Personality and Anxiety Associations in Adolescents and Emerging Adults

Elisabetta Crocetti, Theo Klimstra, William W. Hale III, Jaap J. A. Denissen, Wim Meeus


This study was aimed at unraveling associations between Big Five personality traits and anxiety symptoms of panic, generalized anxiety
disorder, school phobia, separation anxiety, and social phobia in male and female adolescents and emerging adults from the general population. Participants were 3,758 (54.6% females) adolescents and emerging adults aged between 11 and 26 years. They completed the shortened Big Five questionnaire and the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders. Results indicated that the associations between Big Five and anxiety symptoms were consistent across gender and age groups. Most of the associations were statistically significant with the strongest links found between extraversion and symptoms of social phobia; conscientiousness and symptoms of school anxiety; and emotional stability and symptoms of panic, separation, generalized, and school anxiety. All these associations were negative, suggesting that higher levels of these personality traits were related to lower levels of anxiety symptoms.


Big Five; Panic; Generalized Anxiety Disorder;Separation Anxiety; School Anxiety; Social Phobia; Gender; Adolescence; Emerging Adulthood

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