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Personality disorder diagnosis by means of the Temperament and Character Inventory
Centre for Child and Adolescents Mental Health, Regions East and South, N-0405 Oslo, Norway.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Psychiatry. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
2009 (English)In: Comprehensive Psychiatry, ISSN 0010-440X, E-ISSN 1532-8384, Vol. 50, no 4, 347-352 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Personality disorders (PDs) criteria are still in development. Cloninger's biosocial theory of personality contributed to this discussion. The aim of the study was to explore the relationships between extreme expressions on temperament and an immature character according to Cloninger's assumptions. Eight hundred healthy volunteers and 200 psychiatric inpatients were consecutively recruited each from Sweden and Germany, and were asked to complete the Temperament and Character Inventory, which measures 4 temperament and 3 character dimensions. Patients differed from controls on temperament and character dimensions. The combination of low and very low character scores with extreme scores in either novelty seeking, harm avoidance, or reward dependence was found more often among patients with PD compared with patients without PD and controls; this is more pronounced with an increasing number of extreme temperament scores. The Temperament and Character Inventory represents a useful tool in the diagnostic process of personality disorders.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Maryland Heights, United States: Saunders Elsevier, 2009. Vol. 50, no 4, 347-352 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-17838DOI: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2008.09.002ISI: 000266820100008OAI: diva2:212423
Available from: 2009-04-22 Created: 2009-04-22 Last updated: 2014-01-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Personality and its complexity: An investigation of the Swedish version of the Temperament and Character Inventory
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Personality and its complexity: An investigation of the Swedish version of the Temperament and Character Inventory
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In former days the descriptions of personality were based on typologies, reflecting the view that people do not change over time and so have a stable, life-long personality type. Later on exclusive categories were created, but during recent times the understanding of personality has changed due to more dimensional and dynamic thinking.

Cloninger’s personality theory integrates concepts and research findings from neuroanatomy, neurophysiology of behavior and learning, and from developmental, social and clinical psychology. It is postulated that the behavioural systems of temperament and character are related to two major neural systems for the adaptation of experiences on various levels. The continuous interaction between temperament and character affects the personality development in both directions; temperament impacts upon character and vice versa during life.

The development of the TCI was founded on the development of the biosocial theory of personality, which in turn stimulated the further development of the theory. Unfortunately this theory-based approach is not commonly used in the development of personality measurements. The development of a personality questionnaire on the basis of the theory must be viewed as a significant challenge, and this prompted my interest in dealing with and learning more about this personality assessment method.

The objectives of this thesis were a critical evaluation of Cloninger’s theory; a test of its applicability in psychiatric science; and an attempt to contribute to its development.

The main findings of our investigations can be described as follows:

The adaptation of the Swedish version of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) was successful and the seven factor structure of Cloninger’s biopsychological theory of personality theory was mainly confirmed by the Swedish normative data and by cross-cultural comparisons between data from Germany, Sweden and the U.S.A.

The results concerning internal consistency and factor structure further underline that the adult version of the TCI is unsuitable for use in adolescents before age of 17 years. For the adolescents the junior TCI is recommended.

Furthermore temperament dimensions seem to be more stable over time compared to the character dimensions. The gender and age differences found suggest that both have to be taken into account in research and clinical application.

The results from our studies suggested that the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) has to be evaluated as a useful tool within the process of validation of diagnosis of a Personality Disorder (PD), especially in clinical practice where it is often difficult to recognise all a patient’s personality disturbances during a short time. Use of the TCI is likely to improve understanding, classification, and subsequently the interpretations in clinical settings.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2009. 62 p.
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1115
National Category
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-17839 (URN)978-91-7393-656-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-05-07, Elsa Brändström salen, Campus US, Linköpings Universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2009-04-22 Created: 2009-04-22 Last updated: 2009-08-21Bibliographically approved

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