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The Utility of the Level of Personality Functioning Scale in Maternal Samples: A Brief Report

Maternal personality plays a role in how a mother parents her children and adolescents. Current trait-based measures of personality are acceptable for use in maternal samples, but the presence or absence of given personality traits might not be enough to describe how personality relates to parenting. The Level of Personality Functioning Scale (LPFS) could serve as a solution, as it was designed to capture level of dysfunction in personality without being reliant on specific personality traits. Research, however, has yet to demonstrate the LPFS as a useful measure of personality in maternal samples, thus the goal of this study. A sample of 123 mothers reported on behavioral problems in their adolescent-aged children and their own personality using both a trait-based measure and the LPFS. Our data showed that maternal reports on the LPFS were associated with maternal perceptions of adolescent behavioral problems, in addition to being an acceptable measure of personality in our maternal sample. We also provide support for incremental validity of the LPFS in our sample, as the LPFS uniquely predicted maternal perceptions of adolescent behavioral problems even after controlling for maternal personality traits. Our results are discussed in light of the limitations of the extant work on maternal personality and add to the literature by demonstrating that the LPFS is an acceptable and ubiquitous measure of personality in maternal samples.

Awareness of Narrative Identity Questionnaire (ANIQ) in Early Adolescents: Psychometric Evaluation and Association with Features of Personality Disorder

Identity formation is central to adolescent development. Challenges in establishing a stable sense of self is associated with maladaptive identity function, which has been recognized as a core feature of personality pathology. The narrative identity framework offers a unique lens to garner salient information about one’s sense of self. The Awareness of Narrative Identity Questionnaire (ANIQ) is a self-report measure of narrative identity validated in adults but is yet to be validated in adolescents. The current study aimed to conduct the first psychometric evaluation of the ANIQ in a sample of 205 youth aged 10–14 years (M = 12.1 ± 1.06 years; 50.7% female; 73.7% Hispanic) recruited from a public charter school. Results confirmed the four-factor structure of the ANIQ and showed high internal consistency. Convergent validity was supported through negative associations between the ANIQ and borderline personality features and identity diffusion. Incremental validity of the ANIQ over identity diffusion in predicting borderline personality features was also examined, but not supported. Overall, results support the ANIQ as a promising instrument for the assessment of narrative identity in youth. However, some improvements to the ANIQ might be necessary in order to use it as a clinical tool in identifying youth with personality pathology.

Evaluating a Brief Big Five Personality Test in a Diverse Chinese Sample: The Role of Midpoint Designs and Reversely-Worded Items

Response styles present a threat to the validity of data from Likert scales. This study evaluates a brief personality test administered by interviewers to a diverse Chinese sample, focusing on two factors with direct impacts on response styles, the midpoint designs and the inclusion of reversely-worded items. We randomly assign respondents into three midpoint designs: masked midpoint, explicit midpoint and removed midpoint. Cronbach’s alpha tends to be low and is not drastically affected by midpoint designs. Score reliability estimates from the removed and explicit midpoint designs are above or close to .60 along the whole score range for openness, but not the other subscales. The masked midpoint design presents some advantages in criterion relationship validity evidence based on correlations with demographic, behavioral, subjective and cognitive variables. Dropping reversely-worded items increases the estimates of Cronbach’s alpha, but shows no positive effects on the criterion relationship validity. In conclusion, for interviewer-administered brief personality scales applied to Chinese respondents, masked midpoint design that aims to reduce a possible overuse of midpoint presents some advantages in the overall psychometric properties, but the inclusion of reversely-worded items shows mixed effects.

All the Same? Different Measures of Personality Functioning Are Similar but Distinct. A Comparative Study from a Psychodynamic Perspective Using Exploratory Graph Analysis

Personality functioning (PF) is a central construct in many theories of personality pathology. Based on psychodynamic theories, two screening questionnaires to assess PF are widely used: The Inventory of Personality Organization—16 item version and the Operationalized Psychodynamic Diagnosis—Structure Questionnaire Short Form. This study aimed to explore the similarities and differences of the two questionnaires in a large clinical sample of N = 1636 psychotherapeutic inpatients. Correlation analyses were conducted to examine the associations between the global scores and between the subscales. The study further used Exploratory Graph Analysis (EGA) to explore the dimensionality of the items. The stability of estimates was evaluated using a bootstrap version of EGA (bootEGA). The results indicated that the two questionnaires are highly correlated, yet not multicollinear, and moderate to large correlations were found between their subscales. EGA revealed six dimensions that fairly represented the original subscales. BootEGA showed that the dimensions and items were stable, except for one item that did not load sufficiently on any dimension. The findings suggest that although the questionnaires are highly correlated, their subscales tap into distinct domains of PF. We discuss implications stemming from these findings for clinical and scientific practice.

Showing True Colours: EMA Case Descriptions of Narcissistic States

Traditionally, narcissistic characteristics are considered relatively stable, although clinical accounts and recent research show that additional narcissistic states are variable and fluctuate in actuality. Narcissism research tends to focus on cross-sectional, group-based, trait approaches. Momentary ecological assessments allow one to discover individuals’ true colors by observing narcissistic experiences while they unfold in real-time and real-world settings. Within momentary ecological assessments, inspecting single cases enables insight into individual dynamics and presentations. Consequently, this research collected grandiose and vulnerable narcissistic trait and state data 10 times a day for 6 days. Based on the highest trait scores, two individual cases are presented per category: predominantly grandiose narcissistic, predominantly vulnerable narcissistic, and combined narcissistic. Overall, the descriptions provide evidence for the dynamics within and between grandiose and vulnerable narcissistic states. Further, broad patterns for each narcissistic dimension were uncovered, in which the grandiose subdimension experienced mainly grandiosity, and the vulnerable and combined subdimensions experienced both grandiosity and vulnerability. Out of the three, the combined subdimension experienced the highest instability and levels of daily vulnerability. However, each individual case showed unique fluctuation patterns that highlight the importance of personalized, real-life assessments in research and clinical care.

Open Access
The Dimensionality of the Moral Foundations: Contributions from the Moral Foundations Sacredness Scale in Four Societies

Moral Foundations Theory proposes that five innate modules offer an intuitive response that drives our moral judgments. Various instruments were developed to measure the five moral foundations, including the MFV and the MFQ-30 which focus on deliberative moral reasoning. This approach is limited because intuitions are more basic and affect-laden. The Moral Foundations Sacredness Scale (MFSS) was designed to elicit responses that more closely resemble these phenomena. However, studies have not converged on a factorial structure for the MFSS, and measurement invariance has never been assessed. Our study sought to evaluate these properties across four adult samples, via Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling, and the associations between the MFSS’s scales and relevant constructs. We found that a two-factor solution, reflecting the individualizing and binding foundations, had a reasonable fit, and had invariance (configural, metric, and scalar) across gender, age groups, and (configural) four international samples. The scales were reliable, had construct validity with the MFQ-30, and criterion-related validity with the binding moderately predicting belief in God/spirit and religious behaviors. The convergence we found regarding the MFSS’s factorial structure across groups has important implications for the dimensionality of these constructs, and – ultimately – for the development of Moral Foundations Theory.