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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2006 March;47(1):95-102

language: Italian

Sociodemographic features, psychological factors and personality profile of medical students: comparison to other faculties students

Bellino S. 1, Fulcheri M. 2, Paradiso E. 1, Zizza M. 1, Patria L. 1, Zanon C. 1, Fenocchio M. 1, Bogetto F. 1

1 Struttura Complessa di Psichiatria Dipartimento di Neuroscienze Università degli Studi di Torino, Torino
2 Unità di Psicologia Clinica Facoltà di Psicologia Università di Chieti-Pescara


Aim. A few studies in literature investigated personality and psychopathological profiles that could be associated to the choice of medicine or other university faculties. However, methods and assessment instruments were heterogeneous. In the present study we examined students attending four different faculties of the University of Turin (Medicine, Engineering, Education, and Law) and compared sociodemographic and educational features, DSM-III-R personality disorders and psychiatric symptom clusters.
Methods. As a whole, 1 323 students from the first four years of university were included. They were assessed using a semistructured interview, the Personality Diagnostic Question-naire-Revised (PDQ-R), and the Symptoms Checklist 90 (SCL-90). Statistical analysis was performed with four multiple regression models, each fitted for one faculty with the other three faculties considered together as a control group.
Results. Factors related to the choice of the faculties of medicine and engineering concerned type of high school, school final score, and father’s socioeducational level. Factors associated with law and education included socioeducational characteristics, but mainly referred to PDQ-R personality scales and SCL-90 symptom clusters.
Conclusion. Different profiles were identified for students of four representative university fields. Medicine was not significantly related to personality profile and psychiatric factors. These data can be useful for counseling activities addressed to high school and university students.

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