Cyclothymic-hypersensitive temperament in youths: Refining the structure, the way of assessment and the clinical significance in the youth population: Journal of Affective Disorders

S. Pisano, V.P. Senese, C. Bravaccio, P. Santangelo, A. Milone, G. Masi, G. Catone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Although a better understanding of the prodromes of affective disorders in youth has important clinical and research implications, empirical data are still unconclusive. Cyclothymic-hypersensitive temperament (CHT) has been linked to both depression and bipolarity, as well as to suicidality. Its conceptualization is still debated, as well as a comprehensive, psychometrically sound way of assessment. Methods: factor structure, reliability, measurement invariance, convergent and divergent validity of the previously published CHT questionnaire (a youth version derived from Temperament Evaluation in Memphis Pisa and San Diego (TEMPS) was assessed in a school-based sample of 2959 students aged from 10 to 14 years (mean age = 11.8 ± 0.97 years). Furthermore, accuracy, sensitivity and specificity were calculated for a new cut-off score related to the presence of general psychopathology symptoms. Results: CHT is better conceptualized in a two-correlated factors model, a moodiness/hypersensitiveness factor, more associated with internalizing symptoms, and an impulsiveness/emotional dysregulation factor, more associated with externalizing symptoms. The revised 22-items version of the CHT questionnaire with a cut-off score of 15 for females and 17 for males results accurate, sensitive and specific enough for the recognition of cyclothymic adolescents with clinical symptoms. Limitation: the cross sectional design and the self-report nature of the measures limit the findings. Discussion: Cyclothymic-hypersensitive temperament is a relevant concept in the realm of affective disorder and can be reliably assessed in youths. It may describe youths with the coexistence of both internalizing and externalizing symptoms that can be difficult to diagnose with a DSM perspective. © 2020 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-278
Number of pages7
JournalJ. Affective Disord.
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Affective Disorders
  • Cyclothymic Temperament
  • Youths
  • Article
  • bipolar disorder
  • child
  • clinical practice
  • comparative study
  • confirmatory factor analysis
  • controlled study
  • convergent validity
  • cross-sectional study
  • cyclothymia
  • cyclothymic hypersensitive temperature questionnaire
  • depression
  • diagnostic accuracy
  • discriminant validity
  • exploratory factor analysis
  • female
  • human
  • impulsiveness
  • internalization
  • inventory of callous unemotional traits
  • major clinical study
  • male
  • mood disorder
  • priority journal
  • psychometry
  • reliability
  • self report
  • sensitivity and specificity
  • strength and difficulties questionnaire
  • suicidal behavior
  • temperament
  • adolescent
  • aged
  • personality test
  • questionnaire
  • reproducibility
  • Adolescent
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cyclothymic Disorder
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mood Disorders
  • Personality Inventory
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Temperament


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