The purpose of the study was to identify the style of parental bonding and the personality characteristics that might increase the risk of hyperventilation and adjustment disorder.
A total of 917 males were recruited, 156 with adjustment disorder and hyperventilation syndrome (AD+HY), 273 with adjustment disorder without hyperventilation syndrome (AD–HY), and 488 healthy controls. All participants completed the Parental Bonding Instrument, Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, and Chinese Health Questionnaire.
Analysis using structural equation models identified a pathway relationship in which parental bonding affected personality characteristics, personality characteristics affected mental health condition, and mental health condition affected the development of hyperventilation or adjustment disorder. Males with AD–HY perceived less paternal care, and those with AD+HY perceived more maternal protection than those with adjustment disorder and those in the control group. Participants with AD–HY were more neurotic and less extroverted than those with AD+HY. Both groups showed poorer mental health than the controls.
Although some patients with hyperventilation syndrome demonstrated symptoms of adjustment disorder, there were different predisposing factors between the two groups in terms of parental bonding and personality characteristics. This finding is important for the early intervention and prevention of hyperventilation and adjustment disorder.
Keywords: Adjustment disorder, Hyperventilation syndrome, Parental attachment, Multitrait methodology, Hierarchical structural equation model