Differentiating overreporting and extreme distress: MMPI-2 use with compensation-seeking veterans with PTSD

J Pers Assess. 2002 Oct;79(2):274-85. doi: 10.1207/S15327752JPA7902_10.


This purpose of this study was to examine overreporting on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2; Butcher, Dahlstrom, Graham, Tellegen, & Kaemmer, 1989) in compensation-seeking veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A sample of veterans tested during a V.A. hospital compensation and pension exam were given the MMPI-2 and measures of PTSD, depression, and combat exposure. Veteran's MMPI-2s were only included in the analyses if their profile was extremely exaggerated, as measured by an F scale T score above 80, did not elevate the MMPI-2 VRIN and TRIN scales, and had a primary diagnosis of PTSD (n = 127). Using the Infrequency-Psychopathology, F(p), scale to distinguish overreporting from distress, it was found that 98 veterans elevated profiles due to distress, whereas 29 elevated due to overreporting, F(p) below and above 7, respectively. Differences between groups on MMPI-2 clinical scales and the other measures were assessed. Implications of these findings for assessing veteran response style and using the MMPI-2 with a PTSD population are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Combat Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Combat Disorders / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • MMPI*
  • Male
  • Malingering*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • United States
  • Veterans / psychology*