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Assessment. 2000 Dec;7(4):329-45.

Assessing adolescents' personality with the NEO PI-R.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Ghent University, Belgium.


The suitability of the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R) to assess adolescents' personality traits was investigated in an unselected heterogeneous sample of 469 adolescents aged 12 to 17 years. They were further administered the Hierarchical Personality Inventory for Children (HiPIC) to allow an examination of convergent and discriminant validity. The adult NEO PI-R factor structure proved to be highly replicable in the sample of adolescents, with all facet scales primarily loading on the expected factors, independent of the age group. Domain and facet internal consistency coefficients were comparable to those obtained in adult samples, with less than 12% of the items showing corrected item-facet correlations below absolute value .20. Although, in general, adolescents reported few difficulties with the comprehensibility of the items, they tend to report more problems with the Openness to Ideas (05) and Openness to Values (06) items. Correlations between NEO PI-R and HiPIC scales underscored the convergent and discriminant validity of the NEO facets and HiPIC scales. It was concluded that the NEO PI-R in its present form is useful for assessing adolescents' traits at the primary level, but additional research is necessary to infer the most appropriate facet level structure.

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