Anxiety and Depression in Klinefelter Syndrome: The Impact of Personality and Social Engagement

Klinefelter syndrome (KS) (47, XXY) is the most common sex chromosome disorder, with a prevalence of 1 in every 660 newborn males. Despite the profound adverse effects of anxiety and depression and their greater prevalence in KS populations, no research has been conducted to date to identify the determinants of anxiety and depression among patients with KS. We examined the relationships between personality traits, social engagement, and anxiety and depression symptoms among KS patients (n = 69) and a group of male controls (n = 69) matched for age and years of education. KS patients experienced more anxiety and depression symptoms than control participants Neuroticism was the strongest and most consistent mediator between KS and both anxiety and depression symptoms. This research suggests that neuroticism may play a central role in attention switching, anxiety and depression among patients with Klinefelter syndrome. The central role of neuroticism suggests that it may be used to help identify and treat KS patients at particularly high-risk for attention-switching deficits, anxiety and depression.

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