Neuroticism's prospective association with mental disorders halves after adjustment for baseline symptoms and psychiatric history, but the adjusted association hardly decays with time: a meta-analysis on 59 longitudinal/prospective studies with 443 313 participants

B. F. Jeronimus*, R. Kotov, H. Riese, J. Ormel

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

Onderzoeksoutputpeer review

107 Citaten (Scopus)


Background This meta-analysis seeks to quantify the prospective association between neuroticism and the common mental disorders (CMDs, including anxiety, depression, and substance abuse) as well as thought disorders (psychosis/schizophrenia) and non-specific mental distress. Data on the degree of confounding of the prospective association of neuroticism by baseline symptoms and psychiatric history, and the rate of decay of neuroticism's effect over time, can inform theories about the structure of psychopathology and role of neuroticism, in particular the vulnerability theory.

Method This meta-analysis included 59 longitudinal/prospective studies with 443 313 participants.

Results The results showed large unadjusted prospective associations between neuroticism and symptoms/diagnosis of anxiety, depression, and non-specific mental distress (d = 0.50-0.70). Adjustment for baseline symptoms and psychiatric history reduced the associations by half (d = 0.10-0.40). Unadjusted prospective associations for substance abuse and thought disorders/symptoms were considerably weaker (d = 0.03-0.20), but were not attenuated by adjustment for baseline problems. Unadjusted prospective associations were four times larger over short (

Conclusion High neuroticism indexes a risk constellation that exists prior to the development and onset of any CMD. The adjusted prospective neuroticism effect remains robust and hardly decays with time. Our results underscore the need to focus on the mechanisms underlying this prospective association.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)2883-2906
Aantal pagina's24
TijdschriftPsychological Medicine
Nummer van het tijdschrift14
Vroegere onlinedatum15-aug-2016
StatusPublished - okt-2016

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