OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the psychometric properties of widely used scales for assessing temperament in a large birth cohort. We simultaneously compared the properties of the temperament dimensions of the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ) and of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). METHOD: As part of the 31-year follow-up survey of the prospective Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort, the TPQ and TCI temperament questions were filled in by 4349 subjects (1974 males, 2375 males). Factor analysis and Cronbach's alpha were used to explore the psychometric properties of the scales. RESULTS: Of the three higher-order dimensions the reward dependence (RD) was the only one performing poorly in our study sample. Cronbach's alpha was higher in the TCI than in the TPQ. CONCLUSION: The results indicate good performance of the TCI and TPQ. Factor analysis support adoption of four temperament dimensions and suggest that developmental work is still needed in the RD dimension.
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