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Psychol Aging. 1986 Jun;1(2):140-3.

Cross-sectional studies of personality in a national sample: 1. Development and validation of survey measures.

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Gerontology Research Center, National Institute of Aging, Baltimore, Maryland.


Short scales were developed to measure three broad dimensions of personality in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES I) Epidemiologic Followup Study. Items to measure neuroticism were selected rationally from the General Well-Being Schedule, and items to measure extraversion and openness to experience were selected by multiple regression from the NEO Personality Inventory. In a sample of 654 men and women from the Augmented Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, all three short scales showed clear evidence of convergent and discriminant validity against full scales in self-reports, and against peer and spouse ratings. Because they were developed and validated on a sample with a comparable age range, the NHANES scales should be useful in examining age trends in these three personality dimensions in a national sample.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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