Negative affect

Cassandra M. Brandes, Shauna C. Kushner, Jennifer L. Tackett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


In the prediction of life outcomes, one of the most prominent individual differences is neuroticism, or trait negative affect. Neuroticism and negative affectivity describe a person’s tendency to experience negative emotions such as anxiety, sadness, and anger. Both personality and temperament researchers have reliably identified this individual difference in children as young as 3 years of age. We discuss these two approaches to measuring negative emotionality, as well as research on the hierarchical structure of this trait. This research influences how we evaluate the relationship between neuroticism and psychopathology. Though negative emotionality is often associated with internalizing psychopathology, there is substantial evidence of its correlation with externalizing problems, as well. Beyond the simple relationship between negative emotionality and psychopathology, research also suggests that neuroticism interacts with other personality traits and life experiences to predict problematic outcomes. Here, we discuss the content and structure of trait negative emotionality, as well as its complex relationship with externalizing psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDevelopmental Pathways to Disruptive, Impulse-Control, and Conduct Disorders
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780128113233
ISBN (Print)9780128113240
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Externalizing psychopathology
  • Negative affectivity
  • Neuroticism
  • Personality
  • Temperament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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