Examining the utility of the Personality Assessment Screener in three criminal justice samples

Psychol Serv. 2019 Nov;16(4):664-674. doi: 10.1037/ser0000251. Epub 2018 Jul 12.


Many individuals in forensic/correctional settings experience significant mental health problems, yet effective screening tools to identify such difficulties are in relatively short supply. This study investigates the clinical utility of the Personality Assessment Screener (PAS; Morey, 1997), a 22-item self-report measure of risk for emotional and behavioral dysfunction, across three archival criminal justice samples (incarcerated sex offenders, prison inmates housed in general population and psychiatric units, and jail detainees). The PAS is derived from the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI; Morey, 1991, 2007), a more comprehensive measure of emotional and behavioral disturbances that is widely used in forensic/correctional settings. The PAS total score effectively identified those with clinically significant elevations on the PAI and also significantly correlated with various criterion measures tapping psychological dysfunction. Existing interpretive ranges and labels used to describe PAS scores in general clinical settings were problematic, however, and may require revision for use in these contexts. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavioral Symptoms / diagnosis*
  • Criminals*
  • Forensic Psychiatry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Assessment / standards*
  • Personality Inventory / standards*
  • Prisoners*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards*
  • Self Report / standards*
  • Sex Offenses*