The Effectiveness of the Personality Assessment Inventory With Feigned PTSD: An Initial Investigation of Resnick's Model of Malingering

Assessment. 2015 Aug;22(4):449-58. doi: 10.1177/1073191114552076. Epub 2014 Sep 29.


Malingered posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) poses a formidable clinical challenge because of the apparent ease in feigning PTSD. As an additional confound, some patients with genuine PTSD produce elevated profiles on feigning indicators that are difficult to distinguish from feigned PTSD. The current study utilized 109 inpatients from a trauma unit to examine whether the Personality Assessment Inventory and the Detailed Assessment of Posttraumatic Stress can effectively differentiate between genuine and feigned PTSD. As a primary focus, Resnick's model of malingered PTSD was evaluated with its three subtypes: pure malingering, partial malingering, and false imputation. They were tested on their ability to (a) effectively simulate PTSD and (b) avoid being classified as feigning. The partial malingering group proved to be the best feigning group in achieving these two goals. Overall, the Personality Assessment Inventory Malingering Index and Negative Distortion Scale were the most effective at identifying feigning.

Keywords: DAPS; PAI; PTSD; Personality Assessment Inventory; feigning; malingering.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Malingering / diagnosis*
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Personality Assessment*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis*