Previous studies have showed some evidences about the relationship between personality traits particularly neuroticism and extroversion, separately, with psychological stress and anxiety. In the current study, we clarified the magnitude of joint interdependence (co-morbidity) of anxiety (continuous) and Psychological stress (dichotomous) as dependent variables of mixed type with five-factor personality traits as independent variables.
Materials and Methods:
Data from 3180 participants who attended in the cross-sectional population-based “study on the epidemiology of psychological, alimentary health and nutrition” and completed self-administered questionnaires about demographic and life style, gastrointestinal disorders, personality traits, perceived intensity of stress, social support, and psychological outcome was analyzed using shared random effect approach in R Free software.
The results indicated high scores of neuroticism increase the chance of high psychological stress (odds ratio [OR] = 5.1; P < 0.001) and anxiety score (B = 1.73; P < 0.001) after adjustment for the probable confounders. In contrast, those who had higher scores of extraversion and conscientiousness experienced lower levels of anxiety score (B = −0.54 and −0.23, respectively, P < 0.001) and psychological stress (OR = 0.36 and 0.65, respectively, P < 0.001). Furthermore, higher score of agreeableness had significant negative relationship with anxiety (B = −0.32, P < 0.001).
The present study indicated that the scores of neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness strongly predict both anxiety and psychological stress in Iranian adult population. Due to likely mechanism of genetic and environmental factors on the relationships between personality traits and psychological disorders, it is suggested to perform longitudinal studies focusing on both genetic and environmental factors in Iranian population.