Low extraversion and high neuroticism as indices of genetic and environmental risk for social phobia, agoraphobia, and animal phobia.

  title={Low extraversion and high neuroticism as indices of genetic and environmental risk for social phobia, agoraphobia, and animal phobia.},
  author={O. Joseph Bienvenu and John M. Hettema and Michael C. Neale and Carol A Prescott and Kenneth S. Kendler},
  journal={The American journal of psychiatry},
  volume={164 11},
OBJECTIVE The authors examined the extent to which two major personality dimensions (extraversion and neuroticism) index the genetic and environmental risk for three phobias (social phobia, agoraphobia, and animal phobia) in twins ascertained from a large, population-based registry. METHOD Lifetime phobias and personality traits were assessed through diagnostic interview and self-report questionnaire, respectively, in 7,800 twins from female-female, male-male, and opposite-sex pairs. Sex… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

The structure of genetic and environmental risk factors for phobias in women

The results suggest that the co-morbidity between phobias is best explained by two distinct liability factors rather than a single factor, as has been assumed in most previous multivariate twin analyses.

Genetic and Environmental Covariations Among Obsessive–Compulsive Symptoms, Neuroticism, and Extraversion in South Korean Adolescent and Young Adult Twins

  • Y. Hur
  • Psychology
    Twin Research and Human Genetics
  • 2009
Findings add to the cumulative evidence of the shared genetic etiology for the associations between a personality profile of high neuroticism and low extraversion and mental illnesses.

Relationships Among Avoidant Personality Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Normative Personality Traits: A Twin Study.

The authors found that AvPD and SAD are differentially related to several personality traits at the phenotypic, genetic, and environmental level.

Linking "big" personality traits to anxiety, depressive, and substance use disorders: a meta-analysis.

It is found that common mental disorders are strongly linked to personality and have similar trait profiles, and greater attention to these constructs can significantly benefit psychopathology research and clinical practice.

Understanding the Relationship between Social Anxiety and Personality

Background: Previous studies on the relationship between social anxiety and personality have found that certain components of The Big Five such as neuroticism and extraversion are related to social

Genetics of the Human Personality

Heritability of human personality traits is estimated in the range from 30% to 60%. A polygenic model which suggests interactions of multiple genes with each other and environment is recently

Social phobia among the elderly

It was found that those with social phobia more often had subjective cognitive complaints and poorer interviewer-rated memory, and these personality characteristics may be one reason for the high comorbidity between socialphobia and depression among the elderly.

Personality Trait Interactions in Risk for and Protection against Social Anxiety Symptoms

Results showed that low emotional stability was an independent predictor of higher levels of SA, and the interactions between extraversion and openness, and between openness and agreeableness predicted SA symptoms, highlighting the importance of testing interaction effects of personality traits on psychopathology.



A population-based twin study of the relationship between neuroticism and internalizing disorders.

There is substantial, but not complete, overlap between the genetic factors that influence individual variation in neuroticism and those that increase liability across the internalizing disorders, helping to explain the high rates of comorbidity among the latter.

Familial aggregation of anxiety-related quantitative traits in generalized social phobia: clues to understanding "disorder" heritability?

Future family and genetic studies of social phobia should consider the possibility that one or more traits may better approximate the phenotype of interest, and more extensive efforts at phenotype refinement should be undertaken before such studies proceed.

Fears and phobias: reliability and heritability

Examining fears and phobias together, in a multiple threshold model, results suggested that twin resemblance was due solely to genetic factors, with estimated total heritabilities, corrected for unreliability, of any 43%, agoraphobia 67%, animal 47%, blood/injury 59%, situational 46% and social 51%.

The genetic epidemiology of irrational fears and phobias in men.

In male subjects, genetic risk factors, which are partially common across all subtypes and partially subtype specific, play a moderate role in the etiology of phobias and their associated irrational fears.

Comparing the biological and cultural inheritance of personality and social attitudes in the Virginia 30,000 study of twins and their relatives.

  • L. EavesA. Heath L. Corey
  • Psychology
    Twin research : the official journal of the International Society for Twin Studies
  • 1999
Model-fitting analyses show that personality and social attitude measures differ markedly in major features of family resemblance, and the effects of the family environment, including vertical cultural transmission from parent to child, are much more marked for social attitudes than for personality.

Anxiety and depressive disorders and the five‐factor model of personality: A higher‐ and lower‐order personality trait investigation in a community sample

Normal personality traits in persons with psychiatrist‐ascertained anxiety and depressive disorders in a general population sample are described in detail and neuroticism in particular was related to acuity of disorder.

Genome-wide linkage analysis of a composite index of neuroticism and mood-related scales in extreme selected sibships.

The results indicated two potential quantitative trait loci (QTL): one on chromosome 1p around 64 cM (43-70 cM) near marker D1S2892 and another on chromosome 6p (LOD 2.7) around 47cM (34-63 cM).

Biology of personality and individual differences

Part I: Overview and a Historical Perspective; part II: Studies of Extraversion and Related Traits; part III: Age and Sex as Determinants of Individual Differences.

Linking self-reported childhood behavioral inhibition to adolescent social phobia.

It is demonstrated that behavioral inhibition in childhood increases the risk of social phobia in adolescence, and another component of behavioral inhibition, fearfulness, increased the risk for both socialphobia and depression.

A longitudinal twin study of personality and major depression in women.

In women, the relationship between neuroticism and the liability to major depression is substantial and largely the result of genetic factors that predispose to both neuroticismand major depression.