Personality traits have been associated with risk for depressive disorders. Studies with premorbid measures on personality are uncommon.
Estimate effect of premorbid personality as a predictor for remission in depressive disorders.
To study premorbid personality as a predictor for remission in depression in a population based sample.
The sample is based on the large Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966. Temperament traits were measured at age 31 years using the Temperament and Character Inventory. At the age of 46 years depressive symptoms were measured using the Beck Depression Inventory – II (BDI). The sample included those with self-reported life-time depression history at age 46 years but not yet at age 31 years (n = 298). Temperament at age 31 years was used to predict remission (BDI≤13) at age 46 years using logistic regression analysis, with gender and educational level as confounders. Cohen's d was used as effect size measure.
Two hundred and one (67.4%) of individuals with self-reported depression were on remission at the follow-up. Low harm avoidance (total scale, and subscales anticipatory worry, shyness, and fatigability), low impulsiveness and high exploratory excitability (subscales of novelty seeking), and low sentimentality (subscale of reward dependence) predicted significantly remission with effect sizes between 0.28 and 0.45, highest effect being in harm avoidance.
Different temperament traits were able to predict remission status in depression. Effect sizes were between small and moderate. Temperament may associate with treatment response in depression.
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.