The 344 PAI items constitute 22 non overlapping scales covering the constructs most relevant to a broad-based assessment of mental disorders: four validity scales, 11 clinical scales, five treatment scales, and two interpersonal scales. To facilitate interpretation and to cover the full range of complex clinical constructs, 10 scales contain conceptually derived subscales.
- Clinical scales provide critical diagnostic features of 11 important clinical constructs. These 11 scales may be divided into three broad classes of disorders: those within the neurotic spectrum, those within the psychotic spectrum, and those associated with behaviour disorder or impulse control problems.
- Treatment scales indicate potential complications in treatment. Five scales include two indicators of potential for harm to self or others, two measures of the respondent’s environmental circumstances, and one indicator of the respondent’s motivation for treatment.
- Interpersonal scales provide valuable information regarding the client’s relationships and interactions. Interpersonal style is assessed along two dimensions: a warmly affiliative versus a cold rejecting style, and a dominating/controlling versus a meekly submissive style.
- Two scales assess pathology. The Borderline Features scale is the only PAI scale that has four subscales, reflecting the factorial complexity of the construct. The Antisocial Features scale includes three subscales: one assessing antisocial behaviours and the other two assessing antisocial traits.
- Critical Items form alerts you to issues that require immediate attention. This form lists 27 items (distributed across nine content areas) that suggest behaviour or psychopathology that may demand immediate attention. They are identified as critical based on two criteria: indications of a potential crisis situation and a very low endorsement rate in normal individuals.