology among university students in Denizli, Turkey: Prevalence and Sociodemographic Correlates. Croatian Medical Journal, 46(1), 96–100.

Butković, A., Brković, I., & Bratko, D. (2012). Predicting well-being from personality in adolescents and older adults. Journal of Happiness Studies, 13(3), 455–467. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-011-9273-7

Diener, E., & Lucas, R. E. (2009). Personality and subjective well-being. In E. Diener, The science of well-being (pp. 795–814). Springer.

Eysenck, H. J., & Eysenck, S. B. G. (1975). Manual of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. Hodder & Stoughton.

Fanous, A., Gardner, C. O., Prescott, C. A., Cancro, R., & Kendler, K. S. (2002). Neuroticism, major depression and gender: A population-based twin study. Psychological Medicine, 32(4), 719–728. PMID:12102386

Galanaki, E., & Leontopoulou, S. (2017). Criteria for the Transition to Adulthood, developmental features of emerging adulthood, and views of the future among Greek studying youth. Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 13(3), 417–440. https://doi.org/10.5964/ejop.v13i3.1327

Gershuny, B. S., & Sher, K. J. (1998). The relation between personality and anxiety: Findings from a 3-year prospective study. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 107(2), 252–262. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-843X.107.2.252

Glavić, Ž., Galić, S., & Krip, M. (2014). Quality of life and personality traits in patients with colorectal cancer. Psychiatria Danubina, 26(2), 172–180. PMID:24909255

Gotestam, K. G., Svebak, S., & Jensen, E. N. (2008). The role of personality, mood, subjective health, and stress in depressive symptoms among high school students. European Journal of Psychiatry, 22(3), 121–129. https://doi.org/10.4321/S0213-61632008000300001

Hirai, R., Frazier, P., & Syed, M. (2015). Psychological and sociocultural adjustment of first-year international students: Trajectories and predictors. Journal of Counselling Psychology, 62(3), 438–452. https://doi.org/10.1037/cou0000085

Hirschfeld, R. M. A., Klerman, G. L., Lavori, P., Keller, M. B., Griffith, P., & Coryell, W. (1989). Premorbid personality assessments of first onset of major depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 46(4), 345–350. PMID:2649038

Hutchinson, J. G., & Williams, P. G. (2007). Neuroticism, daily hassles, and depressive symptoms: An examination of moderating and mediating effects. Personality and Individual Differences, 42(7), 1367–1378. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2006.10.014

Ikenouchi-Sugita, A., Yoshimura, R., Sugita, K., Hori, H., Yamada, K., Sakaue, M., & Nakamura, J. (2013). The effects of a walking intervention on depressive feelings and social adaptation in healthy workers. Journal of UOEH, 35(1), 1–8. https://doi.org/10.7888/juoeh.35.1

Kitamura, T., Hirano, H., Zi, C., & Hirata, M. (2004). Factor structure of the Zung Self-rating Depression Scale in first-year university students in Japan. Psychiatry Research, 128(3), 281–287. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2004.06.003

Klein, D. N., Kotov, R., & Bufferd, S. J. (2011). Personality and depression: Explanatory models and review of the evidence. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 7, 269–295. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032210-104540.

Kotov, R., Gamez, W., Schmidt, F., & Watson, D. (2010). Linking "Big" personality traits to anxiety, depressive, and substance use disorders: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 136(5), 768–821. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0020327

Krueger, R. F., Caspi, A., Moffitt, T. E., Silva, P. A., & McGee, R. (1996). Personality traits are differentially linked to mental disorders: A multitrait-multidiagnosis study of an adolescent birth cohort. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 105(3), 299–312. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-843X.105.3.299

Lahey, B. B. (2009). Public health significance of neuroticism. American Psychologist, 64(4), 241–256. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0015309

Liu, X., Ping, S., & Gao, W. (2019). Changes in Undergraduate Students' Psychological Well-Being as They Experience University Life. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(16), 2864. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16162864

Lojk, L., Eysenck, S. B. G., & Eysenck, H. J. (1979). National differences in personality: Yugoslavia and England. British Journal of Psychology, 70(Aug), 381–387. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8295.1979.tb01707.x

Lojk, L. (1984). Eysenckov upitnik ličnosti – EPQ, Priručnik [Eysenck Personality Questionnaire – EPQ, Manual]. Zavod SR Slovenije za produktivnost dela.

Milanović, S. M., Erjavec, K., Poljičanin, T., Vrabec, B., & Brečić, P. (2015). Prevalence of depression symptoms and associated socio-demographic factors in primary health care patients. Psychiatria Danubina, 27(1), 31–37. PMID:25751429

Nolan, S. A., Roberts, J. E., & Gotlib, I. H. (1998). Neuroticism and ruminative response style as predictors of change in depressive symptomatology. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 22(5), 445–455. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1018769531641

Ormel, J., Jeronimus, B. F., Kotov, R., Riese, H., Bos, E. H., Hankin, B., Rosmalen, J. G. M., & Oldehinkel, A. J. (2013). Neuroticism and common mental disorders: Meaning and utility of a complex relationship. Clinical Psychology Review, 33(5), 686–697. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2013.04.003.

Overholser, J. C., Shubert, D. S., Foliart, R., & Frost, F. (1993). Assessment of emotional distress following a spinal cord injury. Rehabilitation Psychology, 38(3), 187–198.

Radošević-Vidaček, B., Košćec, A., Bakotić, M., Macan, J., & Bobić, J. (2009). Is atopy related to neuroticism, stress and subjective quality of life? Arhiv za Higijenu Rada i Toksikologiju, 60(1), 99–107. https://doi.org/10.2478/10004-1254-60-2009-1899

Roberts, S. B., & Kendler, K. S. (1999). Neuroticism and self-esteem as indices of the vulnerability to major depression in women. Psychological Medicine, 29(5), 1101–1109. PMID:10576302

Roenneberg, T., Kuehnle, T., Pramstaller, P. P., Ricken, J., Havel, M., Guth, A., Merrow, M. (2004). A marker for the end of adolescence, Current Biology. 14(24), R1038–R1039. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2004.11.039

Romera, I., Delgado-Cohen, H., Perez, T., Caballero, L., & Gilaberte, I. (2008). Factor analysis of the Zung self-rating depression scale in a large sample of patients with major depressive disorder in primary care. BMC Psychiatry, 8(1), 4. http://doi.org/10.1186/1471-244X-8-4

Sabolić Pipinić, I., Varnai, V. M., Turk, R., Breljak, D., Kežić, S., & Macan, J. (2013). Low frequency of filaggrin null mutations in Croatia and their relation with allergic diseases. International Journal of Immunogenetics, 40(3), 192–198. https://doi.org/10.1111/iji.12006

Sabolić Pipinić, I. (2015). Interaction of filaggrin gene polymorphisms and environmental factors with atopic diseases in young adult population (Doctoral Thesis). University of Zagreb, School of Medicine.

Shumway, M., Sentell, T., Unick, G., & Bamberg, W. (2004). Cognitive complexity of self-administered depression measures. Journal of Affective Disorders, 83(2-3), 191–198. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2004.08.007

Shi, M., Liu, L., Yang, Y. L., & Wang, L. (2015). The mediating role of self-esteem in the relationship between big five personality traits and depressive symptoms among Chinese undergraduate medical students. Personality and Individual Differences, 83, 55–59. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2015.03.050

Tate, D. G., Forchheimer, M., Maynard, F., Davidoff, G., & Dijkers, M. (1993). Comparing two measures of depression in spinal cord injury. Rehabilitation Psychology, 38(1), 53–61. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0080287

Tripković, M., Vuković, I. S., Frančišković, T., Pisk, S. V., & Krnić, S. (2014). Depression and auto-aggressiveness in adolescents in Zagreb. Psychiatria Danubina, 26(Suppl. 3), 422–427.

Zung, W. W. K. (1965). A Self-Rating Depression Scale. Archives of General Psychiatry, 12(1), 63–70. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01720310065008

Published
2020-10-29