The Personality Inventory for Children (PIC) is a multidimensional assessment of children focusing on the absence of diagnostic contributions. Although the test is taken by parents or their surrogates, it targets school-age children (Lachar, 2014). The PIC employs such an approach because early graders cannot adequately describe themselves due to insufficient vocabulary, and even high school students may struggle with answering all the items (Lachar, 2014). Thus, parents, who constantly observe their children, are more than qualified to undergo the assessment (Lachar, 2014). The PIC also addresses such issues as dissimilar scale content, information inaccuracy, and narrowly focused measures (Lachar, 2014). The PIC is a reliable tool which helps reveal whether a child experiences any issues affecting their development.
The modern revision of the PIC is different from the original version structurally. It has 275 items with nine scales and 21 subscales (three per each), with additional ones for validity involving gender-specific linear T-scores (Lachar, 2014). They include cognitive impairment, delinquency, reality distortion, family dysfunction, social skill deficits, psychological discomfort, and others (Lachar, 2014). A shortened version of the assessment is the Behavioral Summary (Lachar, 2014). It has 96 items from eight scales, which exclude cognitive impairment (Lachar, 2014). The Behavioral Summary can be used for reevaluation following an intervention or as an independent assessment tool (Lachar, 2014). Overall, regardless of the size, the test’s structure considers various issues a child may have and helps determine their absence or presence.
The PIC has important implications for personality development, as early detection of any problems can lead to their prevention. For instance, the family dysfunction scale and its items, if within the clinical range, may reveal that a child’s home environment is primarily responsible for the problematic behavior (Lachar, 2014). If the parent who took the test acknowledges the issue and allows specialists to intervene, it will be possible to make the necessary alternations. Still, the scales mostly show that problems in one’s development exist, and resolving them is a separate stage.
The PIC is a proven tool for accurately measuring whether a child has difficulties in cognitive, emotional, or interpersonal adjustment. It has a solid justification for why parents undergo the assessment and well-developed scales that can be compared among participants. Some issues may affect a child’s development in the long run, so the PIC helps discover them as early as kindergarten. Afterward, an intervention is likely to alter the problematic aspects.
Lachar, D. (2004). Personality inventory for children, second edition (PIC-2), personality inventory for youth (PIY), and student behavior survey (SBS). In M. E. Maruish (Ed.), The use of psychological testing for treatment planning and outcomes assessment: Volume 2: Instruments for children and adolescents (3rd ed., pp. 141-178). Taylor & Francis Group.