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Logo of agpsychBioMed Centralbiomed central web sitesearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleAnnals of General Psychiatry
Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2010; 9(Suppl 1): S186.
Published online 2010 April 22. doi:  10.1186/1744-859X-9-S1-S186
PMCID: PMC2991876

Dominant temperament traits among the inmate population: a comparative study


Multiple studies document specific personality traits, relatively homogeneous in the structural aspect. We attempt to extrapolate a purely psychological examination approach, applying the clinical conceptualizations of H. Akiskal. This study aims to asses the existence of statistically significant differences between the TEMPS-A scale ratings of subjects serving a prison sentence and a control group.

Materials and methods

We examined a total of 148 patients divided into 2 groups, balanced in quantity and gender: an experimental (prison inmates) (N = 74) and a control group (N = 74). The experimental group included subjects serving sentences in penitentiary institutions within the Republic of Bulgaria's territory. The control group was randomly selected. The TEMPS-A scale was applied to subjects in both groups.


We found statistically significant differences between the average values in the two groups regarding all scales except for the Hyperthymic temperament.


The Hyperthimic temperament does not have a specific prognostic value regarding criminal behavior. This temperament can be expected to reflect the degree of adaptation. A question stands as to whether the TEMPS-A scales describe the temperament of premorbid personality or can register changes in the structure of personality as a consequence of substance abuse.


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