The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory - 2, post-traumatic stress disorder, and women domestic violence survivors
Morrell, John S.
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Empirical evidence and diagnostic decision rules for diagnosing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory - 2 were originally developed with a narrow and heterogeneous sample of trauma victims, Vietnam veterans. Relatively little empirical study has been given to the use of the MMPI-2 among domestic violence survivors, especially as it pertains to the issue of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The utility and validity of prior empirical findings, based primarily on Vietnam veterans, cannot be extrapolated to other trauma victims without further empirical evidence supporting such application. In this study the MMPI-2 was administered to 93 women domestic violence survivors from domestic violence (a) shelters, (b) support groups, (c) outreach centers, and (d) other social service agencies. The Post-Traumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale (Foa, 1995) was used to identify which of 93 women survivors met diagnostic criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Multivariate analysis of variance, using nine MMPI-2 scales, found significant differences between women domestic violence survivors with and without PTSD on the F, K, 1(Hs), 2(D), 6(Pa), B(Sc), and PK-PTSD scales. Stepwise discriminant function analysis produced one significant discriminant function, including the K validity and the 1(Hs) scales, a 78% correct classification rate, and a sensitivity and specificity of 88% and 60%, respectively. The PK-PTSD scale correctly classified 68% of all cases, and a sensitivity and specificity of 81% and 45%, respectively, were found. Canonical correlation of MMPI-2 scales with sub-scales from Foa's (1995) Post-Traumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale revealed significant multiple correlations. Major findings suggest the MMPI-2 is sensitive to PTSD symptomatology and capable of discriminating between domestic violence survivors with and without PTSD. The MMPI-2 is as diagnostically efficient for assessing PTSD in domestic violence survivors as it is been found to be for Vietnam veterans. Implications for theory, research, practice, and limitations of this research are discussed.