Personality Compensates for Impaired Quality of Life and Social Functioning in Patients With Psychotic Disorders Who Experienced Traumatic Events

Lindy-Lou Boyette*, Daniella van Dam, Carin Meijer, Eva Velthorst, Wiepke Cahn, Lieuwe de Haan, Rene Kahn, Jim van Os, Durk Wiersma, Richard Bruggeman, Carin Meijer, Inez Myin-Germeys

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: Patients with psychotic disorders who experienced childhood trauma show more social dysfunction than patients without traumatic experiences. However, this may not hold for all patients with traumatic experiences. Little is known about the potential compensating role of Five-Factor Model personality traits within this group, despite their strong predictive value for social functioning and well-being in the general population. Methods: Our sample consisted of 195 patients with psychotic disorders (74% diagnosed with schizophrenia) and 132 controls. Cluster analyses were conducted to identify and validate distinct personality profiles. General linear model analyses were conducted to examine whether patients with different profiles differed in social functioning and quality of life (QoL), while controlling for possible confounders. Mediation models were tested to assess potential causal links. Results: In general, patients with higher levels of self-reported traumatic experiences (PT+) showed lower QoL and more social withdrawal compared with patients with lower traumatic experiences (PT-). Two clusters reflecting personality profiles were identified. PT+ with the first profile (lower neuroticism and higher extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) presented higher levels of QoL and better social functioning in several areas, including less withdrawal, compared with both PT+ and PT-with the second profile. PT+ and PT-with the first personality profile did not differ in QoL and social functioning. Mediation analyses suggested that personality traits mediate the relation between traumatic experiences and QoL and social withdrawal. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that personality may "buffer" the impact of childhood traumatic experiences on functional outcome in patients with psychotic disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1356-1365
JournalSchizophrenia Bulletin
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


  • Five-Factor Model
  • psychosis
  • trauma
  • well-being
  • resilience

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