2010 Volume 1 Pages 16-23
Purpose: Affective temperaments have been suggested to predispose individuals to mood disorders, which can modify their psychopathology and response to treatment. This study aimed to obtain background data on the distributions of and associations among the temperaments, together with their relationships to age and gender, in non-clinical Japanese subjects.
Methods: The brief version of the Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego-autoquestionnaire (TEMPS-A) and the Munich Personality Test (MPT) were administered to 278 healthy volunteers (154 males and 124 females 18-63 years of age). The former contains 39 questions assessing cyclothymic, hyperthymic, irritable, anxious and depressive temperaments, whereas the latter consists of 16 items measuring schizoid and melancholic type temperaments.
Results: The proportions of dominant temperaments (greater than the mean + 2SD) were 6.1% for depressive, 3.6% for cyclothymic and schizoid, 2.9% for irritable and anxious, 2.5% for melancholic, and 1.8% for hyperthymic. Strong correlations were found among four temperaments -- cyclothymic, irritable, depressive and schizoid (rs > 0.5, except for a value of 0.435 for the schizoid-depressive correlation) -- while hyperthymic, anxious and melancholic temperaments had modest satellite linkages with these four core temperaments. Age was moderately correlated with cyclothymic temperament (rs = -0.355, p = 0.001) and weakly correlated with melancholic, depressive and irritable temperaments. Females were more likely to have cyclothymic and anxious temperaments, while males were more likely to have hyperthymic and schizoid temperaments.
Discussion: Close correlations among temperaments suggest that individualized treatment strategies should be implemented depending on the psychopathology of the individual, which could be affected by combined temperaments. Young and female individuals are more likely to have cyclothymic temperaments, suggesting that these subjects should be more likely to exhibit bipolarity.