The role of neuroticism and extraversion in the stress-anxiety and stress-depression relationships

Amanda A. Uliaszek, Richard E. Zinbarg, Susan Mineka, Michelle G. Craske, Jonathan M. Sutton, James W. Griffith, Raphael Rose, Allison Waters, Constance Hammen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


Though there is a considerable amount of research supporting the association between stressful life events and major depression, there is a paucity of research concerning a range of other life stress constructs, non-depressive disorders, the role of stable personality traits, and gender differences. This study addresses these deficits by: (a) focusing on the association between interpersonal and noninterpersonal chronic life stress (CLS) and both depressive and anxiety disorders; (b) examining the roles of neuroticism and low extraversion in these associations; and (c) assessing gender differences. Participants were 603 adolescents from a study examining risk factors for emotional disorders. Depression and social phobia were associated with interpersonal CLS (IP-CLS), with neuroticism partially accounting for these associations. Low extraversion partially accounted for the association between social phobia and IP-CLS. Depression was also associated with non-interpersonal CLS (NI-CLS), but only in females. This study provides preliminary evidence for the importance of personality variables in explaining shared associations between stress and depression. Additionally, the stress-social phobia relationship is highlighted with no evidence supporting an association between other anxiety disorders and CLS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-381
Number of pages19
JournalAnxiety, Stress and Coping
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic life stress
  • Depression
  • Extraversion
  • Neuroticism


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