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Personality Assessment Inventory–Adolescent

Leslie C. Morey, PhD

Assesses adolescent personality
Paper and pencil, Online administration and scoring via PARiConnect, Software, Professional report service
Age range:
12 years to 18 years
30-45 minutes to complete
Qualification level:
All qualifications for Level B plus an advanced professional degree that provides appropriate training in the administration and interpretation of psychological tests, or license or certification from an agency that requires appropriate training and experience in the ethical and competent use of psychological tests. Close

NEW! The PAI-A Softcover Reusable Item Booklet and Hand-Scorable Answer Sheet are now available in Spanish. View or download the new Creation and Use of the PAI-A Spanish Translation white paper here or via the Resources tab above. 

Designed to complement its parent instrument, the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI), the PAI-A is an objective personality assessment for use with adolescents.

Features and benefits

  • Closely parallels the adult version of the instrument and includes the same scales and subscales but contains fewer items. Items are written at a fourth-grade reading level.
  • Clinical constructs were selected on the basis of their importance within the nosology of mental disorder and their significance in contemporary diagnostic practice and assess experiences (e.g., suicidal ideation, depression, anxiety) that are expressed with reasonable consistency across the life span.
  • Scores are presented in the form of linear T scores, which were calculated with reference to a U.S. Census-matched community sample.

Test structure

  • Twenty-two non overlapping scales (four validity scales, 11 clinical scales, five treatment consideration scales, and two interpersonal scales) comprise 264 items. Ten of these scales contain conceptually driven subscales designed to facilitate interpretation and coverage of the full breadth of complex clinical constructs.
  • The Profile form contains a clinical skyline indicating the distribution of scores from a large sample of clinical cases, enabling you to compare your client’s scores with those in the clinical sample.
  • The Critical Items form lists 17 items whose responses may alert the clinician to the existence of behavior or psychopathology that requires immediate attention.

Technical information

  • The standardization of the PAI-A utilized information from (a) a Census-matched sample of 707 community-based students ages 12-18 years in junior and senior high school and college and (b) a clinical sample composed of 1,160 adolescents, most of whom were tested in an outpatient mental health setting.
  • Average internal consistency for the substantive scales was .79 and .80 for the community standardization sample and the clinical sample, respectively.
  • An average test-retest stability coefficient of .78 was found for the substantive scales (M = 18 days; SD = 5.77).
  • The PAI-A was validated against several popular measures of personality and psychopathology, including the MMPI-A, the APS, the NEO-FFI, and the BDI®.

Software Portfolio available

Used to score and interpret PAI-A results, the PAI-A SP provides comprehensive and accurate Clinical Interpretive Reports based on on-screen administration of the PAI-A or hand-entry of an adolescent’s item or scale raw scores. Visit the PAI-A Software Portfolio page for more information.

Professional Report Service also available

Administer the print version of the PAI-A to your adolescent clients using the Form SS-A (Scannable) Answer Sheet and mail the completed answer sheets to PAR. PAR will score the answer sheets, generate a PAI-A Clinical Interpretive Report for each client (within 24 hours of receipt or on the next business day), and send the reports to you. Prices include scoring, report generation, and return postage.