Relationship between temperament and anxiety disorders: a systematic review

Marco Liotta


The relationship between anxiety disorders and personality traits, in their temperamental and character dimensions, has been the subject of numerous studies using the dimensional approach of the psychobiological personality. The aim of this review was to identify temperament and character traits linked both to anxiety symptoms and to specific anxious disorders comparing the data obtained from studies using the two forms of Cloninger temperament and character inventory (TCI and TCI-R). Besides the study aimed to identify, through the comparison of data, the most appropriate model to represent the relationship between personality traits and anxiety disorders. Results showed a high direct correlation between the temperamental dimension of Harm Avoidance and anxiety symptoms and an high inverse correlation between the character dimension of Self-Directedness and anxiety symptoms. Moreover specific anxiety disorders has showed typical correlation with specific temperamental and character traits. The comparison between the longitudinal studies argues in favor of a “precursor model” of explanation of these correlations whereby personality can be used to individuate early manifestations of anxiety disorder.


TCI; personality; anxiety disorders; anxiety symptoms

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