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European Journal of Psychological

J. Rossier et al.:
Assessment
Validation
2007 Hogrefe
2007;
of Vol.
&
theHuber
French
23(2):125132
Publishers
HiPIC

Validation of the French Version


of the Hierarchical Personality
Inventory for Children (HiPIC)
Influence of Gender and Age on Personality Traits
in 8- to 12-Year-Olds
Jrme Rossier1, Vincent Quartier1, Raluca Enescu2, and Alex Iselin3
1

Institute of Psychology, University of Lausanne, 2Institute of Criminology,


University of Lausanne, 3Primary State School of Nyon, all Switzerland

Abstract. The study was designed to investigate the psychometric properties of the French version and the cross-language replicability
of the Hierarchical Personality Inventory for Children (HiPIC). The HiPIC is an instrument to assess the five dimensions of the five-factor
model for children. Subjects were 552 children aged between 8 and 12 years, rated by one or both parents. At the domain level, reliability
ranged from .83 to .93 and at the facet level, reliability ranged from .69 to .89. Differences between genders were congruent with those
found in the Dutch sample. Girls scored higher on Benevolence and Conscientiousness. Age was negatively correlated with Extraversion
and Imagination. For girls, we also observed a decrease of Emotional Stability. A series of exploratory factor analyses confirmed the
overall five-factor structure for girls and boys. Targeted factor analyses and congruence coefficients revealed high cross-language replicability at the domain and at the facet levels. The results showed that the French version of the HiPIC is a reliable and valid instrument
for assessing personality with children and has a particularly high cross-language replicability.
Keywords: personality assessment, five-factor model, children, HiPIC, cross-language replicability

Introduction
The five-factor model (FFM) is currently the most common
dimensional approach to personality traits (Digman, 1990;
Rossier, Meyer de Stadelhofen, & Berthoud, 2004). According to this model, five broad and independent dimensions are sufficient to describe personality traits. These dimensions are Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness to experience, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness (McCrae
& Costa, 1999). The validity of this model has been assessed mainly with adults but also with younger age groups
(Asendorpf & van Aken, 2003; Lamb, Chuang, Wessels,
Broberg, & Hwang, 2002; Shiner & Caspi, 2003). However, there are few inventories that are specifically devoted
to assessing childrens personality according to the FFM.
Mervielde and De Fruyt (1999) developed the Hierarchical Personality Inventory for Children (HiPIC) specifically for assessing the personality of children between 6
and 12 years. This inventory was developed using a bottom-up strategy (Mervielde & De Fruyt, 2002). This strategy was roughly based on the idea of analyzing the latent
structure of personality traits among individuals of the defined age group. An analysis of parental free-descriptors of
2007 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers

children aged 3 to 12 years from seven countries (Belgium,


China, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Poland, and the
United States) allowed identifying five basic dimensions
(Kohnstamm, Halverson, Mervielde, & Havill, 1998; Mervielde & Asendorpf, 2000). A pool of experts created a set
of items for three age groups (57, 810, and 1113 years)
based on the set of more than 9000 Flemish parental descriptions. A first analysis allowed selecting the items
based on their contribution to the homogeneity of their dimension (one of the five dimensions identified in the previous studies) and their communalities. Facets scales were
identified empirically by using principal component analysis with oblimin rotation. Finally, the number of items per
facet was restricted to eight. The three age-specific inventories were structurally very similar (factor congruence coefficients >.90) and had a great number of items in common. For this reason, the authors proposed a common inventory allowing personality assessment for children from
6 to 12 years.
The HiPIC, which measures 18 facets grouped in five
dimensions, Extraversion, Benevolence, Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability, and Imagination (Mervielde &
De Fruyt, 2002), showed good conceptual and empirical
correspondence with the FFM (De Fruyt, Mervielde, HoekEuropean Journal of Psychological Assessment 2007; Vol. 23(2):125132
DOI 10.1027/1015-5759.23.2.125

126

J. Rossier et al.: Validation of the French HiPIC

stra, & Rolland, 2000). Several studies confirmed the good


psychometric properties of the HiPIC with both clinical and
nonclinical samples and reliabilities for domains and facets were usually above .80 (Mervielde & Asendorpf, 2000;
Van Leeuwen, De Fruyt, & Mervielde, 2004). The stability
coefficients for the five domains of the HiPIC across a 3year interval were high and ranged from .59 for Emotional
Stability to .76 for Imagination (Mervielde & De Fruyt,
2002). De Fruyt and Vollrath (2003) studied the convergent
and discriminant validities in Flemish and German-speaking Swiss samples. The median convergent validity coefficient for facet scales for each domain was equal or above
.65. This structure was found to be highly replicable across
age groups, samples, and genders. However, the structural
cross-language replicability of the HiPIC was never systematically studied.
The HiPIC has been used in several research fields. For
example, in the field of developmental psychology, Van
Leeuwen, De Fruyt, and Mervielde (2004) studied the relation between childrens personality, in terms of dimensions or types, and adolescent behavioral and emotional
problems. They observed that the overcontrolled type,
characterized by low levels of Emotional Stability and Extraversion, was associated with higher levels of emotional
or internalizing problems. In the field of clinical psychology, De Clercq, De Fruyt, and Van Leeuwn (2004) studied
the relation between adaptive personality functioning and
personality pathology or maladaptive personality functioning in a sample of nonclinical adolescents. Considering
correlations equal or above .30 , they observed a negative
association between Conscientiousness and antisocial personality disorder symptoms; between Extraversion and
schizoid and avoidant personality disorder symptoms; between Benevolence and paranoid, schizotypal, antisocial,
borderline, histrionic, and narcissistic personality disorder
symptoms; and between Emotional Stability and paranoid,
borderline, avoidant, dependent, and obsessive-compulsive
personality disorder symptoms. Finally, in the field of pediatrics, De Clercq, De Fruyt, Koot, and Benoit (2004)
studied the relationship between quality of life and personality in children who survived cancer. They observed that
Benevolence, Emotional Stability, and Imagination contributed to the prediction of self-reported quality of life.
Personality differences according to gender can already
be observed during childhood. For example, De Fruyt and
Vollrath (2003) observed in a sample aged from 6 to 14
years (rated by parents) that girls had higher scores on Benevolence and Conscientiousness than boys but they did
not observe any gender difference on Emotional Stability.
At the facet level, on average, girls obtained higher scores
than boys on E2, B5, C2, C3, and C4 and lower scores on
E4, B2, and I2. Allik, Laidra, Realo, and Pullmann (2004),
using the NEO-FFI in a sample of children aged 12 to 18,
found that girls were more extraverted than boys. In a large
sample of 1,959 American adolescents aged 14 to 18, McCrae and colleagues (2002) observed, using the same inventory, that girls scored significantly higher than boys on

Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, and Agreeableness.


In a sample of 317 American students from Grades 5 to 8,
Graziano, Jensen-Campbell, and Finch (1997) found that
girls rated themselves as lower on Emotional stability and
higher on Agreeableness than boys. Costa, Terracciano,
and McCrae (2001) observed that adult gender differences
in personality traits were highly consistent across cultures.
Women usually reported themselves to be higher on Neuroticism and Agreeableness. No large differences were observed for Conscientiousness and for Extraversion and
Openness, clear gender differences were only observed at
the facet level. Thus, adult gender differences seem to be
rather clear in comparison to gender differences during
childhood and adolescence. However, gender differences
usually reported by studies with children or adolescents
point in the same direction.
Concerning the development of personality traits, many
cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have concluded
that most personality changes occur before the age of 30,
with only modest changes thereafter (Costa & McCrae,
2002). Lamb and colleagues (2002) studied personality development between 2 and 15 years, and observed an increase in Agreeableness and Conscientiousness and a decline in Extraversion. Neuroticism increased slightly until
8 and remained stable thereafter. Openness increased between 2 and 4, remained stable between 4 and 8, and decreased thereafter. Concerning personality development in
adolescence, McCrae and colleagues (2002) found that adolescents between age 12 and 16 increased in Openness and
that girls also increased in Neuroticism. No consistent
changes in Extraversion, Agreeableness, or Conscientiousness were found. They noted that personality traits might
be relatively fluid from age 12 to age 16. Moreover, Graziano, Jensen-Campell, and Finch (1997) did not find any
age differences in personality between students in the fifth
through eighth grades. A cross-sectional study with children between 12 and 18 years by Allik and colleagues
(2004) showed an increase with age on the Openness dimension and a decrease on the Agreeableness and Conscientiousness dimensions. Thus, results from studies of personality development during childhood and adolescent are
heterogeneous. These studies suggest that Agreeableness
and Conscientiousness increase and that Extraversion decreases during childhood, and that Openness increases and
that Agreeableness and Conscientiousness decrease during
adolescence. However, age differences are of modest amplitude.
Concerning adult trait development, Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Openness usually show moderate declines
whereas Agreeableness and Conscientiousness increase
between age 18 and 30 (McCrae et al., 2002). This pattern
of development suggests that individuals with age become
less emotional and better socialized. Robins, Fraley, Roberts, and Trzesniewski (2001) also reported increases on
Agreeableness and Conscientiousness and a decline on
Neuroticism between age 18 and 22. They also observed
an increase on Openness that might show a curvilinear pat-

European Journal of Psychological Assessment 2007; Vol. 23(2):125132

2007 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers

J. Rossier et al.: Validation of the French HiPIC

tern, increasing between 18 and 22, and decreasing thereafter. After age 30, Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Openness continue to decline slowly. There are conflicting results concerning the course of Agreeableness and Conscientiousness (Costa, Herbst, McCrae, & Siegler, 2000;
McCrae et al., 1999; Rossier, Wenger, & Berthoud, 2001).
All these studies suggest a personality development of
modest amplitude throughout the lifespan (usually an increase on Agreeableness and Conscientiousness, and a decline on Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Openness) and
large samples and well-constructed measures are needed in
order to detect them accurately.
The aim of this study was to investigate the psychometric properties of the French version and more precisely the
structural validity of the HiPIC. Particular attention was
paid to structural invariance according to gender and language. Indeed, cross-language or cross-cultural replicability is an important validity indicator for measurements
based on models claiming to be universal such as the FFM
(Rossier, Dahourou, & McCrae, 2005). This research also
examined the effects of parent and child gender and age on
the mean level of higher and lower level personality traits.

127

are made on a 5-point Likert-type scale. The Cronbachs


of the original Flemish version for domains and facets all
exceeded .80.

Translation
All 144 HiPIC items were translated into French by a team
of experts in developmental, educational, or personality
psychology and checked by the authors of this inventory
who are fluent in French. Amendments were made and reviewed. This process continued until the authors agreed
with this French translation.

Procedure
The HiPIC was distributed in the classrooms by the teachers to the children, who had to bring this questionnaire to
their parents. Parents were asked to rate their children and
could return the questionnaire free of charge directly to the
University of Lausanne, in order to warranty an anonymous
participation. This research complied with the ethical rules
of the American Psychological Association (APA).

Method
Sample

Results

The parents of 1,250 pupils attending five different state


schools in the French-speaking part of Switzerland were
asked to complete the HiPIC. At least one of the parents of
552 of these children (44.2%) returned the questionnaire.
A parent rating was obtained for 276 girls (mean age =
10.09, SD = 1.17) and 276 boys (mean age = 10.13, SD =
1.22), all aged between 8 and 12. The sample was made up
of 47 eight-year-old children, 133 nine-year-olds, 174 tenyear-olds, 107 eleven-year-olds and 91 twelve-year-olds.
Of these, 74.1% of the children were rated by their mother,
11.1% by their father, and 13.9% by both parents.

Descriptive, Coefficients, and Influence of


Gender and Age

Measure
The French version of the HiPIC (Mervielde & De Fruyt,
1999) is made up of 144 items assessing 18 facets, eight
items per facet, hierarchically structured under five domains. Extraversion is made up of four facet scales: shyness
(E1), expressiveness (E2), optimism (E3), and energy (E4).
Benevolence is made up of five facet scales: egocentrism
(B1), irritability (B2), compliance (B3), dominance (B4),
and altruism (B5). Conscientiousness is made up of four
facet scales: achievement striving (C1), order (C2), concentration (C3), and perseverance (C4). Emotional Stability is made up of two facets: anxiety (S1) and self-confidence (S2). Finally, Imagination is made up of three facets:
creativity (I1), curiosity (I2), and intellect (I3). Responses
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Table 1 summarizes means, standard deviations, kurtosis,


skewness, and values for the total sample, and separately
for girls and boys. Globally, the observer (mother, father,
or both) had no impact on the mean levels for the five domains. For this reason, this variable was not considered in
the analyses presented hereafter. Indeed, the observer had
only a slight impact on two of the facet scales. Fathers rated
their child slightly higher on B2, F(2, 546) = 3.75, p = .02
(d = .36) and S2, F(2, 546) = 3.03, p = .04 (d = .26). The
internal consistencies estimated by coefficient were adequate and similar to those found in the Flemish sample.
For the five global scales the internal consistencies ranged
from .85 to .93 and from .86 to .93 for girls and boys, respectively. The internal consistencies of the facet scales
ranged from .68 to .89 (Mdn = .81) for girls and from .70
to .88 (Mdn = .83) for boys. For the five main scales and
for the facets, the kurtosis and skewness values indicated
that the distributions were normal and symmetrical (all values below 1 in absolute magnitude).
We analyzed the gender differences and found that girls
had significantly higher scores on Benevolence, t(550) =
2.07, p = .04, (d = .18) and Conscientiousness, t(550) =
4.07, p < .001, (d = .35). An analysis at the facet level
showed that girls had significantly higher scores on E2,
t(550) = 3.57, p < .01, (d = .30); B5, t(550) = 3.16, p = .002,
European Journal of Psychological Assessment 2007; Vol. 23(2):125132

128

J. Rossier et al.: Validation of the French HiPIC

Table 1. Domain and facet scale s, means, SD, and correlations with age by child gender and , kurtosis, and skewness
coefficients
Girls

Boys

HiPIC

Mean

SD

Mean

SD

Extraversion

.86

3.62

.48

.17**

.89

3.61

.55

.18**

.88

K
.59

S
.43

E1: Shyness

.76

2.44

.70

.12*

.80

2.46

.77

.12

.78

.21

.41

E2: Expressiveness

.70

3.57

.67

.17**

.78

3.35

.76

.14*

.75

.33

.22

E3: Optimism

.75

4.03

.54

.07

.84

4.00

.65

.13*

.80

.61

.66

E4: Energy

.77

3.34

.73

.12

.77

3.56

.74

.14*

.77

.30

.07

.09

.55

Benevolence

.91

3.59

.51

.91

3.49

.54

.03

.91

.28

B1: Egocentrism

.68

2.42

.60

.13*

.70

2.46

.65

.02

.69

.16

.52

B2: Irritability

.87

2.56

.87

.14*

.88

2.73

.95

.08

.88

.68

.32

B3: Compliance

.82

3.59

.68

.84

3.50

.73

.02

.83

.11

.29

.09

B4: Dominance

.78

2.76

.74

.07

.71

2.73

.68

.08

.75

.02

.39

B5: Altruism

.87

4.08

.67

.05

.88

3.89

.72

.10

.88

.42

.71

Conscientiousness

.93

3.48

.64

.05

.93

3.26

.66

.11

.93

.32

.11

C1: Achievement Striving

.79

3.58

.72

.03

.81

3.45

.76

.19**

.80

.27

.26

C2: Order

.86

3.32

.84

.05

.85

2.97

.89

.05

.86

.67

.01

C3: Concentration

.85

3.66

.79

.02

.83

3.42

.80

.04

.84

.65

.17

C4: Perseverance

.77

3.37

.70

.06

.79

3.19

.75

.07

.79

.23

.14
.17

Emotional Stability

.85

3.17

.66

.13*

.86

3.19

.69

.05

.86

.54

S1: Anxiety

.83

2.94

.85

.10

.83

2.87

.84

.03

.83

.71

.01

S2: Self-confidence

.70

3.28

.64

.14*

.73

3.25

.68

.15*

.72

.23

.32

Imagination

.92

3.94

.59

.17**

.91

3.94

.60

.18**

.91

.49

.61

I1: Creativity

.84

3.89

.73

.17**

.85

3.79

.82

.10

.84

.19

.53

I2: Curiosity

.84

4.00

.65

.13*

.87

4.11

.68

.16**

.86

.15

.58

I3: Intellect
*p < .05** p< .01

.89

3.92

.76

.13*

.88

3.92

.77

.16**

.89

.31

.53

In order to assess the structural validity, we conducted a


principal component exploratory factor analysis with varimax rotation of the 18 facet scales. In order to compare the
factorial structure with the theoretical structure of the inventory, we chose to extract five factors explaining 71.72%
of the variance. The first six eigenvalues were 5.77, 3.02,
1.76, 1.40, .96, and .72. The structure matrix (see Table 2)
showed that Factor 1 correlated well with all the facets of
the Conscientiousness domain, that Factor 2 correlated
well with all the facets of the Benevolence domain, that
Factor 3 correlated well with all the facets of the Extraver-

sion domain, that Factor 4 correlated well with the two facets of the Emotional Stability domain, and that Factor 5
correlated well with all the facets of the Imagination domain. All facets loaded primarily on the intended factors.
However, five facets had secondary loadings higher than
.40. A very close association was observed between the
five factors obtained from the principal factor analysis with
varimax rotation and the five domain scale scores of the
HiPIC. Factor 1 was associated with Conscientiousness (r
= .94), Factor 2 with Benevolence (r = .92), Factor 3 with
Extraversion (r = .90), Factor 4 with Emotional Stability (r
= .92), and Factor 5 with Imagination (r = .88).
Two independent principal component analyses with
varimax rotation were carried out and five factors were extracted in order to compare the factorial structure with the
theoretical structure for girls and boys. For girls, the five
factors explained 71.96% of the total variance. The first six
eigenvalues were 6.03, 2.88, 1.84, 1.29, .92, and .73. A
very close association was observed between the five factors and the five domains of the HiPIC. Factor 1 was associated with Conscientiousness (r = .94), Factor 2 with Benevolence (r = .90), Factor 3 with Imagination (r = .80),
and Factor 4 with Emotional Stability (r = .92). However,
the correlation between Factor 5 and Extraversion was

European Journal of Psychological Assessment 2007; Vol. 23(2):125132

2007 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers

(d = .27); C1, t(550) = 2.18, p = .03, (d = .19); C2, t(550)


= 4.74, p < .001, (d = .40); C3, t(550) = 3.53, p < .001, (d
= .30); and C4, t(550) = 2.84, p = .005, (d = 0.24); and lower
scores on E4, t(550) = 3.53, p < .001, (d = .30); B2, t(550)
= 2.22, p = .03, (d = .19); and I2, t(550) = 1.97, p = .04,
(d = .17). Age correlated negatively with Extraversion and
Imagination both for girls and boys (see Figure 1). For girls,
age also correlated negatively with Emotional Stability. An
analysis at the facet level is presented in Table 1.

Structural Validity

J. Rossier et al.: Validation of the French HiPIC

129

Figure 1. Mean level for the five main


dimensions according to age.

slightly smaller (r = .72). The E4 loaded on Factor 3 instead


of Factor 5 and the B5 loaded on Factor 5 instead of Factor
2. Two facets had secondary loadings higher than .40 (see
Table 2). For boys, the five factors explained 71.66% of the
total variance. The first six eigenvalues were 5.58, 3.19,
1.73, 1.54, 1.04, and .67. A very close association was observed between the five factors obtained from the principal
factor analysis with varimax rotation and the five domain
scale scores of the HiPIC. Factor 1 was associated with

Conscientiousness (r = .93), Factor 2 with Benevolence (r


= .93), Factor 3 with Extraversion (r = .92), Factor 4 with
Emotional Stability (r = .93), and Factor 5 with Imagination (r = .90). However, five facets had secondary loadings
higher than .40.
In order to assess the structural similarity between girls
and boys personality structures, the structure matrices obtained for both genders were subjected to an orthogonal
Procrustes rotation (McCrae, Zonderman, Costa, Bond, &

Table 2. Results of the principal component analyses with Varimax rotation of the French version of the HiPIC for the
total sample and by gender, and congruence coefficients after targeted factor analyses
Total sample
F1
E1

.06

F2
.08

Girls

F3

F4

F5

CC

F1

.71

.41

.02

.98

.03

F2
.00

Boys

F3

F4

F5

CC

F1

.07

.51

.66

.99

.06

F2
.13

F3

F4

F5

CC

.70

.40

.09

.97

E2

.03

.18

.71

.10

.25

.99

.01

.28

.28

.23

.67

.96

.00

.13

.70

.10

.37

.99

E3

.22

.27

.64

.30

.21

.97

.25

.25

.38

.31

.53

.95

.17

.30

.64

.35

.20

.99

E4

.19

.31

.58

.02

.20

.92

.24

.25

.62

.12

.26

.64

.12

.28

.71

.10

.00

.97

B1

.17

.80

.23

.23

.02

.99

.13

.78

.03

.25

.28

.99

.18

.81

.17

.24

.02

.99

B2

.31

.68

.08

.41

.03

.99

.30

.73

.01

.34

.07

.99

.29

.63

.19

.47

.01

.98

B3

.55

.64

.07

.02

.04

.99

.59

.57

.10

.01

.23

.98

.49

.69

.01

.06

.04

.99

B4

.12

.74

.34

.21

.01

.99

.06

.78

.08

.22

.26

.97

.17

.71

.36

.21

.07

.99

B5

.21

.46

.63

.21

.11

.98

.16

.32

.14

.19

.74

.98

.19

.56

.56

.17

.20

.98

C1

.80

.15

.24

.08

.29

.99

.77

.14

.33

.03

.23

.99

.83

.12

.25

.11

.24

.98

C2

.81

.19

.09

.00

.03

.99

.79

.17

.01

.01

.10

.96

.80

.23

.09

.01

.09

.99

C3

.82

.20

.02

.26

.15

.99

.85

.14

.12

.21

.06

.98

.79

.25

.08

.32

.10

.98

C4

.71

.32

.15

.25

.23

.94

.73

.22

.24

.30

.12

.89

.66

.43

.10

.23

.23

.94

S1

.02

.18

.06

.89

.06

.99

.03

.22

.05

.88

.03

.99

.03

.13

.03

.89

.05

.99

S2

.28

.06

.31

.75

.19

.99

.30

.08

.24

.75

.21

.99

.26

.04

.30

.78

.19

.99

I1

.04

.08

.13

.07

.85

.99

.21

.11

.79

.05

.06

.99

.06

.07

.09

.08

.85

.99

I2

.27

.05

.33

.06

.74

.99

.36

.05

.75

.09

.19

.99

.29

.00

.32

.03

.74

.99

I3

.43

.06

.19

.37

.53

.99

.49

.02

.48

.37

.21

.95

.45

.10

.12

.35

.52

.99

CC
.98
.99
.99
.99
.97 .98
.97
.99
.95
.97
.90 .96
.98
.98
.99
.99
.99 .98
Note. E1: Shyness; E2: Expressiveness; E3: Optimism; E4: Energy; B1: Egocentrism; B2: Irritability; B3: Compliance; B4: Dominance; B5:
Altruism; C1: Achievement Striving; C2: Order; C3: Concentration; C4: Perseverance; S1: Anxiety; S2: Self-confidence; I1: Creativity; I2:
Curiosity; I3: Intellect; CC: Congruence coefficients. The correlations above .40 in absolute magnitude are in bold. All congruence coefficients
are in italics.
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Paunonen, 1996). The total congruence coefficient between girls and boys was .97. The congruence coefficients
were .97, .99, .98, .98, and .89 for Extraversion, Benevolence, Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability, and Imagination, respectively. At facet level, variable congruence coefficients ranged from .67 to 1.00 (Mdn = .98). Only the
facet E4 had a coefficient lower than .90. Note that coefficients above .90 indicate replicability (Mulaik, 1972).

The internal consistencies of the scales for girls and boys


are similar to those found with the original version (Mervielde & De Fruyt, 2002). The scale with the highest internal reliability is Conscientiousness for both girls and boys.
The scale with the lowest internal reliability is Emotional
Stability for both girls and boys. The values of the facet
scales are generally slightly lower in this Swiss sample
compared to the Flemish sample. However, all reliabilities
are acceptable.
Concerning gender differences, girls score higher than
boys on Benevolence and Conscientiousness, and at the
facet level, girls score higher on E1, B5, C2, C3, C4, and

score lower on E4, B2, and I2, as in the sample of De Fruyt


and Vollrath (2003). These results show that there are gender differences on personality traits even in preadolescents.
However, according to Cohens d gender differences are
associated with small effect sizes and these variations are
somewhat different from the gender differences usually observed with adolescent or adult samples on Neuroticism
(Costa, Terracciano, & McCrae, 2001) and Extraversion
(Allik et al., 2004). Indeed, no sex differences for Emotional Stability have been observed in our sample, but the results of this study compared to the gender differences reported by Costa, Terracciano, and McCrae (2001) or Graziano and colleagues (1997) suggest gender differences in
Agreeableness from childhood to adulthood. The differences on Neuroticism and Extraversion might appear only at
adolescence. Thus, gender differences in this sample globally follow the general trend found in other samples assessed with the HiPIC, but the pattern is slightly different
compared to studies with older samples.
Concerning the development of personality traits, we
observed only modest changes from age 8 to age 12. The
results show a decline in Extraversion and Imagination for
both girls and boys, and a decline in Emotional Stability
for girls. However, the effect sizes are always small. The
decline in Extraversion was also observed by Lamb and
colleagues (2002), but Allik and colleagues (2004) observed that usually individuals are never more extraverted
than at the age of 16. This increase in Extraversion might
occur after the age of 12. The decline in Imagination is
congruent with the pattern observed by Lamb and colleagues with preadolescents. The decline in Emotional Stability is in line with the steep decline in self-esteem from
age 9 to age 13, especially for girls, reported by Robins and
colleagues (2002). We also observed a decline in Self-Confidence. In our sample the mean levels for Benevolence and
Conscientiousness remained stable whereas Lamb and colleagues observed a significant increase on these two dimensions. This increase was associated with a very small
effect size (d = .10) for Agreeableness and medium effect
size (d = .57) for Conscientiousness. However, it is very
difficult to compare results between these different studies
and the discrepancies might be the result of, for example,
the assessment methods (parents ratings vs. self-reports),
the assessment instruments, or differences in age groups.
The principal component analysis with a varimax rotation
allowed extracting five factors closely associated with the
five theoretical dimensions. An analysis for girls and boys
confirmed the invariance of this structure according to gender
with a total congruence coefficient of .97. All dimensions
were associated with a congruence coefficient of .90 or higher. However, E4 loaded on the expected factor for boys but
on the Imagination factor for girls. This was the only facet
with a congruence coefficient lower than .90. This slight difference between the structure found for girls and boys was
not observed with the original Flemish version (Mervielde &
De Fruyt, 2002). This difference might be attributed to the
sample selection, the translation, or the cultural context.

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2007 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers

Cross-Language Stability
To assess cross-language replicability, the structure matrices obtained in our French-speaking sample were subjected
to an orthogonal Procrustes rotation using the Flemish
structure matrices as the target (Mervielde & De Fruyt,
2002, p. 140). For the global-structure matrix the total congruence coefficient was .98. The congruence coefficients
were .99, .99, .98, .99, and .97 for Extraversion, Benevolence, Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability, and Imagination, respectively (see Table 2). At facet level, congruence coefficients ranged from .92 to .99 (Mdn = .99). Thus,
all domains and facets were associated to a coefficient
higher than .90.
To assess cross-language replicability for girls and boys,
two independent orthogonal Procrustes rotations were carried out using the Flemish structure matrices as the target.
For girls, the total congruence coefficient was .96. The congruence coefficients were .95, .99, .97, .97, and .90 for Extraversion, Benevolence, Conscientiousness, Emotional
Stability, and Imagination, respectively. At facet level, congruence coefficients ranged from .64 to .99 (Mdn = .98).
Only two facets had a coefficient lower than .90: E4 with
a coefficient of .64 and C4 with a coefficient of .89. For
boys, the total congruence coefficient was .98. The congruence coefficients were .99, .98, .98, .99, and .99 for Extraversion, Benevolence, Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability, and Imagination, respectively. At facet level, congruence coefficients ranged from .94 to .99 (Mdn = .99). Thus,
all domains and facets had a coefficient higher than .90.

Discussion

J. Rossier et al.: Validation of the French HiPIC

Cross-language replicability is an important criterion for


assessing the validity of a model claiming that personality
traits are universal, such as the FFM (Rossier, 2005). This
is especially important for a measurement that was developed in a specific language as is the case with the HiPIC.
The congruence coefficients after a targeted factor analysis
show that the cross-language replicability of the HiPIC is
very high. For all dimensions congruence coefficients are
equal to or higher than .97. This result is similar to those
observed using other self-rating instruments to assess the
FFM (Aluja, Garca, Rossier, & Garca, 2005; Rossier, Dahourou, & McCrae, 2005). Separate analyses conducted for
girls and boys confirmed this high cross-language replicability. The only difference is that mentioned above concerning E4. This study clearly confirms the cross-language replicability of the five dimensions of the HiPIC, but there is
a slight shift for one facet scale, and this for girls only.
As a conclusion, the French version of the HiPIC is a
reliable and valid tool for assessing childrens personality
traits. The internal consistencies are satisfactory and similar to those found with the original Flemish version. Differences between genders are congruent with those observed using the same instrument with other samples of
preadolescents, but slightly different to those observed with
adolescent or adult samples, especially concerning Emotional Stability. This might indicate that these differences
develop with age. This study shows several correlations
between personality traits and age. The cross-language and
cross-gender replicability of the structure underlying the
HiPIC was very high.

Acknowledgments
We thank Filip De Fruyt and Barbara De Clercq for correcting the French translation of the HiPIC. We also thank
all teachers and parents who participated in this study.

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Jrme Rossier
Institute of Psychology
University of Lausanne
Anthropole-3127
CH-1015 Lausanne
Switzerland
Tel. +41 21 692 32 72
Fax +41 21 692 32 65
E-mail Jerome.Rossier@unil.ch

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