Thought Paper

Published: 2021/12/28
Number of words: 646

Personality Assessment Inventory- Adolescent (PAI-A) was created to be used in conjunction with its parent tool, Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI). Many professionals have shown interest in using PAI with adolescent populations in therapeutic settings, resulting in tool development. As a result, PAI-A is in many ways similar to the adult version of the device. It preserves most of the artwork from PAI along with the framework. In addition, PAI-A is clinically useful for adolescents aged 12–18 years in various conditions. PAI-A provides important information to psychologists working in clinical practice, schools, or forensic settings with children and or adolescents, allowing them to make informed decisions in their work. Therefore, personality assessment among the population group is of importance to understand adolescents at risk.

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When developing PAI-A, clinical structures were selected based on their importance in the psychology of mental disorders and their relevance to contemporary clinical practice. For example, experiences such as depression presented with reasonable consistency throughout life can be assessed using these structures. In some cases, the elements have been modified to be more relevant to the experiences of adolescents, but the ability of an item to directly assess the various components of the relevant psychosocial structure has greater value in the item selection process. The self-management PAI-A 264 item is divided into 22 non-overlapping scales: four valid criteria, 11 clinical scales, five treatment observation criteria, and two interpersonal criteria. There are four valid criteria, eleven clinical scales, five treatment screening criteria, and two interpersonal criteria. These scales include conceptually driven subcategories intended to assist in the description and coverage of a wide range of complex clinical structures.

According to Charles, Bullerjahn & Barry (2021), impulsive-related behavior among adolescents can be represented using the PAI-A. Adolescents engage in many activities that may impact their lives negatively and affect their future lives. In this, most adolescents engage in unhealthy and risky behaviors, increased school dropout rates, robbery, and poor school performance. All these affect their future employment and their abilities to focus in class, thus the poor performance. Therefore the PAI-A assessment tool plays an important role in understanding youths at risk by assessing their personality. Adolescents manifest a variety of behaviors that may progress to adulthood. One of the behaviors is unemotional traits with a certain level of antisocial conduct.

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On the other hand, adolescents engage in impulsive behaviors such as drug abuse that, in turn, lead to unhealthy outcomes. Adolescents who engaged in more impulsive behaviors, however, had a history of suicidal thoughts and attempts. The study research was conducted using 608 youth participants in the program ranging from ages 12-18. In the assessment, the PAI-A was used; youth risk survey for behavior, self-report through answering personal questions on their history, and disciplinary infraction programs. Data were analyzed using the SPSS v25. In this, the reliability of the personality assessment scales was evaluated across all samples.

The PAI-A tool is a valid self-report assessment criterion that can be applied in different populations. In the current research, with a few exceptions, the internal reliability of the PAI-A scale and sub-scales is primarily in the good range. In summary, the goal of the current study is to provide existing literature on PAI-A by studying it in a sample of children participating in a residential military-style program; the population is small but at high risk for adverse outcomes. One of the strengths of the methodology of the study is the use of a relatively large and racially diverse model and the inclusion of a variety of measures related to impulsivity. A discussion question for this article would be; would the assessment results be any different or vary if there was gender balance in the study?


Charles, N. E., Bullerjahn, M. R., & Barry, C. T. (2021). Understanding At-Risk Youths: Average PAI-A Scores and Their Associations with Impulsivity-Related Constructs. Journal of personality assessment, 103(1), 33-47.

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