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Association between affective temperaments and season of birth in a general student population

Zoltan Rihmer, Péter Erdös, Mihaly Ormos, Konstantinos N. Fountoulakis, Gustavo Vazquez, Maurizio Pompili & Xenia Gonda

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abstract Background
Several studies indicate a significant association between birth season and personality and neuropsychiatric disorders. The aim of our present study was to investigate the association between affective temperaments and season of birth in a nonclinical sample.

Methods
366 university students completed the standardized Hungarian version of the Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego-Auto-questionnaire (TEMPS-A). Ordinary Least Squares regression was applied to explain the relationship between TEMPS-A subscale and birth season of the respondents.

Results
We found a significant association between temperament scores and birth season in the case of the Hyperthymic, Cyclothymic, Irritable and Depressive temperaments, while no significant results emerged for the Anxious temperament.

Limitations
The relatively small sample size, especially in the case of seasonal and monthly subsamples limits generalization of our results.

Conclusions
Our results support the evidence that there is a strong association between season of birth and personality, extending the results to affective temperaments as well. Furthermore, our results are in line with clinical observations concerning the seasonal variation of onset and hospitalization due to affective episodes. This is especially important, since affective temperaments are conceived as the subaffective and subclinical manifestations of major and minor affective disorders indicating a risk for the development of these disorders and also exerting a possible pathoplastic effect, thus our results also have clinical significance.

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type journal paper
   
keywords Affective temperaments; Birth season; Personality; Seasonality; TEMPS-A
   
language English
kind of paper journal article
date of appearance 1-7-2011
journal Journal of Affective Disorders
publisher Elsevier Science (Amsterdam)
ISSN 0165-0327
ISSN (online) 1573-2517
DOI 10.1016/j.jad.2011.01.015
volume of journal 132
number of issue 1-2
page(s) 64-70
review double-blind review
   
citation Rihmer, Z., Erdös, P., Ormos, M., Fountoulakis, K. N., Vazquez, G., Pompili, M., & Gonda, X. (2011). Association between affective temperaments and season of birth in a general student population. Journal of Affective Disorders, 132(1-2), 64-70, DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2011.01.015.