Personality trait predictors of bipolar disorder symptoms

Lena Catherine Quilty, Martin Sellbom, Jennifer Lee Tackett, Robert Michael Bagby*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The purpose of the current investigation was to examine the personality predictors of bipolar disorder symptoms, conceptualized as one-dimensional (bipolarity) or two-dimensional (mania and depression). A psychiatric sample (N = 370; 45% women; mean age 39.50 years) completed the Revised NEO Personality Inventory and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory -2. A model in which bipolar symptoms were represented as a single dimension provided a good fit to the data. This dimension was predicted by Neuroticism and (negative) Agreeableness. A model in which bipolar symptoms were represented as two separate dimensions of mania and depression also provided a good fit to the data. Depression was associated with Neuroticism and (negative) Extraversion, whereas mania was associated with Neuroticism, Extraversion and (negative) Agreeableness. Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be usefully understood in terms of two dimensions of mania and depression, which have distinct personality correlates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-163
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 30 2009


  • Depression
  • Five Factor Model
  • MMPI-2
  • Mania
  • Personality
  • Trait

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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