Are there temperament differences between major depression and dysthymic disorder in adolescent clinical outpatients?

Elek Dinya, Janos Csorba, Zsofia Grósz

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Abstract

Aims: The aim of the study was to explore possible differences in temperament and character dimensions between 2 monodiagnostic adolescent groups of depression, namely, one with a present episode of major depression and subjects with the other being their dysthymic peers. Sample: From a multisite Western Hungarian sample of consecutively referred 14- to 18-year-old new psychiatric adolescent outpatients, 2 groups were compared: group I, n = 56 (9 males, 47 females), with major depressive disorder (MDD) and group II, n = 27 (6 males, 21 females), with a diagnosis of dysthymic disorder (DD). All other comorbid diagnoses including bipolar and double depression (MDD + DD) cases were excluded. Present suicide events, if the attempter had an underlying diagnosis of depression, were not causes for exclusion. Assessment methods used were the adapted Hungarian versions of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview and the Junior Temperament (Cloninger) Character Inventory. Results: The only difference between the major depressive and dysthymic adolescents was harm avoidance, adolescents with major depression having a higher level practice of harm avoidance, whereas the temperament type of MDD vs DD seems to differ only in the aspect of avoiding painful stress. Expectations regarding a worse degree of self-directedness and lower levels of persistence and cooperativeness in the MDD sample were not proved. Conclusions: No essential temperament differences were found between the 2 adolescent depressive groups. Scarce differences between temperament qualities of MDD and DD may support Akiskal's continuum theory of depressive disorders. More research and the use of closer clinical personality typologies are warranted to explore possible personality trait differences (if they exist) between clinical diagnostic groups of adolescent patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-354
Number of pages5
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Volume53
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2012

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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