Normative data and effects of age and gender on temperament and character dimensions across the lifespan in an Italian population: A cross-sectional validation study

Giuseppe Delvecchio, Marco Garzitto, Corrado Fagnani, Livia Fornasari, M. A. Stazi, Angelo Picardi, Valentina Ciappolino, Franco Fabbro, Alfredo Carlo Altamura, Paolo Brambilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background The short version of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI-125) has been employed for the study of personality traits in both clinical and normal populations. However, to the best of our knowledge, no studies explored the psychometric properties of this instrument in healthy individuals across the lifespan. We here provide the Italian normative data and present the personality features according to age and gender in a sample of healthy individuals. Methods A cross-sectional study was carried out in a total of 1430 Italian healthy individuals ranging from 13 to 67 years (59.3% females). We evaluated the factorial model of the TCI-125, explored the internal consistency of the scales and carried out univariate analyses of variance for the investigation of age and gender differences in temperament and character dimensions. Results Confirmatory factor analysis only partially confirmed the factor structure, with some Reward Dependence, Self-Directedness, and Cooperativeness items showing poor fit. Overall we found acceptable internal consistencies for all the dimensions of the TCI-125 across all age groups, except for Reward Dependence, Persistence, and Novelty Seeking, which showed unsatisfactory internal consistency in younger age groups. Furthermore, we found significant age differences in most temperament and all character dimensions. Finally, in specific age groups we also observed significantly lower scores in males compared to females in Harm Avoidance, Reward Dependence and all character dimensions except for Self-Directedness, on which males scored higher than females. Conclusions Although this study only partially confirmed the factor structure of the TCI-125 and suggested limited homogeneity for some temperament scales, overall our results supported the reliability of the TCI-125, which can therefore be considered a useful tool for exploring personality traits in both clinical and normal samples. Moreover, this study suggested the need of using this instrument with caution in adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume204
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2016

Keywords

  • Cross-sectional
  • Healthy subjects
  • Personality
  • TCI-125
  • Validation study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

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