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

J Affect Disord. 2011 Jul;132(1-2):64-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2011.01.015. Epub 2011 Feb 21.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Seasons*
  • Sex Factors
  • Students / psychology*
  • Temperament*
  • Young Adult