- Distinguishing between demoralization and specific personality traits in clinical assessment with the NEO-PI-R
- Psychological Assessment
- Volume | Issue number
- 27 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Demoralization, a nonspecific unpleasant state that is common in clinical practice, has been identified as a potential source of nonspecificity in the assessment of personality and psychopathology. The aim of this research was to distinguish between Demoralization and specific personality traits in a widely used measure of personality: the Neuroticism-Extraversion-Openness Personality Inventory-Revised (NEO-PI-R). NEO-PI-R and Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 questionnaires were completed by 278 patients of a specialized clinic for personality disorders in The Netherlands. Furthermore, a replication sample was used consisting of 405 patients from the same institution who completed NEO-PI-R questionnaires, as well. A measure of Demoralization was derived (NEOdem, a NEO-PI-R-based Demoralization scale) using factor analytic techniques. Results indicated that the Demoralization Scale scores were reliable and showed expected patterns of convergence and divergence with conceptually relevant Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2-RF scales. When items contributing to Demoralization-related variance were removed from the NEO-PI-R scales, increased specificity was notable with regard to external correlates. These results provide supportive evidence for the validity and heuristic potential of distinguishing between Demoralization and specific personality traits within the NEO-PI-R.
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