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, 25 (4), 1091-102

Psychological Features of North Korean Female Refugees on the MMPI-2: Latent Profile Analysis

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Psychological Features of North Korean Female Refugees on the MMPI-2: Latent Profile Analysis

Seong-Hyeon Kim et al. Psychol Assess.

Abstract

This study examined the heterogeneity in the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2nd Edition (MMPI-2; Butcher, Dahlstrom, Graham, Tellegen, & Kaemmer, 1989) profiles of North Korean female refugee population (N = 2,163) using latent profile analysis (LPA). The North Korean female refugee sample arrived at Hanawon, South Korea's resettlement center for North Korean refugees in 2008 and 2009 and took the MMPI-2 as part of an initial psychological screen. The analysis, which included the T scores of the 6 validity scales and the 10 standard clinical scales, identified 4 classes with distinctive psychological features: Class 1 (nonclinical), Class 2 (demoralized), Class 3 (somatized), and Class 4 (detached). The 4 covariates entered into the model (age, education, affiliation with a religion, and the number of forced repatriations) impacted the likelihood of belonging to certain classes. As hypothesized, older age, fewer years of education, and more incidents of forced repatriation predicted higher proneness to psychopathology. However, contrary to our expectation, having a religious faith did not emerge as a salient protective factor. The current LPA results revealed distinct heterogeneous subgroups that previous research on the MMPI and MMPI-2 profiles of refugee populations overlooked with the assumption of a homogeneous sample. Clinical implications for the treatment of North Korean female refugees and the limitations of the study are discussed.

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