Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counseling and Personnel

First Advisor

Dr. Kenneth Bullmer


Depression is a significant mental health problem and has been studied extensively for decades. However, there is still disagreement among clinicians and researchers regarding the causes and psychodynamic processes of depression.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between premorbid personality and depression. Using the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI) and the Beck Depression Inventory, personality and depression measures were obtained from a sample of adult psychiatric inpatients during acute and remission phases of their hospitalization.

Results obtained indicated that the MCMI scales intended to measure premorbid personality during periods of acute psychiatric illness were sensitive to levels of symptom severity. The MCMI measures obtained during acute illness could not be used reliably to make inferences regarding premorbid functioning.

Using personality measures obtained during remission phases, it was found that depressed patients, when recovered, did not display personality patterns which were significantly different from those of patients who had been hospitalized for reasons other than depression. Significant differences were found, however, between the personality patterns displayed by depressed and non-depressed inpatients during the acute phase of illness.

Based on the results obtained, it was concluded that there was no premorbid personality pattern which distinguished depressed from non-depressed clinical subjects. Differences in measured personality patterns between depressed and non-depressed subjects were evident only during the course of depression.

It was recommended that further research be conducted to investigate the reliability of the eight basic personality scales of the MCMI. It was further recommended that until more support exists for the reliability of personality trait measures of clinical subjects, a longitudinal design may be most appropriate for an investigation of the relationship of personality and depression.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access