We extended the work of Smith and Frueh (1996) by evaluating whether combat veterans classified as 'extreme exaggerators' were more likely to be compensation-seeking, and to report greater levels of psychopathology across self-report instruments than 'nonexaggerators.' Of 119 veterans who completed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) at an outpatient posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) clinic, 26 (22%) and 17 (14%) were identified as extreme exaggerators using two MMPI-2 validity indicators with stringent cutoffs (F-K ≥ 22; F(p) ≥ 8). These veterans were much more likely to be compensation seeking and scored much higher on self-report measures of various psychological symptoms than nonexaggerators, despite having lower rates of PTSD diagnoses and similar rates of other comorbid diagnoses. Findings suggest that the validity indices of the MMPI-2 can play a critical role, as a screening instrument, in identifying veterans who may be exaggerating their psychopathology to gain disability compensation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health