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Chronobiol Med > Volume 1(1); 2019 > Article
Chronobiology in Medicine 2019;1(1):21-25.
DOI:    Published online March 15, 2019.
Chronotype Is Associated with Emotional Dysregulation Influenced by Childhood Trauma: A Retrospective Study
Young-Min Park 
Department of Psychiatry, Ilsan Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Goyang, Korea
Correspondence:  Young-Min Park, Tel: 82-31-910-7260, Fax: 82-31-910-7268, 
Received: 26 December 2018   • Accepted: 12 January 2019
The aim of this study was to clarify the relationships among childhood trauma, emotional dysregulation, and circadian preference in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).
This study included 107 outpatients aged between 20 and 65 years who met the criteria of the fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders for MDD on their medical records. The subjects were divided into morningness, intermediate, and eveningness groups according to their chronotype based on the Korean version of the Composite Scale of Morningness (K-CSM). All of the patients were evaluated using the Korean version of the Mood Disorder Questionnaire (K-MDQ) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Childhood traumatic events were evaluated using the Korean version of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (K-CTQ).
Comparing the demographic and clinical variables revealed that the mean age and the emotional abuse (EA), total BDI, and total K-MDQ scores differed significantly among the three groups. The total K-CSM score was negatively correlated with the total KMDQ, K-CTQ, EA, and emotional neglect scores. The K-MDQ score was positively correlated with the total K-CTQ, EA, and PA scores. Linear regression analyses were performed to test whether childhood trauma was driving the association with emotional dysregulation (using KMDQ), and whether emotional dysregulation was driving the association with eveningness (using K-CSM). Both higher EA and total BDI scores were independently associated with a higher K-MDQ score. A higher K-MDQ score was also independently associated with a lower KCSM score (toward eveningness).
The findings of this study support that childhood trauma influences emotional dysregulation, which in turn leads to a circadian preference toward eveningness. It can therefore be assumed that emotional dysregulation mediates the relationship between childhood trauma and eveningness.
Key Words: Childhood trauma; Emotional dysregulation; Chronotype; Major depressive disorder
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