PAI® (Personality Assessment Inventory: Adolescent)

The PAI® (Personality Assessment Inventory: Adolescent) an objective personality assessment for use with adolescents.

About this Test

The PAI® (Personality Assessment Inventory: Adolescent) A C-Level psychological tool for clinicians/counsellors working with adolescents.  Use it to:

  • To compare your client’s scores with those in the clinical sample
  • Reveal the existence of behavior or psychopathology that requires immediate attention

This test provides the answers you need to make informed decisions.

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Not the perfect fit?  No problem.  We have many similar tests to choose from.  See alternatives in the PERSONALITY & PERSONAL STYLE category section of our site.  See the Personality Assessment Inventory™ and Personality Assessment Inventory™ – Law Enforcement, Corrections, and Public Safety Selection Report™as well.


What does it do and what problem does it solve?

This assessment is a clinical tool requiring specific user pre-qualifications in order to purchase it.  The PAI® (Personality Assessment Inventory: Adolescent) provides psychologists working with children and/or adolescents in clinical practice, in schools, or in forensic settings with vital information to assist in decision making.  It is not suitable for employment screening uses.  Use the Search function (upper right) to find similar tests including the full version Personality Assessment Inventory and the PAI for Law Enforcement.

The PAI-A was designed to complement its parent instrument, the Personality Assessment Inventory™ (PAI®). Its development grew out of the interest expressed by many professionals who wished to use the PAI with the adolescent population in clinical settings. As a result, the PAI-A closely parallels the adult version of the instrument—it retains both the structure and most of the items from the PAI. In addition, the PAI-A demonstrates clinical utility with adolescents ages 12-18 years in a variety of settings.

Purpose: Assess adolescent personality
Age range: 12 to 18 years
Admin: Self-report; Individual or group
Admin time: 30-45 minutes to complete; 15-20 minutes to score
Scoring time: 20 minutes
Qualification level: C

Features and benefits

  • The PAI-A closely parallels the adult version of the instrument, but contains fewer items. Items are written at a 4th-grade reading level.
  • Clinical constructs, which were selected on the basis of their importance within the nosology of mental disorder and their significance in contemporary diagnostic practice, assess experiences (e.g., suicidal ideation, depression, anxiety) that are expressed with reasonable consistency across the life span.
  • PAI-A 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.

  • PAI-A Profile Form–Adolescent 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.
  • PAI-A Critical Items Form–Adolescent 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®.

Note: The PAI is a C-Level Instrument

Qualification Level C:

Tests with a C qualification require a high level of expertise in test interpretation, and can be purchased by individuals with:

A doctorate degree in psychology, education, or closely related field with formal training in the ethical administration, scoring and interpretation of clinical assessments related to the intended use of the assessment.


Licensure or certification by a provincial College of Psychology to practice in your province in a field related to the purchase.


Certification by or full membership in a professional organization such as College of Psychology, the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), the Canadian Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology (CRHSPP), the Canadian Association of School Psychologists (CASP) or other North American organizations such as the American Psychological Association (APA) that requires training and experience in the relevant area of assessment.

Additional information

Appropriate For


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The PAI® (Personality Assessment Inventory: Adolescent) an objective personality assessment for use with adolescents.

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