Childhood experiences and personality traits in patients with motor conversion symptoms

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1998 Oct;98(4):288-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1998.tb10086.x.


A total of 30 patients with newly diagnosed motor conversion disorder were consecutively investigated by means of a Swedish self-rating inventory designed to assess perceived parental rearing practices (EMBU), and the Karolinska Scale of Personality (KSP). DSM Axis I and II psychopathology was assessed using a Structured Clinical Interview (SCID), and comparisons were made with 30 age- and sex-matched in-patients with motor symptoms due to a neurological disorder. Depression, the presence of a personality disorder and also poor schooling proved to be significantly associated with motor conversion disorder. The index patients perceived a high degree of parental rejection as well as low levels of affection and emotional warmth during childhood, but contrary to most previous studies, childhood physical and/or sexual abuse was not found to be associated with motor conversion disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Conversion Disorder / complications*
  • Conversion Disorder / diagnosis
  • Conversion Disorder / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement Disorders / complications*
  • Personality Assessment
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Personality Disorders / etiology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales