Development and initial validation of the disinhibition inventory: a multifaceted measure of disinhibition

Assessment. 2009 Sep;16(3):274-91. doi: 10.1177/1073191108328890. Epub 2009 Feb 18.


The broad personality trait of disinhibition reflects the tendency to behave in an underconstrained versus overconstrained manner and is associated with externalizing psychopathology and risk-taking behaviors. This article describes the development and initial validation of the Disinhibition Inventory (DIS-I), a multifaceted measure of disinhibition that helps explicate the nature of this important higher-order dimension more fully. Factor analyses of an initial item pool resulted in five content-distinct, yet correlated scales measuring both high (Manipulativeness, Distractibility, Risk Taking) and low (Prosociality, Orderliness) levels of disinhibition that cross-validated in an independent sample. Evidence for the construct validity of the DIS-I is presented, including convergent and discriminant relations with Big-Three and Big-Five/five-factor model measures of personality. Results indicate that the DIS-I scales are associated most strongly with other measures of disinhibition, but that the DIS-I additionally contains content absent in extant adult measures of disinhibition that may prove useful in the assessment of externalizing psychopathology.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / diagnosis
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Behavior Control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / diagnosis
  • Impulsive Behavior / psychology
  • Inhibition, Psychological*
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Social Behavior
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Young Adult