Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology



First Advisor

Wayne F. Velicer


Recently, psychologists have become increasingly concerned with personality of preschool age and lower grade school age children. The most efficient method of measuring personality for this age child is through the use of ratings by others who are familiar with the child. The current project consists of four studies which describe the development and validation of an instrument designed to measure personality in children of kindergarten, first or second grade age. The first study describes the development of the Student Personality Assessment Form (SPAF) which was designed to measure seven traits identified in research with children or adults. Principal component analysis with Varimax rotation failed to reproduce the seven dimensions. Instead, three well defined components and a fourth less well defined component resulted. The SPAF was subsequently revised to reflect these results. Administration of the revised SPAF resulted in replication of the three well defined components and two less well defined components. Subsequent validation studies were conducted on the three well defined dimensions which were tentatively named Compliance, Interpersonal Affect and Extroversion. The second study examined the relationship of the SPAF and Devereux Elementary School Behavior Rating Scale (DESB).

Results of zero order correlation analysis, multiple regression analysis and canonical variate analysis further defined, clarified and supported the SPAF traits. The third study used a multitrait-multimethod matrix to determine the relationship between questionnaires completed by teachers and parents. Results indicated low to moderate convergent validity similar to that found in similar research. Some aspects of discriminant validity were met and others were not. Implications of the low to moderate convergent validity coefficients and suggestions for improving discriminant validity are discussed. The fourth study focused on the relationship of the SPAF, DESB, and Meeting Street School Screening Test (MSSST) to objective and subjective measures of achievement. Results indicated the SPAF as the best predictor of objective measures and the DESB as the best predictor of subjective measures. Combining the scales increased the prediction of objective and subjective measures 0£ achievement. The total project supports the validity and utility of the SPAF. Discussion of the total project involves theoretical implications, empirical implications, practical limitations and future directions.



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