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, 47 (6), 614-26

A Psychodynamic Approach to MMPI Interpretation

A Psychodynamic Approach to MMPI Interpretation

F Trimboli et al. J Pers Assess.


An interpretive approach to the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), based on a psychodynamic conceptual system, is presented. Scale elevations and configurations on the MMPI are viewed as reflecting the following dimensions of personality: (a) characteristic security and defense operations, (b) capacity to manage or tolerate anxiety, c) characteristic ways of dealing with aggression and hostility, d) stability of reality contact, e) quality of object relations, and f) level of psychopathology. Various MMPI profile configurations, and empirical research findings where applicable, are related to variations in personality functioning and psychopathology within each of these six dimensions. The interpretive approach described is consistent with the authors' belief that psychological assessment should go beyond the level of description and attempt to understand the individual in a more comprehensive and integrated manner.

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