The relationship between personality characteristics and postconcussion symptoms in a nonclinical sample

Neuropsychology. 2010 Mar;24(2):168-75. doi: 10.1037/a0017431.


Postconcussion symptoms are relatively common in the acute recovery period following mild traumatic brain injury. However, for a small subset of patients, self reported postconcussion symptoms continue long after injury. Many factors have been proposed to account for the presence of persistent postconcussion symptoms. The influence of personality traits has been proposed as one explanation. The purpose of this study was to examine the relation between postconcussion-like symptom reporting and personality traits in a sample of 96 healthy participants. Participants completed the British Columbia Postconcussion Symptom Inventory and the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory III (MCMI-III). There was a strong positive relation between the majority of MCMI-III scales and postconcussion-like symptom reporting. Approximately half of the sample met the International Classification of Diseases-10 Criterion C symptoms for Postconcussional Syndrome. Compared with those participants who did not meet this criterion, the PCS group had significant elevations on the negativistic, depression, major depression, dysthymia, anxiety, dependent, sadistic, somatic, and borderline scales of the MCMI-III. These findings support the hypothesis that personality traits can play a contributing role in self reported postconcussion symptoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Personality Inventory
  • Personality*
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome / complications*
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome / psychology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Young Adult