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Personality Structure and Assessment in French-Speaking African Cultures
Title of the book
The Praeger Handbook of Personality across Cultures
Address of publication
Santa Barbara, CA
Church A. T.
Personality includes personality traits and several processes regulating the expression of these traits, sometimes called characteristic adaptations. Culture has more influence on these processes than on person’s basic tendencies because these processes allow people to express culturally adapted behaviors. Since well-known personality inventories or questionnaires assessing personality disorders are available in French or Arabic, several studies have evaluated whether models of personality traits developed in Western countries replicate in French-speaking African cultures. Most of these studies have concluded that personality models, such as Eysenck’s PEN model, the five-factor model, or the alternative five-factor model do replicate in these cultures, suggesting that the personality inventories associated with these models can also be used in French-speaking African cultures. Moreover, in these cultures personality disorders relate to normal personality dimensions in a very similar manner to the relationships observed in Western countries. However, the mean scores observed in African cultures are usually slightly different from the mean scores observed in other French-speaking countries, suggesting that the use of norms developed in Western French-speaking countries might not be adequate. This was confirmed by the fact that personality dimensions did not reach scalar invariance across French-speaking countries from different parts of the world. More research should be conducted in the field of personality psychology in Africa as this region of the world is largely understudied. Finally, culture-specific norms as well as culturally adapted personality inventories and interviews in local languages should be developed.
Personality, Personality Disorders, Personality Assessment, French-speaking Africa
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