MMPI-3 Eating Concerns (EAT) Scale In college Men and Women

Cole’s recent paper examining the new EAT scale in the MMPI-3! In addition to expanding available correlations / validity coefficients (see table below), the paper examines differences in relationships between EAT scores and those criterions based on gender. Before diving into the findings, its important to note that prior research has found EAT to be related to binge and purge behaviors, but other forms of disordered eating to be underassessed. Findings of our paper indicate that not only do differences emerge on binging and purging behaviors (typically stronger for women than for men), but that there are differences in endorsement rate and elevation frequency. Differences in endorsement and elevation frequency may reflect prevalence differences existing between men and women as a function of symptom prevalence; however, differential validity coefficients have interpretive implications for use of EAT. Further work investigating differential validity as a function of diversity characteristics is warranted, as those characteristics often produce differential prevalence and presentation patterns of disordered eating.

Download the article PDF Here.

Lab news

In our lab group text this morning, it was confirmed that this picture of Brittney should be a very important lab website update. I did it quickly enough that I only received minimal harassment for not focusing on what matters quickly enough. However, I wont publicly name the person who shamed me into hurrying up on posting it, as I’m definitely more mature than to name them publicly.

On an entirely related note, Keegan is kicked out of the lab again. Sarah also proposed that he be kicked out a second, simultaneous time for thinking he might not have be kicked out. We’re holding a lab vote now to determine if he should be kicked out, perhaps a third time today (vote below). I am yet to confirm which way Keegan voted.

The MMPI-3’s Eating Concerns (EAT) Scale: A study on

The PATS lab just published another paper on the MMPI-3, just accepted into the Journal of Personality Assessment. This time, we took a look at the new 5-item Eating Concerns (EAT) scale and examined the potential of gender differences on its utility and validity. Because EAT is designed as a general screener of eating pathology, and because past work has found an over-focus on restrictive and purging disordered eating patterns, we expected that gender-related trends in eating behaviors would translate into different validity and general utility.

In short, we were right. We found, consistent with past research, that eating patterns more associated with masculinity and seen more frequently in men (e.g., binge eating, bulking, etc) were less evident on EAT. Men were less likely to endorse items, achieve clinically significant elevations, and demonstrated weaker validity coefficients to external criteria relative to women. Validity coefficient differences varied depending on the criteria/content area, ranging from small to large. Differences generally fell just below a medium effect, so while this may not mean clinically impactful differences to some (see Rosnow et al., 2000) it does increase the consistent probability of error during interpretation because the trends are so widespread.

These patterns were replicated not only in our sample of college students, but also within the technical manual’s comparison samples (Normative, outpatient, private practice, and college student) which provides strong evidence of generalizability. Broadly, our work emphasizes the need to incorporate a more diverse and multiculturally sensitive approach to scale creation in issues with well known differential presentation patterns. Specific to disordered eating, our research draws into questions how gender is evaluated in scale differential functioning. Specifically, we postulate a need for studies on trans/non-binary individuals, as well as gender norms’ impact on scale interpretation more broadly. Cole’s ongoing work on these two points will offer clinicians guidance about how to make sure no issues are missed, or over-interpreted, across different groups.

Some important things to note: (1) This is YET ANOTHER paper by the fantastic Cole Morris and (2) The second author is one of our former undergrad RAs who is now off doing their masters program at NorthWestern. Citation below. pre-print PDF coming soon.

Morris, N.M., Shepard, E., & Ingram, P.B. (In Press) Investigating the Validity of the MMPI-3 Eating Concerns (EAT) scale in a University Sample: Replication and Extension. Journal of Personality Assessment

Cole Morris is a Rockstar!

Tam is likely the unsung hero of this paper and all of Cole’s successes. I have no citations for that fact, but look at that sweet kitty face.

Lets just take a second to dote on them and highlight the reasons (something I’m sure is making them cringe as they read this): (1) they have A-FREAKING-TON of publications as a grad student, (2) people see them as independent and their research thinking is 1000% on point for a starting faculty (even though they are a few years away), and (3) they….. WON THE 2023 MARY S. CERNEY STUDENT PAPER AWARD FROM THE SOCIETY OF PERSONALITY ASSESSMENT.

Yup, thats right. Cole’s working conducted using three conditions of simulated respondents on MMPI-3 over-reporting scales (mTBI, PTSD, co-morbid) was recognized as making an impact on the field. I’ve always been a huge fan of that paper (click me to read it), but clearly everyone else is as well. Great work Cole.

Society of Personality Assessment: Conference Planning!

Well, March is going to be exciting! PATS is headed to SPA again and the amazing Tina Greene put together an awesome program guide to help those who are at SPA who want to see what our lab is doing – and for the PATS lab to keep track of all 14(!!) different presentations/awards. Click here to download the PDF guide to the program. Below is a one page summary of the research title/date-time/and lead author.

New Article: mTBI response patterns in Active-Duty personnel on the PAI

Previous work has examined PAI response patterns on those with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), but these research efforts have faced a number of notable challenges. Accordingly, findings between studies have often contradicted. There are a variety of reasons for these contradictions including, but not limited to, that prior research has: (1) not excluded individuals from analysis with failed validity testing, meaning that data analyzed is likely not fully valid/reliable, (2) the inappropriate use of item-level grouping analyses (factor analysis) to identify groups of participants, which is better suited to cluster/profile analysis, (3) insufficient sample sizes to conduct any of the analyses undertaken (i.e., far fewer participants per observed variable analyzed than required; see Brown, 2015), (4) interpretation of scale means that are entirely normative (i.e., T-score mean of 50, corresponding to the normative sample’s mean) as indicating a clinical pattern, and (5) use of analyses without fit statistics, making comparison between identified cluster solutions tentative at best. We aimed to address these limitations through our study, now in press at Archives in Clinical Neuropsychology. CLICK ME TO DOWNLOAD A PREPRINT.

Taking these challenges into account, as well as the unique need to focus on military populations who face higher head injury rates than others, our recent paper used latent profile analysis (LPA) to explore potential groups of mTBI diagnosed respondents on the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI). Although prior and related mTBI work (see above) had identified a variety of cluster solutions (2-4 classes), we hypothesized that we would not find meaningful classes. Rather, class extraction would represent a continuous underlying pattern of symptom severity – not functionally distinct groups. We grounded this finding in some prior work we conducted on PTSD groups in the PAI (see Ingram et al., 2022; Click for PDF) as well as the first- factor problem of the PAI.

I pulled a few sentences that I think sum up everything particularly well from the discussion below to summarize these results.

The findings here have a few distinct implications: (1) prior group identification efforts are not replicated in AD personnel and may, instead, represent broader issues with analysis discussed above rather than meaningful findings, (2) the first factor problem (general elevation of substantive clinical scales due to distress, not specific pathology) may also play a role in the observed patterns and should be addressed to aid in the future of the PAI (see Morey, 1996 for discussion of the first factor problem).

As an aside, Tristan (post-bac RA) was the second author on this paper and absolutely killed it with his work on the paper. Not only did he handle about half of the analyses (everything not doing latent clustering), he also learned about how these cluster method work so that he could write some of the discussion and handled 95% of all edits needed for the revise and resubmit. Really awesome work and hats off to him!

Cognitive Over-Reporting Detection on the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI)

Click here to download the article PDF

We had another paper published recently looking at the detection of cognitive over-reporting on the PAI, examining the CBS again (see also Armistead-Jehle et al., 2021) along with the new CB-SOS scales. The SOS scales offer a scale level approach to incorporating a cognitive-specific over-reporting scale, rather than needing items like CBS. This paper is in press in the The Journal of Military Psychology with Tristan Herring (lab post-bac), Cole Morris (advanced doctoral student), and the amazing Dr. Pat Armistead-Jehle.

Medium effects were observed between those passing and failing PVTs across all scales. The CB-SOS scales have high specificity (≥.90) but low sensitivity across suggested cut scores. While all CB-SOS were able to achieve .90, lower scores were typically needed. CBS demonstrated incremental validity beyond CB-SOS-1 and CB-SOS-3; only CB-SOS-2 was incremental beyond CBS. In a military sample, the CB-SOS scales have more limited sensitivity than in its original validation, indicating an area of limited utility despite easier calculation. The CBS performs comparably, if not better, than CB-SOS scales. CB-SOS-2’s differences in performance in this study and its initial validation suggest that its psychometric properties may be sample dependent. Given their ease of calculation and relatively high specificity, our study supports the interpretation of elevated CB-SOS scores indicate those who are likely to fail concurrent PVTs. Specific results are provided below.

These findings are commensurate with the initial CB-SOS validation study (Boress et al., 2021) and to the recent study on CB-SOS with Veterans (Shura et al., in press). However, results are also distinct as they highlight the need for different cut scores to meet the comparable classification rates. Within active-duty personnel, CB-SOS and CBS perform in a largely similar manner (e.g., comparable sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive power); however, CBS has a small amount of incremental, predictive utility suggesting that it may be the front-line scale. However, calculation of the CBS requires access to PAI item responses and is somewhat more cumbersome to acquire. When those are not available, the CB-SOS scales seem to represent good alternatives to assess cognitive symptom over-reporting.

More Military Neuro Work: Examining the Memory Complaints Inventory (MCI)

This was another awesome project to do with the fantastic Dr. Pat Armistead-Jehle. One of the major shortcomings of the Green’s MCI is its lack of of work with other SVTs, despite the limited work to date cross validating the MCI with those measures (Armistead-Jehle & Shura, 2022). This study was intended to expanded that limited research, using the recently validated CBS scale from the PAI as the criterion (related, to see Shura et al, 2022 which I recently helped published). You can download a pdf copy of the article HERE.

Short version of findings from this new work is that the MCI has good evidence of classification accuracy using recommended cut-scores. We only used one SVT criterion and similar measures on other broadband measures (e.g., MMPI-3’s RBS scale) are needed to further this line of work. Below are the classification and effect metrics across each of the MCI scales.

New Article: The Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) CBS and CB-SOS cognitive over-reporting scales in Veterans

Recently, a collaboration with the wonderful folks at the Salisbury Veteran Affairs MIRECC was published in The Clinical Neuropsychologist. In this article we examined the CBS and CB-SOS scales for the PAI to determine their detection of over-reported cognitive symptoms (Word Memory Test Criterion) and general psychopathology over-reporting (M-Fast Criterion) in a sample of post-deployment Veterans. This is an exciting article that continues to grow validity detection effectiveness and options on the PAI and the article also highlights some very important considerations for traditional conceptualizations of distinct over-reporting strategies (e.g., cognitive, somatic, and psychological distress patterns; Sweet et al., 2021).

Specifically, results highlight that scales designed to assess cognitive domains may not be distinct from other domains, in part because of the non-distinct item content used to generate the scales, even when using “boot strapped floor effect” approaches to scale generation (see Burchett & Bagby, click me). Such findings are supported by the overall classification rates contrasted between M-fast and WMT when contrasting 90% specificity value points (Table 5), as well as higher sensitivity. While it is possible that this pattern is sample dependent, this pattern is also evident on other instruments/cognitive over-reporting scales (e.g., Butcher et al., 2008). Thus, these findings highlight a specific instrument development need and have direct implications moving forward for how instrument embedded validity scales should be conceptualized.

From the discussion in this recently published Shura et al (2022) paper, “Revisions to testing measures that aim to expand cognitive overreporting assessment, and to focus on this domain of symptom response (Sherman et al., 2020), may benefit from increased emphasis on the development of cognitively focused items based on a priori, empirically based content. Explicit use of validity detection patterns (Rogers & Shuman, 2005) at early developmental phases (e.g. creating specific items that highlight symptom incongruence or symptom rarity; Rogers & Bender, 2018), rather than post-hoc identification of items that may not measure those constructs explicitly is warranted. Well-specified item-pool revision efforts specific to validity testing needs and standards (Sherman et al., 2020; Martin et al., 2015) may not only improve general and longstanding classification difficulties (i.e. low sensitivity), but the distinctiveness of symptom clusters. Even if the overlapping PVT/SVT performance does not resolve entirely as a function of shifted developmental priorities, placing an increased emphasis on validity content development at the test revision stage remains necessary. Broadband measures are widely and historically preferred because of their SVTs (Ben-Porath & Waller, 1992; Russo, 2018), as well as the broader growth in focus on SVT-related research (Sweet et al., 2021). Research on validity scales tends to use either PVT or SVT criterion as an outcome, but rarely within the same study. Given the potential for effective performance on the related (but not overlapping) constructs of PVTs and SVTs, the inclusion of distinct criterion measures that assess divergent
over-reporting symptom sets (somatic, cognitive, or psychological; Sweet et al., 2021) is also merited.”


Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) Cognitive Over-reporting Validity Detection

The lab is working extensively to expand the research on over-reporting detection on the PAI for Cognitive symptoms. The most recent paper is part of a new collaboration with the staff at the Hefner VA MIREC in Salisbury, North Carolina, including the fantastic Dr. Robert Shura (as well as other training staff there). It is the latest in the continued collaboration with Dr. Pat Armistead-Jehle. We used a sample of Veterans to explore how well the CBS and CB-SOS scales worked in detecting invalid responding, based on performance on a PVT (Word Memory Test) and a SVT (M-FAST). This paper is in press at The Clinical Neuropsychologist using the following citation:

Shura, R., Ingram, P.B., Miskey, H.M., Martindale, S.L., Rowland, J.A., & Armistead-Jehle, P. (In Press). Validation of the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) Cognitive Bias (CBS) and Cognitive Bias Scale of Scales (CB-SOS) in a Post-Deployment Veteran Sample. The Clinical Neuropsychologist

Following exclusions for non-content responding, we used 371 Veterans assessed in a neuropsychology clinic, pass and fail group differences were significant with moderate effect sizes for all cognitive bias scales between the WMT-classified groups (d = .52 – .55), and large effect sizes between the M-FAST-classified groups (d = 1.27 – 1.45). AUC effect sizes were moderate across the WMT-classified groups (.650 – .676) and large across M-FAST-classified groups (.816 – .854). When specificity was set to .90, sensitivity was higher for M-FAST and the CBS performed the best (sensitivity = .42). Thus, the CBS and CB-SOS scales seem to better detect symptom invalidity than performance invalidity in Veterans using cutoff scores similar to those found in prior studies with non-Veterans.