New Paper: MMPI-2-RF correlates in the VA

I’m excited to have another paper in press, this time at the Journal of Personality Assessment. This paper utilizes the same national sample I’ve previously published on to examine service era differences, provide comparison groups for specific treatment clinics, and examine trends in validity scale performance. In my new paper, we provide correlations between the MMPI-2-RF and a variety of commonly utilized self-report measures of symptom severity within the VA (e.g., those for anxiety, depression, and PTSD). This, in conjunction with these other VA papers, offers an interpretive framework for clinicians to use as they interpret assessment profiles for Veterans receiving care.

You can download the pre-print of the accepted paper HERE.

Here are a few of the key take aways that stand out to me:

  1. Of those given the PCL in the sample (a PTSD screener for DSM-5), the average score is a 50 (the cut score recommended for screening for PTSD is a 33).
  2. Across the board, DSM-4 screeners for PTSD have stronger/more reliable relationships to content associated with a PTSD diagnosis on the MMPI-2-RF than the DSM-5 PTSD screener. The reasoning for this is unclear.
  3. The BDI-2 (a measure of depression that makes up part of a major suicide screener) is not related meaningfully to any of the types of indicators you would expect (e.g., hopelessness, suicidality, depression, anhedonia) on the MMPI-2-RF. That’s really surprising and alarming given how it gets used in the VA.
  4. Adding to the last point, elevations are fairly high across a lot of measures (both screeners and those on the MMPI-2-RF). This is consistent with the high rate of disorders in the VA and suggest that those who get assessed are likely to experience a variety of mental health problems.

Here are those relationships for the internalizing and scales of the MMPI-2-RF


Published by Dr. Ingram's Psychology Research Lab

I'm an assistant professor of counseling psychology at Texas Tech University and an active researcher of psychological assessment, veterans, and treatment engagement. I am also in private practice here in Lubbock Texas.

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