Factor analysis of the Big Five Questionnaire using polychoric correlations in children
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Although the Big Five Questionnaire for children (BFQ-C) (C. Barbaranelli et al., Manuale del BFQ-C. Big Five Questionnaire Children, O.S. Organizazioni, Firenze, 1998) is an ordinal scale, its dimensionality has often been studied using factor analysis with Pearson correlations. In contrast, the present study takes this ordinal metric into account and examines the dimensionality of the scale using factor analysis based on a matrix of polychoric correlations. The sample comprised 852 subjects (40.90% boys and 59.10% girls). As in previous studies the results obtained through exploratory factor analysis revealed a five-factor structure (extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional instability and openness). However, the results of the confirmatory factor analysis were consistent with both a four and five-factor structure, the former showing a slightly better fit and adequate theoretical interpretation. These data confirm the need for further research as to whether the factor ‘Openness’ should be maintained as an independent factor (five-factor model), or whether it would be best to omit it and distribute its items among the factors ‘Extraversion’ and ‘Conscientiousness’ (four-factor model).
KeywordsPolychoric correlations Big Five Personality Children
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