Miles Bore and Kristen Laurens, Megan Hobbs, Melissa Green, Stacy Tzoumakis, Felicity Harrris, and Vaughan Carr. 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. Journal of Personality Disorders.
Some 12 or so years ago Miles became involved with the NSW Child Development project which started its life at UON under the direction of Professor Vaughan Carr. The project is following a cohort of children (and their parents) who started Kindergarten in NSW in 2009 through the linkage of health, education, child protection and justice records. As part of this larger project, the research team wanted to obtain self-report data from the children in what became the NSW Middle Childhood Survey (Laurens et al, 2017). We wanted to include a measure of personality. But, could 11 and 12 year olds reliably complete a self-report personality questionnaire? And, is personality sufficiently developed at this age to be measurable?
In a nutshell – yes.
We modified the Big Five Questionnaire for Children (Barbaranelli, et al, 2003) to create an English language short-form self-report measure of extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness (the ‘Big Five’). In 2015, children across NSW completed a 30 minute online battery at 829 schools under the administration of their teacher with the final sample being n = 27,415.
The data was then cleaned (a massive task lead by Melissa Green at UNSW), analysed and the Big Five findings published in the Journal of Personality Disorders. The Results section, undertaken and written by Prof Kristen Laurens (now at ACU Brisbane), is a work of art in its own right using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis and IRT techniques.
The questionnaire has good psychometric properties and (while more evidence is needed) does appear to measure the Big Five. Future research will now be able to examine the role of personality as part of the larger NSW Child Development linkage project.
The full paper can be found at: https://guilfordjournals.com/toc/pedi/0/0