Publication

The importance of personality and life-events in anxious depression: From trait to state anxiety

van der Veen, D. C., van Dijk, S. D. M., Comijs, H. C., van Zelst, W. H., Schoevers, R. A. & Voshaar, R. C. O., 2017, In : AGING & MENTAL HEALTH. 21, 11, p. 1177-1183 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Objectives: Anxious depression is associated with severe impairment and bad prognoses. We hypothesize that recent life-events are associated with more anxiety in late-life depression and that this is conditional upon the level of certain personality traits.

Method: Baseline data of the Netherlands Study of Depression in Older Persons (NESDO) were used. In 333 patients (>= 60 years) suffering from a major depressive disorder, anxiety was assessed with the BAI, personality traits with the NEO-FFI and the Mastery Scale, and life-events with the Brugha questionnaire. Multiple linear regression analyses were applied with anxiety severity as dependent and life-events and personality traits as independent variables.

Results: 147 patients (44.1%) had recently experienced one or more life-events. The presence of a life-event is not associated with anxiety (p = .161) or depression severity (p = .440). However, certain personality traits interacted with life-events in explaining anxiety severity. Stratified analyses showed that life-events were associated with higher anxiety levels in case of high levels of neuroticism and openness and low levels of conscientiousness or mastery.

Conclusions: In the face of a life-event, personality traits may play a central role in increased anxiety levels in late-life depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1177-1183
Number of pages7
JournalAGING & MENTAL HEALTH
Volume21
Issue number11
Early online date4-Jul-2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Keywords

  • Anxious depression, personality, life-events, MAJOR DEPRESSION, RISK-FACTORS, EMOTION REGULATION, ASTERISK-D, THREATENING EXPERIENCES, PSYCHOMETRIC PROPERTIES, AFFECTIVE-DISORDERS, 5-FACTOR MODEL, NEUROTICISM, INVENTORY

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