Background. Neuroticism is an important personality dimension associated with depressive and anxiety disorders. Both genetic and social factors are thought to contribute to neuroticism. This study aims to examine whether early childhood adversity may be a determinant of neuroticism.
Method. Five hundred and thirty-two abstinent substance dependent patients completed both the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) and the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ).
Results. There was a significant relationship between total childhood trauma scores on the CTQ and neuroticism scores on the EPQ. There were also significant relationships between neuroticism and CTQ subscores for emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional neglect and physical neglect.
Conclusions. Childhood trauma may be a determinant of neuroticism. This may be one way in which childhood trauma plays a role in the development of psychiatric disorders. General population studies are needed.