Measuring emotional instability, prosocial behavior and aggression in pre-adolescents: A cross-national study

Concetta Pastorelli, Claudio Barbaranelli, Ivo Cermak, Sandor Rozsa, Gian Vittorio Caprara

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Three scales measuring emotional instability, prosocial behavior and aggression were analyzed in a new study involving subjects between the ages of 11 and 15 from three different countries: Italy, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Principal component analysis (PCA), simultaneous component analysis (SCA) and congruence coefficients were used to evaluate and compare the factorial structure of the scales in the three different countries. Results clearly show a substantial equivalence of the components in the three countries, attesting to the generalizability of these measures in different cultural contexts. Country comparisons on the mean level of the scales show that Italian boys and girls score significantly higher on emotional instability and the prosocial behavior scale than Hungarian and Czech boys and girls. In the case of aggression only for self report, Italian boys score significantly higher than Hungarian and Czech boys. Construct validity was also explored for the three countries through the multitrait-multimethod analysis (D. T. Campbell & D. W. Fiske, 1959, Psychological Bulletin, 56, 81-101). For the Italian and the Hungarian sample, although results clearly support the convergent validity of the three scales in different informants, some problems arise regarding discriminant validity between emotional instability and aggression. In the case of the Czech Republic sample, results generally show lower convergent and discriminant validity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-703
Number of pages13
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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