Compensation seeking, comorbidity, and apparent exaggeration of PTSD symptoms among Vietnam combat veterans

Daniel W. Smith, B. Christopher Frueh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

We evaluated whether veterans who apparently exaggerate their symptoms are more likely to be (a) seeking disability compensation or (b) suffering from more comorbid pathology than nonexaggerating veterans. Fifty-four of 145 (37%) veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder who completed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (J.N. Butcher, W. G. Dahlstrom, J.R. Graham, A. Tellegen, and B. Kaemmer, 1989) were identified as apparent exaggerators, with F (Frequency) - K (Correction) > 13. These participants scored higher than nonexaggerators on self-report measures of various psychological symptoms but were no more likely to be seeking compensation or to have comorbid substance use or other anxiety disorders. Affective disorder was overrepresented among apparent exaggerators, however. Findings support the hypothesis of increased comorbidity among symptom exaggerators as measured by the F - K index but not the commonly held belief that symptom exaggerators are more likely to seek compensation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-6
Number of pages4
JournalPsychological Assessment
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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