Subtypes of clinical presentations in malingerers of posttraumatic stress disorder: an MMPI-2 cluster analysis

Assessment. 2001 Mar;8(1):75-84. doi: 10.1177/107319110100800107.


This paper investigated subtypes of individuals trained and instructed to malinger Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) through a cluster analysis of their Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) clinical and validity scales. Participants were 84 men and women college students at a community college in the southeastern United States. Two well fitting MMPI-2 cluster solutions were evaluated with discriminant analyses and multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVAs); a 2-cluster solution was deemed optimal. Significant between-cluster differences emerged in follow-up analyses on most of the content scales of the MMPI-2. Most demographic variables did not account for differences in cluster membership. Clusters differed in their reported clarity of the materials used to educate them about PTSD. Discriminant analyses yielded better correct classification rates than those from previous studies, when the more severely symptomatic cluster was compared with a sample of clinical combat-related PTSD veterans. Implications are considered in conducting future malingered PTSD investigations.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • MMPI*
  • Male
  • Malingering / diagnosis*
  • Malingering / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires