Personality Psychology and Depression

Thesis Statement: The study of depression in the scope of personality psychology assesses the psychology models, determining possible connections with personality traits, analyzing the depression propagation among adolescents.

1st Main Point: Personality Psychology Models

  • One of the most common and essential patterns in personality psychology is the five-factor model, which uses five ideas to describe a person’s behavior and character. When analyzing depressed people, attention should be given to factors of neuroticism and extroversion (Fournier & Tang, 2017). Analysis of these fundamental factors reveals six patterns of depression.
  • This psychological model allows an empirical assessment of a person’s tendency to depression by analyzing the effect of neuroticism in human life. As practice shows, people who have high rates of this factor are prone to depressive thoughts (Fournier & Tang, 2017).
  • An alternative is a three-factor model consisting of Equanimity, Anxiety, and Agency. The variables put forward to allow the study of individual personality differences, which is useful for the analysis of psychological deviations (Barnes & Mongrain, 2019).
  • Equanimity expresses positive thoughts and relationships with other people, while the second factor reflects nervous states (Barnes & Mongrain, 2019). Together with the third factor, reflecting ambitiousness, one can establish a person’s predisposition to depression.

2nd Main Point: Connections Between Personality and Depression

  • The concept of psychological inflexibility, reflected in the psychology of personality, is closely connected with many of the characteristic features of a person. Studies by Gilbert, Tonge, and Thompson show that this construct is more strongly associated with depression than anxiety arousal (2019).
  • The details of this concept include factors such as personality stiffness, attention span, and emotional inertia (Gilbert et al., 2019). Their presence in the person indicates anxiety and depressive tendencies.
  • The relationship of depression with a negative emotional state seems commonplace and a simple symptom; however, the effect of direct emotions on a person’s thoughts have not been thoroughly studied. Analyses show that a low number of positive emotional constructs may indicate an increased risk of depression, but this relationship is rather weak (Khazanov & Ruscio, 2016).
  • It is necessary to study in detail the emotional behavior of a person since the common Positive Emotionally (PE) constructs do not have a substantial effect on depression.

3rd Main Point: Depression Propagation Among Adolescents

  • Depression is often activated due to processes occurring within the person because of his or her thoughts and behavior. According to Kouros, Morris, and Garber, changes in sleep patterns and low self-esteem, increase the risk of depression in adolescents (2016). Individual factors associated with a particular gender of the person were also identified.
  • Identifiable personal depression syndromes not only help its improved study but also contribute to the early detection and treatment of the disease, which is especially important in adolescence.
  • Although depression is a specific disease, the likelihood of contracting it from the surrounding people has been noted in studies (Schwartz-Mette & Smith, 2016). Adolescents are especially prone to the phenomenon due to the nature of relationships between peers at this age. Additional factors that increase the risk of contagion are strong personal feelings and the search for confidence in friends (Schwartz-Mette & Smith, 2016).
  • The factors examined allow studying the spread of depression in groups of people, as well as to analyze the interactions of adolescents in the field of their emotional development.


Psychology of personality is multifaceted science that can be used to study the characteristics of a person in general and to address specific cases of mental deviations. This analysis may be carried out due to the presence of multiple relationships between a person’s character and a tendency to depression. The study of this disease can be carried out using various models and by analyzing its relationship with society and the environment.


Barnes, C., & Mongrain, M. (2019). A three-factor model of personality predicts changes in depression and subjective well-being following positive psychology interventions. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 1-13.

Fournier, J. C., & Tang, T. Z. (2017). Personality and depression. In R. J. DeRubeis & D.R. Strunk (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of mood disorders (pp. 154-164). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Gilbert, K. E., Tonge, N. A., & Thompson, R. J. (2019). Associations between depression, anxious arousal and manifestations of psychological inflexibility. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 62, 88-96.

Khazanov, G. K., & Ruscio, A. M. (2016). Is low positive emotionality a specific risk factor for depression? A meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Psychological Bulletin, 142(9), 991-1015.

Kouros, C. D., Morris, M. C., & Garber, J. (2016). Within-person changes in individual symptoms of depression predict subsequent depressive episodes in adolescents: A prospective study. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 44(3), 483-494.

Schwartz-Mette, R. A., & Smith, R. L. (2016). When does co-rumination facilitate depression contagion in adolescent friendships? Investigating intrapersonal and interpersonal factors. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 47(6), 1–13.

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