Cross-cultural validation of the revised Temperament and Character Inventory: Serbian data

Tamara Dzamonja-Ignjatovic, Dragan M Svrakic, Nenad Svrakic, Mirjana Divac Jovanovic, Robert C Cloninger
Comprehensive Psychiatry 2010, 51 (6): 649-55

OBJECTIVE: In this work, we report data on construct validity and cross cultural applicability of the revised Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI R) (Cloninger, C.R., Przybeck, T.R., Svrakic, D.M., & Wetzel, R.D. (1999). The Temperament and Character Inventory-revised, Washington University, St. Louis), a 5-point scale scoring formatrevision of the original, true-false version TCI (Cloninger, C.R., Przybeck, T.R., Svrakic, D.M., & Wetzel, R.D. (1994). The Temperament and Character Inventory-A guide to its development and use, Washington University, St. Louis). Both versions are based on the seven factor Psychobiological Model of Personality (Cloninger CR, Svrakic, DM & Przybeck TR (1993). A Psychobiological Model of temperament and Character, Archives of General Psychiatry, 50, 975-990).

METHODS: The sample consisted of 473 normal adult subjects representing a number of Serbian cities and towns, recruited consecutively while registering at the National Employment Center, located in Belgrade, Serbia. The sample was the designed to be highly representative of urban and suburban population in Serbia to match to TCI R sample in the US. The 240-item, 5-point scale scoring TCI R was used to assess temperament and character traits. In addition to a number of other revisions, the scoring format in the TCI R was changed into a 5-point Likert scale to increase its sensitivity to subtle variations in personality expression. The TCI R mean scores and standard deviations were compared between Serbian and US subjects, internal consistency of the TCI R scales was estimated using Cronbach's alpha coefficients, and principal component analysis was used separately for temperament and character (because of their non-linear relationship) to test the underlying factorial structure of the TCI R. Parallel analysis and randomized simulation data were used to determine the number of factors for temperament and character.

RESULTS: The results generally supported the construct validity and the cross cultural applicability of the TCI R in Serbia. With a few exceptions, the observed internal consistency for the TCI R scales was acceptable. For the most part, the US and Serbian subjects manifested comparable temperament traits, whereas US subjects had higher character scores. The observed differences are understood as partly reflective of local culture and partly of dramatic socio-economic change in Serbia over the last 20 years. Principal component analysis fully supported the four factor structure of temperament and the three factor structure of character, as postulated by theory. The inadequacy of using linear statistical methods in studying complex non-linear systems such as personality is discussed in some detail.

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