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Dissertation

Validity of the social alienation subscales of the Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory-2 psychopathic deviate and schizophrenia scales

15 December 2000

Abstract

The Harris and Lingoes MMPI subscales have been widely used by clinicians since their creation in 1955. The purpose of this dissertation is to compare the evidence for the discriminant and convergent validity of the identically named Social Alienation subscales of the Psychopathic Deviate and Schizophrenia scales in order to shed some light on the question of whether it is useful to take these subscales into account when interpreting MMPI-2 profiles. A critical review of relevant literature is presented, which shows that insufficient empirical research has been done to test the validity of these subjectively derived subscales. A retrospective study was conducted using archival data from 200
clients in outpatient psychotherapy who had completed the MMPI-2 and had valid test profiles. Results show a strong positive relationship between the two subscales. In this sample, they share significant positive correlations with self-report of concerns about relationships with family, ability to meet people and make friends, and low self-esteem. They share a strong negative correlation with OAF scores. SCI has a positive relationship to reported experience of sexual abuse in childhood, number of therapy sessions attended, and having a personality disorder diagnosis. Pd4 has a positive relationship with substance abuse and having low self-esteem as a focus of treatment in therapy. Qualified
support was found for the use of these two subscales in interpreting MMPI-2 profiles provided that appropriate caution is used. Prospective empirical research across a variety of settings is needed to determine whether the Harris and Lingoes subscales have sufficient validity to continue to be used by clinicians and researchers.


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