Apparent symptom overreporting in combat veterans evaluated for PTSD

B. Christopher Frueh, Mark B. Hamner, Shawn P. Cahill, Paul B. Gold, Kasey L. Hamlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

199 Scopus citations


Psychometric studies have consistently shown that combat veterans evaluated for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) appear to overreport psychopathology as exhibited by (a) extreme and diffuse levels of psychopathology across instruments measuring different domains of mental illness, and (b) extreme elevations on the validity scales of the MMPI-MMPI-2, in a 'fake-bad' direction. The phenomenon of this ubiquitous presentational style is not well understood at present. In this review we describe and delineate the assessment problem posed by this apparent symptom overreporting, and we review the literature regarding several potential explanatory factors. Finally, we address conceptual and practical issues relevant to reaching a better understanding of the phenomenon, and ultimately the clinical syndrome of combat-related PTSD, in both research and clinical settings. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)853-885
Number of pages33
JournalClinical Psychology Review
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Combat
  • MMP1
  • PTSD
  • Symptom overreporting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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