Personality traits

Neuroticism and social inadequacy


LASA123
LASA323

Contact: Hannie Comijs

Background
Personality refers to enduring personal characteristics that are revealed in a particular pattern of behavior in a variety of situations. There is a strong association between personality characteristics and psychopathology, such as depression (Klein et al., 2011).

Measurement instruments in LASA
In LASA two personality subscales are included. A neuroticism scale was derived from the NPV, the Nederlandse Persoonlijkheids Vragenlijst (DPQ, the Dutch Personality Questionnaire) (Luteijn et al., 1975). This subscale was shortened from 20 to 15 items. High Neuroticism-scorers experience a broad range of negative moods, including not only fear/anxiety and sadness/ depression but also such emotions as guilt, hostility, and self-dissatisfaction. Control in the social domain was measured using the Social Inadequacy scale, which was shortened from 15 to 10 items in the present study. Persons scoring high on this Social Inadequacy scale are socially ill at ease and feel they cannot easily relate to other people.

The selection of questions on neuroticism and social inadequacy is based on pilot studies prior to the start of the first LASA cycle (Smits et al., 1995; Steunenberg et al., 2003). Out of a list of 35 items from the Dutch Personality Questionnaire, a subset of 25 items was selected.

Data were collected in the written questionnaire. Question format and response categories were identical for both scales. Respondents were asked to indicate whether various statements applied to them (applicable, do not know, not applicable). There is no generally used cut-off score.

Questionnaires
LASAB123 / LASAC123 / LASAD123 / LASAE123 / LAS2B123 / LAS3B123 (self-administered questionnaire, in Dutch)

Variable information
LASAB123, LASAC123, LASAD123, LASAE123, LAS2B123, LAS3B123: scores on the items of the Neuroticism and Social Inadequacy scales;
LASAB323, LASAC323, LASAD323, LASAE323 LAS2B123, LAS3B123: total score on Neuroticism (*qneurot; range 0 – 30) and Social Inadequacy (*qsocina; range 0 – 20) scales.
(pdf)

Availability of information per wave1:

 

B

C

D

E


2B*

F

G

H



3B*

MB*

I*

Neuroticism

Sa

Sa

Sa

Sa

Sa

-

-

-

Sa

-

-

Social Inadequacy

Sa

Sa

Sa

Sa

Sa

-

-

-

Sa

-

-

1 More information is available on: 
http://www.lasa-vu.nl/data/lasa/sampleLASAdatacollection.html

* 2B=baseline second cohort;
  3B=baseline third cohort;
  MB=migrants: baseline first cohort (Under Construction);
  I=Under Construction

Sa=data collected in self-administered questionnaire

Previous use in LASA
Within LASA personality characteristics have been examined: the association with depression (van den Heuvel et al 1996; Steunenberg et al 2006, 2007, 2010), the relation between neuroticism, memory complaints and successive cognitive impairment (Comijs et al., 2002) and in relation to stability and change of emotional functioning (de Beurs et al. 2005).

References

  1. Beurs E de, Comijs H, Twisk JW, Sonnenberg C, Beekman AT, Deeg D. Stability and change of emotional functioning in late life: modelling of vulnerability profiles.J Affect Disord. 2005;84(1):53-62.
  2. Heuvel N van den, Smits CH, Deeg DJ, Beekman AT. Personality: a moderator of the relation between cognitive functioning and depression in adults aged 55-85? J Affect Disord. 1996, 16;41(3):229-40.
  3. Klein DN, Kotov R, Bufferd SJ. Personality and depression: explanatory models and review of the evidence. Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2011;7:269-95.
  4. Luteijn, F., Starren, J., and van Dijk, H. (1975). Handleiding bij de NPV. Lisse: Swets & Zeitlinger.
  5. Michel, W., Shoda, Y., & Smith, R. E. (2004). Introduction to personality: Toward an integration. New York: John Wiley.
  6. Smits, C.H.M., Deeg D.J.H., & Bosscher R. (1995) Well-Being and control in Older Persons: The Prediction of Well-Being from Control Measures. The International Journal Of Aging and Human Development, 40, 237-250.
  7. Steunenberg, B., Beekman A.T.F., Deeg, D.J.H., Kerkhof, A.J.F.M., (2003). Neuroticism in the elderly: the utility of the shortened DPQ-scales (in Dutch). Tijdschrift voor Gerontologie en Geriatrie, Jun; 34 (3): 118- 124.
  8. Steunenberg B, Beekman AT, Deeg DJ, Kerkhof AJ. Personality and the onset of depression in late life. J Affect Disord. 2006 Jun;92(2-3):243-51.
  9. Steunenberg B, Beekman AT, Deeg DJ, Bremmer MA, Kerkhof AJ. Mastery and neuroticism predict recovery of depression in later life. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2007;15(3):234-42.
  10. Steunenberg, B., Beekman, A.T.F., Deeg, D.J.H., Kerkhof, A.J.F.M. (2010). Personality predicts recurrence of late-life depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 123, 164-172.