Psychometric measures of trauma among psychiatric patients reporting ritual abuse

Psychol Rep. 1995 Dec;77(3 Pt 1):743-7. doi: 10.2466/pr0.1995.77.3.743.


Increasing reports by psychiatric patients of ritual abuse have provoked a debate about the appropriate interpretation of such allegations. Some authors contend that these claims represents fantasy material, dissimulation, or delusions. Others maintain that patients' descriptions of ritualized trauma may constitute a newly identified psychiatric syndrome. The present investigation compared psychometric measures of trauma, the MMPI-2 PK and PS scales, in a group of patients reporting ritual abuse and another group with no such accounts of ritual abuse. Comparisons were statistically significant with mean PK and PS scores of 86.3 and 85.8, respectively, for the 34 reporting ritual abuse and 58.3 and 58.7 for the 31 not reporting ritual abuse. Further, 91% of the patients alleging ritual abuse had scores on at least one of the two scales within the clinical range, i.e., T score > or = 65. It was concluded that patients reporting histories of ritual abuse also showed significantly elevated scores on these scales and their scores were higher than those obtained for a sample of patients not reporting ritual abuse.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ceremonial Behavior*
  • Child Abuse / psychology*
  • Dissociative Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Dissociative Disorders / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • MMPI / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Psychometrics
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology