Sex Roles, Vol. 52, Nos. 3/4, February 2005 (
Analysis of the Children’s Personal Attributes
Questionnaire (Short Form) with a Sample
of African American Adolescents
Nicole Renick Thomson
and Debra H. Zand
This article is based on a partial replication of a previous study in which the Children’s
Personal Attributes Questionnaire (CPAQ) was administered to a European American
sample of children. The sample of the current study included 328 African American adoles-
cents who completed the CPAQ’s short form. Psychometric analysis indicated acceptable
reliabilities on two of the three subscales, and gender differences were found. A factor
analysis yielded three factors, each of which represented a combination of items from the
three original subscales. In general, the results closely parallel those reported with European
American samples. The ﬁndings are discussed in terms of the CPAQ’s suitability for an
African American adolescent sample.
KEY WORDS: gender identity; African American; adolescents; measurement.
A dearth of literature exists to address gender
identity issues among African American children and
adolescents (Reid, Haritos, Kelly, & Holland, 1995).
Although one of the most common methodologies
for examining gender identity in older children and
adolescents is self-report, the instruments commonly
utilized have not been normed on African American
samples (e.g., Children’s Sex Role Inventory). De-
spite the urging of researchers to establish empir-
ically whether measures developed with European
American populations can be applied to People of
Color (e.g., Jones, 1996; Padilla & Medina, 1996;
Reid et al., 1995), few studies have been published
that address this longstanding problem.
Scholars have maintained that, due to the
unique historical challenges faced by the African
American culture (i.e., slavery, economic oppression,
discrimination, etc.), African American men and
women would be less likely to adhere rigidly to tradi-
tional gender roles than would European American
Missouri Institute of Mental Health, St. Louis, Missouri.
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tute of Mental Health, 5400 Arsenal Street, St. Louis, Missouri
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men and women (e.g., Collins, 1987). Empirical evi-
dence for this contention is equivocal (see Hill, 2002).
Further, very little research exists on the gender role
socialization of African American children. It has
been argued that gender may not be a major focus of
socialization practices by African American parents
and may be superseded by issues such as the chil-
dren’s age, competency, religion, and family struc-
ture (Hill, 2002). These socialization practices may
translate into African American children adhering
less ﬁrmly to traditional attitudes about gender roles;
however, too little research in this area currently ex-
ists to support or refute such an argument. The accu-
mulation of empirical evidence on the development
of African American children’s gender role attitudes
and gender identity must begin with investigations of
the reliability and validity of the tools used in gender
Measurement Issues: Adulthood
Gender typing encompasses the degree to which
men and women identify with culturally prescribed
traits expected of their sex (Bem, 1977; Spence,
2005 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.