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Childhood maltreatment is an important factor associated with adverse mental health outcomes including geriatric depression and the “big five” personality characteristics. The objective of this study was to evaluate a model where personality characteristics mediate the relationship between childhood maltreatment and geriatric depression.
In this cross-sectional study, elderly subjects from socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods of Porto Alegre, Brazil (n = 260) completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), NEO-Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI), and Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview 5.0 (MINI plus). We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to evaluate the mediation hypothesis.
The five personality factors (neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, openness, and conscientiousness) were related to childhood maltreatment and depression. Mediation analysis revealed that neuroticism and extraversion are complete mediators, agreeableness and conscientiousness are partial mediators, and openness is not a mediator.
These ﬁndings support the hypothesis in which childhood maltreatment is associated with geriatric depression and mediated by personality factors. These results suggest that reducing the maladaptive personality trait in elderly people who suffered childhood maltreatment could prevent geriatric depression.
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