Personality dimensions of schizophrenia patients compared to control subjects by gender and the relationship with illness severity

Abstract (provisional)

Personality traits and schizophrenia present gender differences; however, gender has not been considered in most studies on personality and schizophrenia. This study aims to identify the different personality dimensions of schizophrenia patients and healthy control subjects by gender and to explore the relationship between personality dimensions and illness severity variables by analyzing data for males and females separately.

Temperament and Character Inventory-Revised dimensions were compared by gender between 161 schizophrenia patients and 214 healthy controls from a population-based sample using independent t-tests. We then investigated whether personality dimensions are related to illness severity variables using correlation analyses and bivariate logistic regression, also by gender.

The patients had significantly higher scores for harm avoidance (HA) and self-transcendence (ST) and lower scores for reward dependence (RD), cooperativeness ©, and self-directedness (SD) than the controls. Similar results were obtained when the sample was stratified by gender, however the differences were higher and more significant for HA among males and for RD among females. The number of admissions to a psychiatric hospital positively correlated with novelty seeking NS in males and negatively with SD in females. In males, SD and ST negatively correlated with the number of suicide attempts.

Male and female patients present difficulties for regulating and adapting behavior to achieve goals (SD) and for identifying and accepting others ©, as well as a great sense of spirituality and universe identification (ST). However, male patients are more characterized by being fearful, doubtful and easily fatigued (HA), while female patients are characterized by presenting difficulties maintaining and pursuing associated reward behaviors (RD). Furthermore, male and female patients who are frequently admitted to psychiatric hospitals and male patients who attempt suicide should be evaluated regarding their personality dimensions. Future studies assessing the relationship between personality dimensions and the clinical features of schizophrenia should consider gender differences.

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