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The Abbreviated Dimensions of Temperament Survey: Factor Structure and Construct Validity Across Three Racial/Ethnic Groups


The factor structure, reliability, and construct validity of an abbreviated version of the Revised Dimensions of Temperament Survey (DOTS-R) were evaluated across Black, Hispanic, and White early adolescents. Primary caregivers reported on 5 dimensions of temperament for 4,701 children. Five temperament dimensions were identified via maximum likelihood exploratory factor analysis and were labeled flexibility, general activity level, positive mood, task orientation, and sleep rhythmicity. Multigroup mean and covariance structures analysis provided partial support for strong factorial invariance across these racial/ethnic groups. Mean level comparisons indicated that relative to Hispanics and Blacks, Whites had higher flexibility, greater sleep regularity, and lower activity. They also reported higher positive mood than Blacks. Blacks, relative to Hispanics, had higher flexibility and lower sleep regularity. Construct validity was supported as the 5 temperament dimensions were significantly correlated with externalizing problems and socioemotional competence. This abbreviated version of the DOTS-R could be used across racial/ethnic groups of early adolescents to assess significant dimensions of temperament risk that are associated with mental health and competent (healthy) functioning.

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