Personality traits and coping strategies in recent-onset psychosis: Associations with symptom severity and psychosocial functioning

PHAMOUS investigators, PROGR-S Investigators, Matej Djordjevic*, Vera Brink, Klaas J. Wardenaar, Anne Neeltje Scholte-Stalenhoef, Ellen Visser, Catheleine van Driel, Wim Veling

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Personality and coping may be related to symptom severity and psychosocial functioning in patients with recent-onset psychosis. This study aimed to investigate associations of personality traits and coping strategies with concurrent and follow-up symptom severity and functioning in those patients, and identify whether coping mediates relations between personality and symptoms or functioning.

Methods: At baseline, 527 recent-onset psychosis patients (73 % male, mean age = 28 years) received assessments on personality (Neuroticism-Extraversion-Openness – Five-Factor Inventory), coping (Utrecht Coping List), symptom severity (Positive And Negative Syndrome Scale) and psychosocial functioning (Global Assessment of Functioning Scale). Of those, 149 also received symptom and functioning assessments at follow-up. Multivariable linear regression analyses were performed to assess cross-sectional associations of personality and coping with symptoms and functioning at baseline. Longitudinal associations of baseline personality and coping with follow-up symptomatic remission and functioning were analyzed with multivariable linear and binary logistic regression analyses, respectively. Lastly, it was investigated whether coping mediated associations between personality and symptoms or functioning.

Results: Higher baseline Agreeableness (B = -0.019, [95%CI: −0.031; −0.007]) and Neuroticism (B = -0.017, [95%CI: −0.028; −0.006]) were associated with lower concurrent symptom severity. Reassuring Thoughts were associated with better functioning at baseline (B = 0.833, [95%CI: 0.272; 1.393]). Neither personality nor coping were associated with follow-up symptomatic remission or functioning. Coping did not mediate associations between personality and symptoms or functioning.

Conclusion: Only the coping strategy Reassuring Thoughts is associated with better baseline functioning in patients with recent-onset psychosis. Personality traits seem to have limited clinically relevant relations with symptom severity or functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-151
Number of pages9
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2022


  • Coping
  • Functioning
  • Personality
  • Psychosis
  • Recent-onset
  • Symptom

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