Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2012 Apr;10(1):54-58.

The Impact of Personality Traits on Emotional Responses to Interpersonal Stress

  • 1The Catholic University of Korea, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Uijeongbu St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, College of Medicine, Uijeongbu, Korea.


OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to examine the impact of personality traits on emotional responses to interpersonal stress.
Thirty-two healthy college students (18 men, 14 women; age 25.2+/-2.7 years) participated in the study. Mood and anxiety were assessed with the Beck Depression Inventory and the State Trait Anxiety Inventory. Personality traits were assessed with the Interpersonal Sensitivity Measure (IPSM). The subjective emotional responses of participants to different (i.e., negative, neutral, and positive) interpersonal feedback were measured.
Subject responses were positive to positive interpersonal feedback and negative to negative interpersonal feedback. The IPSM fragile inner self subscore was negatively correlated with the subjective emotional ratings in response to interpersonal feedback. No correlation was found between validation measures (i.e., the degree of attention in the task and task difficulty) and subjective emotional responses.
Taken together, emotional responses to interpersonal stress may be modulated by personality traits and may impact health and psychological outcomes. Therefore, proper screening and stress management programs that focus on personality traits may improve the mental health of college students.


Interpersonal relations; Psychological stress; Emotional stress; Personality
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