Measurement of agency, communion, and emotional vulnerability with the personal attributes questionnaire

L. Charles Ward*, Beverly E. Thorn, Kristi L. Clements, Kim E. Dixon, Stacy D. Sanford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Factor analytic studies of the 24-item Personal Attributes Questionnaire (Spence & Helmreich, 1978) have reported inconsistent results, and a previous confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) indicated inadequate fit for factors corresponding to Masculinity, Femininity, and Masculinity-Femininity scales. In this research, we used CFA in a college sample (N = 382) to evaluate the 3-factor model, and we revised scales by eliminating 6 misspecified items. The revised model fit well in another college sample (N = 230). We renamed the revised scales Agency, Communion, and Emotional Vulnerability. In relation to Five-factor theory, Emotional Vulnerability and Communion correlated well with Neuroticism and Agreeableness, respectively, and Agency had moderate correlations with Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Conscientiousness. Psychometric results in the context of current theory suggest that Agency (Masculinity) may not be a fully adequate measure of the agency construct.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-216
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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