Personality and posttraumatic stress disorder among directly exposed survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing

Carol S North, Anna Abbacchi, C. Robert Cloninger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: Few disaster studies have specifically examined personality in association with exposure to disaster and development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A study of survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing examined PTSD and personality measured after the disaster. Methods: In a random sample of 255 survivors from a bombing survivor registry, 151 (59%) completed both full PTSD and personality assessments using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule and the Temperament and Character Inventory, respectively. Results: Postbombing PTSD was associated with low self-directedness and low cooperativeness, and also with high self-transcendence and harm avoidance in most configurations. Disorganized (schizotypal) character and explosive (borderline) temperament configurations were associated with PTSD; creative and autocratic character configurations were negatively associated with PTSD. Conclusions: Clinicians should be vigilant for PTSD among individuals with personality disorders and also be aware that personality disorders are likely to be overrepresented among people with PTSD. Treatment of PTSD may need to take into account comorbid personality disorders and personality features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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