The nature, diagnosis, and treatment of neuroticism: Back to the future

David H. Barlow, Shannon Sauer-Zavala, Jenna R. Carl, Jacqueline R. Bullis, Kristen K. Ellard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We highlight the role of neuroticism in the development and course of emotional disorders and make a case for shifting the focus of intervention to this higher-order dimension of personality. Recent decades have seen great emphasis placed on differentiating disorders into Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders diagnoses; however, evidence has suggested that splitting disorders into such fine categories may be highlighting relatively trivial differences. Emerging research on the latent structure of anxiety and mood disorders has indicated that trait neuroticism, cultivated through genetic, neurobiological, and psychological factors, underscores the development of these disorders. We raise the possibility of a new approach for conceptualizing these disorders—as emotional disorders. From a service-delivery point of view, we explore the possibility that neuroticism may be more malleable than previously thought and may possibly be amenable to direct intervention. The public-health implications of directly treating and even preventing the development of neuroticism would be substantial.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Neurotic Paradox
Subtitle of host publicationProgress in Understanding and Treating Anxiety and Related Disorders
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)9781317215615
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'The nature, diagnosis, and treatment of neuroticism: Back to the future'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this