Maladaptive personality traits, anxiety and somatic symptoms in adolescence

Valentina Spensieri, Simone Amendola


Few studies have explored the link between personality traits and somatic
symptoms in adolescence. In contrast, the association between anxiety and somatic symptoms is well-established. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between maladaptive personality trait domains, anxiety and somatic symptoms. A sample of 303 Italian adolescents (159 males) aged 14 to 17 years were recruited for this study.
Participants completed the following self-report measures: the Personality
Inventory for DSM-5 Brief Form, the Screen for Child Anxiety-Related Emotional
Disorders, and the Children’s Somatization Inventory-24. Significant positive
correlations emerged between personality trait domains (except for disinhibition),
anxiety and somatic symptoms. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses indicated
that only psychoticism, among the personality domains, explained unique variance
in somatic symptoms, once the role of anxiety and gender was taken into account.
This study provides evidence regarding the role of psychoticism, as well as anxiety,
in predicting somatic symptoms among healthy adolescents. These findings have
important implications for the prevention and clinical management of adolescents
who report diverse somatic symptoms. Longitudinal studies are needed to better
explore the relationships between these variables in adolescence.


personality traits; anxiety; somatic symptoms; adolescence.

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  ISSN PRINT: 1125-5196  -   ISSN ONLINE: 1974-4854