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Item Response Theory Analysis of the Big Five Questionnaire for Children–Short Form (BFC-SF): A Self-Report Measure of Personality in Children Aged 11–12 Years

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1521/pedi_2018_32_380

Prior investigations indicate that the five core personality dimensions (the “Big Five”) are measurable by middle childhood. The aim of this research was to examine the psychometric properties of a short-form self-report measure of the Big Five personality dimensions in children that would be suitable for administration online in large population-based studies. Twenty-five questionnaire items in English, derived from the 65-item Big Five Questionnaire for Children in Italian (Barbaranelli, Caprara, Rabasca, & Pastorelli, 2003), were completed online by 27,415 Australian children in Year 6 (mean age 11.92 years). An item response theory approach evaluated the psychometric properties and resolved a 20-item short-form questionnaire. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses supported the Big Five structure. Construct validity was demonstrated via correlations between Big Five scores and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire subscales (Goodman, 2001). The 20 items provide a brief, reliable, and valid child self-report measure of the Big Five personality dimensions.

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