Detecting inmates malingering on the MMPI-2: An analogue investigation

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Title: Detecting inmates malingering on the MMPI-2: An analogue investigation
Author: Steffan, Jarrod S.
Abstract: In correctional settings , the appropriate provision of mental health services to inmates and the accurate identification of inmates' mental health needs are concerns . Psychological evaluations , however , are complicated by incentives that motivate inmates to exaggerate or fabricate symptoms of mental illness , which is commonly known as malingering . Therefore , effective means to evaluate malingering are important . The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory -2 (MMPI -2 ) , which contains the Infrequency (F ) scale , Infrequency -Back (Fb ) scale , Infrequency -Psychopathology (Fp ) scale , Gough’s Dissimulation (F – K ) index , and Gough’s Dissimulation (Ds ) scale for assessing malingering , is commonly used in correctional settings . However , only three published studies have investigated these validity indicators among inmates . Therefore , this dissertation sought to expand the knowledge of malingering by inmates on the MMPI -2 . This study consisted of three groups of inmates . Forty -five male inmates from general population penitentiaries formed a simulating group and were asked to fake unspecified mental illness on the MMPI -2 . A clinical comparison group of 65 male inmates from correctional psychiatric inpatient facilities who were suffering from mental illnesses were asked to honestly answer the MMPI -2 . The third group consisted of 44 inmates from general population penitentiaries who were asked to complete the MMPI -2 under standard instructions and who formed the standard instructions group . Multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA ) procedures , with demographic differences between the groups held as covariates , indicated that the validity scales , with the exception of Fb , differentiated the simulating group from the standard instructions and clinical comparison groups . Logistic regression analyses identified the Fp and Ds scales as the most effective validity indicators in detecting malingering , and neither added incrementally to the predictive power of the other . These results support the use of the MMPI -2 and the Fp and Ds validity indicators for routine use in the assessment of malingering among inmates . As a result , correctional psychologists who use the MMPI -2 will be able to make more informed decisions in order to determine the presence or absence of genuine mental illness among inmates . Consequently , mental health services might be more appropriately disbursed . Findings and conclusions are discussed in light of limitations of the study .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /13895
Date: 2006-08

Citation

Detecting inmates malingering on the MMPI-2: An analogue investigation. Doctoral dissertation, Texas Tech University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /13895 .

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