Studies on a German (Münster) version of the temperament auto-questionnaire TEMPS-A: construction and validation of the briefTEMPS-M.

Journal of affective disorders

PubMedID: 15780676

Erfurth A, Gerlach AL, Hellweg I, Boenigk I, Michael N, Akiskal HS. Studies on a German (Münster) version of the temperament auto-questionnaire TEMPS-A: construction and validation of the briefTEMPS-M. J Affect Disord. 2005;85(1-2):53-69.
BACKGROUND
Based on classic German concepts of a continuum between depressive, hyperthymic, cyclothymic, and irritable temperaments and affective disorder (and adding an anxious type to the four), Akiskal and co-workers developed the Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego both in interview (TEMPS-I) and auto-questionnaire (TEMPS-A) versions. It is the aim of the present analyses to validate a brief German version of TEMPS-A.

METHODS
A total of 1056 students of the Westfalische-Wilhelms-Universitat in Munster, Germany, filled out the long 110-item version of the TEMPS-A (Munster translation by Erfurth: TEMPS-M) modified into a five gradation Likert format and with the items randomized. Based on this data we constructed a brief version of the TEMPS-M. In a second study, a sample of 151 students were recruited who filled out the briefTEMPS-M twice, approximately 1 month apart.

RESULTS
Our psychometric procedures resulted in the retention of 35 items from the original 110. The proposed five-factor structure of the original TEMPS-A was upheld, with relatively few item reclassification (mainly due to some overlap between depressive and anxious traits). Internal consistency (Cronbach alpha values ranging from 0.69 to 0.84) and test-retest reliability were shown. Most importantly, all temperaments in the briefTEMPS-M correlated quite well (Pearson r values ranging from 0.49 to 0.72) with their respective original versions in the longer TEMPS-M. As for construct validity, significant correlation was shown with the Beck Depression Inventory for all but the hyperthymic temperament; the hyperthymic, cyclothymic and irritable correlated highest with the self-report Manic Inventory.

LIMITATIONS
The study sample of university students was selective.

CONCLUSIONS
We were able to construct a brief German version of the TEMPS-A auto-questionnaire. We submit this shorter version will be suitable for both clinical (psychiatric and general medical) and neurobiological research, as well as in studies on temperament features in selected populations, e.g., allowing comparisons between regions or different (German-speaking) countries.