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Mexican American-White performance differences on the MMPI

25 July 1995


The most frequently used psychodiagnostic instrument in the assessment of Hispanics is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). It is also the most frequently used instrument in research with Hispanics. Studies conducted with Hispanics often fail to a) determine whether the obtained differences are sufficiently large to impact clinical interpretation, or b) distinguish whether the different scores actually affect the empirical correlates of the scale. Given the fact that the MMPI is widely used in the psychological assessment of Mexican Americans, it is ethically imperative that psychologists understand the issues involved in interpreting the MMPI profiles of Mexican Americans. This paper provides a critical review of the published literature regarding empirical studies of Mexican American-White performance differences on the MMPI validity and clinical scales. It also addresses the issue of whether ethnic group membership is an important factor with respect to the MMPI performance and how ethnic group membership impacts the interpretation of Mexican American MMPI profiles.


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