Cross-validation of the MMPI-2 in detecting malingered posttraumatic stress disorder

Jon D. Elhai, Paul B. Gold, B. Christopher Frueh, Steven N. Gold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


We attempted to cross-validate findings from a previous study (Elhai, Gold, Sellers, and Dorfman, in press) using a clinical sample of combat-related war veterans to distinguish genuine from malingered posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on the MMPI-2 (Butcher, Dahlstrom, Graham, Tellegen, and Kaemmer, 1989). The MMPI-2 scores of 124 male combat war veterans at the PTSD outpatient treatment program of a Veterans Affairs Medical Center were compared with those of 84 adult college students instructed and trained to malinger PTSD. MMPI-2 overreporting variables examined were F, |F- Fb|, F-K, F(p), Ds2, O-S, OT, and FBS. A stepwise discriminant analysis identified F, |F- Fb|, F-K, Ds2, O-S, and OT as the best malingering predictors. A predictive discriminant analysis yielded good hit rates for the model with impressive cross-validation results. We assessed cutting scores for the predictors of the model. We discuss clinical implications for using the MMPI-2 to distinguish malingered PTSD from combat-related PTSD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-463
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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