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The MMPI-A and Differentiation of Adolescent Lithium Response: An Exploratory Study

24 July 2009


This dissertation expands upon 8 published studies (Ananth, Engelsmann, & Kiriakos, 1980; Burdick & Holmes, 1980; Campbell & Kimball, 1984; Donnelly, Goodwin, Waldman, & Murphy, 1978; Garvy, Johnson, Valentine, & Schuster, 1983; House & Martin, 1975; Steinberg, 1979; Steinbook & Chapman, 1970) that have examined the ability of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) to discern lithium response. Using records from an adolescent inpatient facility, Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory- Adolescent (MMPI-A) responses of lithium responders and non-responders were assessed for group differences. Participants were 29 adolescents (14 males, 18 females) between the ages of 14 and 18 years (M = 16.0, SD = 1.2). Lithium response was assessed using Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scores and change in number of critical incidents. Independent samples t-tests indicated no significant differences (p < .05) between groups on the MMPI-A validity and clinical scales, or on reconstructed versions of Schaffer’s (1963) Acquiescence (Ac) scale or the Lithium Response-Female (LRS-FM) and Lithium Response-Male (LRS-M) scales (Donnelly et al.). Effect sizes for Scale 2 (d = -0.79) and LRS-F (d = -0.77) suggest responders may have noticeably lower scores on these scales than non-responders. Multiple linear regressions were modeled to control for group differences between participants who completed the MMPI-A within 14 days of beginning lithium administration and those who completed it after 14 days or more of lithium administration. These models indicated no significant results. Limitations are discussed and future research is recommended, based on effect size findings.


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