Current Psychology

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 66–74 | Cite as

Perceived Stress as a Mediator of the Relationship between Neuroticism and Depression and Anxiety Symptoms

  • Angela J. Pereira-Morales
  • Ana Adan
  • Diego A. ForeroEmail author


Although major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the main causes of global disease burden, there is little evidence about the association between personality traits and depressive symptoms in Latin America. The aim of this study was to examine the possibility that perceived stress might be a mediator of the association between neuroticism and depressive and anxious symptoms. Two hundred seventy four Colombian subjects (mean age 21.3 years) were evaluated with the short version of the Big Five Inventory (BFI-S), the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (ZSAS) and the Perceived Stress Scale-10. Both neuroticism and perceived stress were significantly correlated with higher scores in depressive and anxious symptoms (p < 0.01). Perceived stress was a significant mediator of the relationship between neurotic trait and depressive and anxious symptoms. Our results are one of the first descriptions of the role of perceived stress as a mediator of the association between neuroticism and psychological distress. These findings are of particular importance, in the context of the need for more evidence about the psychosocial risk factors for MDD in Latin America.


Personality Depression Anxiety Perceived stress Latin America 



This study was supported by a research grant from Colciencias (grant # 823-2015). AA is supported by a research grant from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (PSI2015-65026, MINECO/FEDER/UE). The authors thank Rodrigo González-Reyes, MD, PhD, Andrés Camargo, RN, MSc, Karen Jiménez, BSc and Juliana Villada, whom helped with recruitment of subjects.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

“All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.”

Informed Consent

“Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.”

Supplementary material

12144_2017_9587_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
Table S1 (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela J. Pereira-Morales
    • 1
  • Ana Adan
    • 2
    • 3
  • Diego A. Forero
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Neuropsychiatric Genetics, Biomedical Sciences Research Group, School of MedicineUniversidad Antonio NariñoBogotáColombia
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychobiology, School of PsychologyUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Institute of NeurosciencesUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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