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The Personality Traits of Family Caregivers of Individuals with Dementia: The Effects of Social Anxiety, Social Phobia, and Caregiving Hours
Serra L.1,2, Serpa D.3, Silva L.4
1 Autonomous University of Lisbon, Portugal
2 Centre of Statistics and its Applications of the University of Lisbon, Portugal
3 Higher Institute of Intercultural and Transdisciplinary Studies of Almada – Piaget Institute of Almada, Portugal
4 NOVA School of Science and Technology – NOVA University Lisbon, Portugal


Background and Aim of Study: Caring for individuals afflicted with dementia engenders substantial demands and responsibilities for caregivers, encompassing the extensive time allocation devoted to the care recipient on a daily basis. Furthermore, the psychological attributes inherent in informal caregivers, encompassing traits like social anxiety and social phobia, can exert an influence on the evolution of their personal dynamics over time. This phenomenon potentially yields repercussions for how caregivers offer guidance and assistance to elderly individuals grappling with dementia, particularly in relation to their fundamental daily activities and instrumental tasks. 
The aim of the study: to analyze the predictive effect of social anxiety and social phobia as psychological characteristics of caregivers, along with the impact of caregiving hours as caregiving-related characteristics, on caregivers’ personality.
Material and Methods: This observational and cross-sectional study comprised a sample of 97 participants serving as primary family caregivers completed a sociodemographic questionnaire, the Big Five Inventory, the Anxiety Scale in Social Interaction Situations, and the Social Phobia Scale.
Results: The findings revealed that social phobia demonstrated significant predictive power for Openness (β=-0.199; p=0.016) and Extraversion (β=-0.136; p=0.024), whereas the daily caregiving hours negatively affected Conscientiousness (β=-0.145; p=0.011), Agreeableness (β=-0.137; p=0.040), Openness (β=-0.210; p=0.011), and Extraversion (β=-0.175; p=0.003). Conversely, social anxiety did not prove to be a significant variable.
Conclusions: The presence of social phobia or higher hours devoted to caregiving for individuals with dementia are factors that impact personality functioning and should be considered in the planning of support programs for family caregivers.



personality, informal caregivers, dementia, social phobia, social anxiety



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Information about the authors:

Serra Lidia (Corresponding Author) –; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Doctor in Neuropsychology, Professor, Autonomous University of Lisbon; Centre of Statistics and its Applications of the University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal.

Serpa Daniela; Master’s degree in Clinical and Health Psychology, Higher Institute of Intercultural and Transdisciplinary Studies of Almada – Piaget Institute of Almada, Portugal.

Silva Luís; Doctor in Human Kinetics – Motor Behavior, Investigator, NOVA School of Science and Technology – NOVA University Lisbon, Caparica, Portugal.

Cite this article as:


Serra, L., Serpa, D., & Silva, L. (2023). The personality traits of family caregivers of individuals with dementia: The effects of social anxiety, social phobia, and caregiving hours. International Journal of Science Annals, 6(2), 32-38.


Serra, L., Serpa, D., & Silva, L. 2023. "The personality traits of family caregivers of individuals with dementia: The effects of social anxiety, social phobia, and caregiving hours". International Journal of Science Annals, [online] 6(2), pp. 32-38. viewed 25 December 2023,


Serra L., Serpa D., & Silva L. The personality traits of family caregivers of individuals with dementia: The effects of social anxiety, social phobia, and caregiving hours. International Journal of Science Annals [Internet]. 2023 [cited 25 December 2023]; 6(2): 32-38. Available from:

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