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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 85-91

A self-rating scale to measure tridoṣas in children

1 Life Sciences, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Yoga University, Bangalore, India
2 Vice Chancellor, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Yoga University, Bangalore, India

Date of Web Publication18-Aug-2014

Correspondence Address:
S P Suchitra
Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (SVYASA), Eknath Bhavan, No.19, Gavipuram Circle, Kempegowda Nagar, Bangalore - 560 019
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0257-7941.139042

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Background: Self - rating inventories to assess the Prakṛti (constitution) and personality have been developed and validated for adults. To analyze the effect of personality development programs on Prakṛti of the children, standardized scale is not available. Hence, present study was carried out to develop and standardize Caraka Child Personality inventory (CCPI).
Materials and Methods: The 77- item CCPI scale was developed on the basis of translation of Sanskrit verses describing vātaja (a), pittaja (b) and kaphaja prakṛti (c) characteristics described in Ayurveda texts and by taking the opinions of 5 Ayurveda experts and psychologists. The scale was administered on children of the age group 8-12 years in New Generation National public school, Bangalore.
Results: This inventory was named CCPI and showed excellent internal consistency. The Cronbach's alpha for A, B and C scales were 0.54, 0.64 and 0.64 respectively. The Split - Half reliability scores for A, B and C subscales were 0.64. 0.60 and 0.66 respectively. Factor validity coefficient Scores on each item was above 0.4. Scores on vātaja, pittaja and kaphaja scales were inversely correlated. Test-retest reliability scores for A,B and C scales were 0.87,0.88 and 0.89 respectively. The result of CCPI was compared with a parent rating scale Ayurveda Child Personality Inventory (ACPI). Subscales of CCPI correlated significantly highly (above 0.80) with subscales of ACPI which was done for the purpose of cross-validation with respect to ACPI.
Conclusions: The prakṛti of the children can be measured consistently by this scale. Correlations with ACPI pointed toward concurrent validity.

Keywords: Tridosha, prakriti, vāta, pitta, kapha, Ayurveda

How to cite this article:
Suchitra S P, Nagendra H R. A self-rating scale to measure tridoṣas in children. Ancient Sci Life 2013;33:85-91

How to cite this URL:
Suchitra S P, Nagendra H R. A self-rating scale to measure tridoṣas in children. Ancient Sci Life [serial online] 2013 [cited 2023 Apr 1];33:85-91. Available from: https://www.ancientscienceoflife.org/text.asp?2013/33/2/85/139042

  Introduction Top

Ayurveda, the ancient life science is an aspect of Vedic lore is broadly based on the principles of tridoṣas- vāta, pitta and kapha. Tridoṣas are fundamental principles which maintain bodily function (just as the sun, moon and air maintain the universe, somatic functions are maintained by the dos.as). [1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9]

Western psychologists propose type and trait theories for personality. Father of modern medicine, Hippocrates classifies individuals as choleric, melancholic, sanguine, and phlegmatic based on the predominance of bodily humors. This comes close to Ayurveda's description of personalities except for the description of vāta in the latter. Sheldon's Somato-type classification ectomorphic, endomorphic, mesomorphic types of personalities have been correlated with Ayurveda prakṛti.[12] Other psychologists do not consider wide-ranging aspects of the personality. [10]

Ayurveda classics [1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9] propose a comprehensive analysis of personality, encompassing physical-physiological aspects like color of the eyeball, texture of hair, appetite, sleep, behavior, attitudes and interests, memory, intelligence, mental stamina of an individual to come to a conclusion about the tridoṣa state of the individual. The biological qualities of tridoṣas also influence mental and behavioral qualities. The texts suggest seven types of personality (vāta, pitta, kapha, vāta-pitta, vāta-kapha, pitta-kapha, sama) determined by predominance of a single, a pair, or all of the doṣas.

Ayurveda considers the balanced state (sama) of Tridoṣa as health. Person with predominance of single and double doṣas will certainly be vulnerable to diseases, as vitiation of tridoṣas is the cause for the manifestation of disease. [3] Accordingly, Ayurveda recommends specific diet and daily regimen for different types of personalities to maintain health.Studies have discussed the importance of Ayurveda [11] , tridoṣas.[12] A Statistical model of doṣa prakṛti based on analysis of a questionnaire has been developed. [13] An analysis of the tridoṣa physiology, linking it to processes of cellular physiology has been carried out. These studies postulate the correspondence of functions of Vāta with input/output (homeostasis); Functions of Pitta with turnover (negative entropy production); and functions of kapha with storage of the cellular functions. [14],[15],[16] Similarly, a genetic basis of tridoṣa constitution has been postulated. [17],[18],[19],[20] A study comparing the Ayurveda personality concepts and western psychology concepts is available. [21],[22] Ayurveda tridoṣa theory and four elements of Buddhist medicine, Chinese humorolgy has been compared. [23],[24] Importance of prakṛti in ageing has been discussed. [25] Effect of isotonic exercise on different types of prakṛti has been observed. [26] A difference in metabolism of different prakṛti has been explained. [27] Left and right hemisphere chemical, dominance has been observed with predominance of doṣas. [28] Another study postulated ADP-induced maximal platelet aggregation was highest among the vāta-pitta prakṛti individuals. [29] Relationship between vāta prakṛti and Parkinson's disease has been studied. [30] A scale to measure tridoṣas in psychotic patients has been developed. [31] Ayurveda Child Personality Inventory (ACPI), a parent rating scale to measure tridoṣas in children has been standardized. [32] Chinese humorology and cosmology have been compared showing that as humors control all the activities of the body similarly in other form they control the universe. [33] Scale to measure tridoṣas in psychotic patients has been developed and standardized. [34] Ayurveda guṇa inventory has been developed and standardized. [35]

The scale has been developed based on Sanskrit verses quoted in nine texts and content validitation of 10 Ayurveda experts and three psychologists had three subscales - vāta (number of items in scale-46), pitta (number of items in scale-44), kapha (number of items in scale-47). It was associated with good Cronbach's alpha (above 0.5) and the Split-Half scores for all subscales (above 0.6 except pitta scale which was 0.39). Factor validity coefficient Scores on each items was above 0.5.

However, a simple self - rating scale to assess the personality of children, (as parents are often not available during personality development camps etc) according to āyurvedic comprehensive concepts is not available.

Aims of the present study were

(i) To develop a self-rating scale Caraka child personality inventory (CCPI)

(ii) To measure tridoṣas in children and to compare with criterion ACPI, parent rating scale to establish of validity of the scale.

  Materials and methods Top

Ethical clearance was approved by research board of SVYASA (Yoga University). The CCPI was developed based on 522 characteristics from nine authoritative ancient Ayurveda texts in Sanskrit describing characteristics typical of vātaja, pittaja and kaphaja prakṛti. Item reduction was carried out by deleting the repeated items, ambiguous items, and by selecting those items specifically suitable for children [Table 1].

155 items were shortlisted out of 522 in the texts and, translation in English, were presented to ten Ayurveda experts. They were asked to judge the correctness of each statement and to check (1) whether any of the item was repeated or if any item should be added? (2) Whether the features of vātaja, pittaja and kaphaja prakṛti selected for the scale are correct and (3) if the items constructed represented acceptable translation of the Sanskrit in the original texts. 147 items were retained. Out of which, some of items were changed and refined [Table 2] .[36]

Based on the final list of statements from the Sanskrit texts, 77 questions of CCPI were framed by the researcher. The scale was again presented to five Ayurveda experts and one psychologist, who reviewed the format of this scale and recommended a two point scoring (zero and one), this was adopted in the final CCPI. Suggestions about the phrasing of questions were incorporated. All questions which were agreed upon by three to four Ayurveda experts and psychologist, were retained.
Table 1: Texts and number of items

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Table 2: Content validity by experts

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The final CCPI had 77 items - 26 items for vātaja prakṛti (A-scale) 24 items for pittaja prakṛti (B-scale) and 27 items for kaphaja prakṛti (C-scale) subscales. The questionnaire was to be answered by the children (Appendix 2) [Additional file 2].

Data collection and analysis

Item difficulty level was analyzed by administering the scale on 30 children on the age group 8-12 years. Informed consent of the children and parents was taken in prescribed format (See Appendix-3) [Additional file 3]. For testing the internal consistency and validity, the scale was administered on children who were the students of New generation National Public school in Bangalore, of both sexes between the age of 8 to 12 years [Table 3].
Table 3: Demographic data

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The final 77 item CCPI was administered on 200 children. Ayurveda child personality inventory (ACPI), a parent rating scale was administered on 30 parents of the children. Comparison was done for the purpose of cross-validation. To assess Test-retest reliability, CCPI was administered on 30 children, after an interval of 15 days.

The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS-16.0) was used for data analysis. The data was analyzed for reliability. The split-half and Cronbach's alpha tests were applied for internal consistency analysis. Pearson's correlation analysis was done to check the degree of association between vāta, pitta and kapha scores and Test and Retest reliability. Principal component analysis (factor analysis) was done to check the validity.

  Results Top

Content validity

Amongst six experts, who served as judges all 77 questions were agreed upon by four to five experts. [38]

Item difficulty level

This is defined as the presence of a said symptom expressed as the percentage of children who score positive to that item. [20],[21],[22] The results obtained from the administration of ACPI on parents of 60 children showed 136 items that had a coefficient less than 0.9 (answered yes by the most) and more than 0.3 (answered yes by the least number of subjects) were retained.

Internal consistency

An analysis of the data collected from 200 children showed the Cronbach's alpha for V, P and K scales were 0.54, 0.64 and 0.64 respectively. The Split-Half reliability for V, P and K scale were 0.64, 0.60 and 0.66 respectively. This shows that the three scales have acceptable internal consistency. [37],[39]

Test-Retest reliability

Scores on 30 Children revealed V, P and K scales have good correlation, 0.87,0.88 and 0.89 respectively before and after 15 days of assessment.


The subscales (Vāta, Pitta, Kapha) correlated significantly (negatively) with each other [Table 4].
Table 4: Correlation among subscales

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Factor analysis

Factor analytic co-efficient obtained for each items in the V-scale, P-scale, and K-scale for total score was more than 0.3. [Table 3].

Correlation with ACPI -parent rating scale

V, P, K subscales correlated significantly positively with V, P, K scales of parent rating scale [Table 5].
Table 5: Correlation with ACPI

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  Discussion Top

The present study has described the development and initial standardization of 77 items, self- rating, the CCPI as an instrument to assess the personality (prakṛti) of the children.

The reliability of subscales was substantiated by Cronbach's Alpha co-efficient ranged from 0.54 to 0.64 and Split-half analysis ranging from 0.60 to 0.66. This provided the evidence of homogeneity of items. [40]

For the ACPI (a parent rating scale to assess the prakṛti of the children of the age group 6-12 years), Cronach's alpha ranged from 0.55 to 0.84, spilt-half coefficient ranged from 0.39 to 0.84. The construct validity of items of subscales was supported by Factor -analysis which was done to check the association of the items with subscales. Factor loadings for Vāta scale ranged from 0.41-0.7, for pitta scale 0.47 -0.72, for kapha scale 0.41-0.76 Appendix-1 [Additional file 1].While of ACPI, 0.55-0.86, 0.55-0.78, 0.46-0.77 respectively for vāta, pitta and kapha scales. This proved to be a good correlation of items with respective subscales.

Correlation between vātaja, pittaja and kaphaja scale scores was negative, suggesting discriminative validity. Values ranging from 0.31 to 0.66, significance at 99% confidence for all correlations. Although of ACPI was 0.16 to 0.82, significance for vāta- pitta correlation was at 95% confidence.

Correlation with parent rating scale provided evidence of concurrent validity. Classical texts of Ayurveda state that when vāta and kapha (cold) increases, pitta decreases., similarly when vāta decreases kapha increases.

Applying the inventory to children, further helped to measure the prakṛti of the children. Among selected sample 27% were vāta-pitta, 27%were pitta-kapha, 33% were vāta-kapha, 9% were kapha, 2%were sama, 2% were pitta [Table 6].
Table 6: Mean dos.a scores for three different diagnostic groups

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Changes in scores were observed between boys and girls [Table 7]. Most girls scored high in kapha, vāta-kapha and pitta-kapha prakṛti scales. Similarly Boys scored high in pitta, vāta-pitta prakṛti scales. Boys score was high in Pitta indicating high aggressiveness and Girls scores were high in Kapha indicating higher patience.
Table 7: Mean differences between Boys and Girls

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Subscales of CCPI correlated highly ('r'above 0.8), positively with subscales of ACPI, parent rating scale [Table 5], suggesting criterion related validity.

The difference in the results of self-rating and parent-rating scales, may be because of discrepancy in types of prakṛti of children, which was different in parent rating scale study and self-rating study, as both inventories were administered in different schools, and variance in race was observed [Ayurveda texts claim that prakṛti can be influenced by race/ethnicity]. [3]

The Strength of the study is that it is the first attempt to develop a consistent, self -rating scale to measure prakṛti of the children. Knowing one's prakṛti is the first step towards maintaining one's health. [1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9] A balanced state of three doṣas is considered as health. [4] A tool as developed in this study will be useful in assessing the clinical significance of prakṛti based regimen in prevention of somatic and mental illnesses.

Though published scales are available to assess the prakṛti of an individual, [11] they have been designed for adultswhereas children require a different mode of questioning. Hence, CCPI can be potentially used to identify the predominant doṣas in children, and thus will help to plan suitable regimens at an early age to maintain health of the children.

A study has revealed significant effect of Yoga on tridoṣas.[32] And treatment modalities are different for different prakṛti. [1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9] Thus, the study is a initial step towards positive health.

Limitations of the study: Though CCPI is a consistent, valid instrument, it has not addressed the norms of the scale. Further studies are needed to confirm whether the items used in the inventory are sensitive enough to assess prakṛti with predominance of a particular doṣa. Studies should be done on more number of samples and norms should be established.

  Conclusions Top

A CCPI is a consistent and valid instrument . Its reliability to assess the prakṛti should be further studied. Tridoṣa measure may point out to diet and regimen plans management to prevent the disease and maintain the health of the children.

  Acknowledgment Top

We thank, Dr.Kishore, Dr. Aarti Jagannathan, Dr.Uma and āyurveda experts in Hubli, Bengaluru Ayurveda College, for their support and participation in the study.

  References Top

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  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7]


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