Does personality at college entry predict number of reported pain conditions at mid-life? A longitudinal study.
UNLABELLED: The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether personality traits, as assessed by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), at time of college entry can predict the number of reported pain conditions at an approximate 30-year follow-up for 2332 subjects, 1834 men and 498 women, who were administered the MMPI on entry to the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) between 1964 and 1966. In 1997, a follow-up was conducted in which subjects were administered a self-report questionnaire regarding whether they had experienced 1 or more chronic pain conditions. Analyses of the relationship between the MMPI clinical scales at college entrance and the report of number of chronic pain conditions at follow-up were conducted. Among male participants, elevations of Scales 1 (Hypochondriasis), 3 (Hysteria), and 5 (Masculinity/Femininity) predicted increases in number of chronic pain conditions at follow-up. For female participants, elevations in Scales 1, 3, and 6 (Paranoia) predicted increases in number of chronic pain conditions at follow-up. The current study suggests that a statistically significant relationship exists between MMPI responses at college entry and reports of chronic pain conditions at mid-life. PERSPECTIVE: This study found a small, but significant relationship between elevations on MMPI scales measuring hypochondriasis and hysteria and the report of chronic pain conditions at follow-up. The study is important because it is the first to examine how personality assessed in younger adults relates to the number of chronic pain conditions reported 30 years later.
Applegate, KL; Keefe, FJ; Siegler, IC; Bradley, LA; McKee, DC; Cooper, KS; Riordan, P
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