Understanding At-Risk Youths: Average PAI-A Scores and Their Associations With Impulsivity-Related Constructs

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The purpose of this study was to extend research on the Personality Assessment Inventory-Adolescent (PAI-A; Morey, 2007) to include an examination of mean PAI-A results and associations between the PAI-A and indicators of impulsivity in a large sample of at-risk adolescents (Mage = 16.75; 79% male; 64% Caucasian) in a military-style residential program. Included in this study are archival records for a diverse sample of 497 youths who participated in the program during a 2-year period. Average T scores on PAI-A scales ranged from 44.67 to 65.41. Moderate to large positive associations (rs = .30–.65) were found between relevant PAI-A scales and both UPPS-P scales and self-reported substance use. There were smaller effects (r = .17) for associations between the PAI-A and program disciplinary infractions. Small to large group differences (ds = .19–.93) on PAI-A scales differentiated youths who had experience with arrests or NSSI from those who did not. This study provides information about the under-studied but vulnerable youths occupying the space between the normative population and youths with identified clinical or legal problems. It also clarifies how impulsivity and impulsivity-related behaviors may be represented on the PAI-A.

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Journal of Personality Assessment

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