Examining the relationship between early childhood temperament, trauma, and posttraumatic stress disorder

Chantelle E Wiseman*, Jazz Croft, Stanley Zammit

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

A greater understanding of why some people are more at risk of developing PTSD is required. We examine the relationship between temperament traits in early childhood and subsequent trauma exposure and risk of PTSD. We used data on 2017 participants from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Temperament was measured using the Carey Infant Temperament Scale (average score from ages 6 and 24 months). This
provided data on 9 individuals traits, and Easy, Medium, and Difficult temperament clusters. Trauma exposure was measured from 0-17 years, and PTSD at age 23 years using the PTSD
Checklist for DSM-V (PCL-5). Regression models were used to estimate associations between temperament and both trauma and PTSD, and to examine mediation (of temperament to PTSD pathway) and interaction (temperament X trauma on PTSD) effects.1178 (58.4%) individuals were exposed to a trauma in childhood and 112 (5.5%) had PTSD. Higher levels of Intensity were associated with a small increase in trauma exposure (ORadjusted
1.23, 95% CI 1.12, 1.34; p <0.001) and PTSD (ORadjusted 1.27, 95% CI 1.05, 1.54; p = 0.012).
Higher levels of Activity, Adaptability, Mood and Threshold temperament traits were also associated with trauma exposure. Medium (ORadjusted 1.49, 95% CI 1.21, 1.84; p <0.001) and Difficult (ORadjusted 1.47, 95% CI 1.18, 1.84; p = 0.001) temperament clusters were associated
with increased trauma exposure compared to an Easy cluster, but were notassociated with PTSD. The relationship between trait Intensity and adult PTSD was partially mediated by childhood/adolescent trauma (Indirect ORadjusted 1.08, 95% CI 1.01, 1.16, p = 0.024, proportion mediated 26.2%). There was some evidence that trait Intensity modified the relationship between trauma and PTSD (ORadjusted 1.66, 95% CI 1.07, 2.55, p = 0.023). PTSD in early adulthood is more common in those with intense stimuli responsiveness in childhood.
Temperament traits might be useful predictors of trauma exposure and mental health outcomes and offer potential targets for supportive interventions.
Journal Pre-proof 3
Keywords
PTSD; temperament; trauma; cohort study; ALSPAC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-433
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Volume144
Early online date26 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The UK Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust (Grant ref: 217065/Z/19/Z) and the University of Bristol provide core support for ALSPAC. This publication is the work of the authors and Chantelle Wiseman and Stan Zammit will serve as guarantors for the contents of this paper.A comprehensive list of grants funding is available on the ALSPAC website (http://www.bristol.ac.uk/alspac/external/documents/grant-acknowledgements.pdf); This research was specifically funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) grant number MR/M006727/1. GWAS data was generated by Sample Logistics and Genotyping Facilities at Wellcome Sanger Institute and LabCorp (Laboratory Corporation of America) using support from 23andMe.This study was supported by an Institutional Strategic Support Fund round 3 (ISSF3) grant from Cardiff University, The Wellcome Trust GW4 CAT scheme (grant number 216280/Z/19/Z), and the Medical Research Council (MRC) grant MR/M006727/1. SZ is supported by the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Bristol. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the National Institute for Health Research or the Department of Health and Social Care.

Funding Information:
A comprehensive list of grants funding is available on the ALSPAC website ( http://www.bristol.ac.uk/alspac/external/documents/ grant-acknowledgements.pdf); This research was specifically funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) grant number MR/M006727/1 . GWAS data was generated by Sample Logistics and Genotyping Facilities at Wellcome Sanger Institute and LabCorp (Laboratory Corporation of America) using support from 23andMe.

Funding Information:
The UK Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust (Grant ref: 217065/Z/19/Z ) and the University of Bristol provide core support for ALSPAC. This publication is the work of the authors and Chantelle Wiseman and Stan Zammit will serve as guarantors for the contents of this paper.

Funding Information:
This study was supported by an Institutional Strategic Support Fund round 3 (ISSF3) grant from Cardiff University , The Wellcome Trust GW4 CAT scheme (grant number 216280/Z/19/Z ), and the Medical Research Council (MRC) grant MR/M006727/1 . SZ is supported by the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Bristol . The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the National Institute for Health Research or the Department of Health and Social Care.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

Keywords

  • PTSD
  • Temperament
  • Trauma
  • Cohort study
  • ALSPAC

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