Mapping the MMPI–2–RF Substantive Scales Onto Internalizing, Externalizing, and Thought Dysfunction Dimensions in a Forensic Inpatient Setting

Isabella E. Romero, Nasreen Toorabally, Danielle Burchett, Anthony M. Tarescavage, David M. Glassmire

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Contemporary models of psychopathology—encompassing internalizing, externalizing, and thought dysfunction factors—have gained significant support. Although research indicates the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory–2 Restructured Form (MMPI–2–RF; Ben-Porath & Tellegen, 2008/2011) measures these domains of psychopathology, this study addresses extant limitations in MMPI–2–RF diagnostic validity research by examining associations between all MMPI–2–RF substantive scales and broad dichotomous indicators of internalizing, externalizing, and thought dysfunction diagnoses in a sample of 1,110 forensic inpatients. Comparing those with and without internalizing diagnoses, notable effects were observed for Negative Emotionality/Neuroticism–Revised (NEGE-r), Emotional/Internalizing Dysfunction (EID), Dysfunctional Negative Emotions (RC7), Demoralization (RCd), and several other internalizing and somatic/cognitive scales. Comparing those with and without thought dysfunction diagnoses, the largest hypothesized differences occurred for Thought Dysfunction (THD), Aberrant Experiences (RC8), and Psychoticism–Revised (PSYC-r), although unanticipated differences were observed on internalizing and interpersonal scales, likely reflecting the high prevalence of internalizing dysfunction in forensic inpatients not experiencing thought dysfunction. Comparing those with and without externalizing diagnoses, the largest effects were for Substance Abuse (SUB), Antisocial Behavior (RC4), Behavioral/Externalizing Dysfunction (BXD), Juvenile Conduct Problems (JCP), and Disconstraint–Revised (DISC-r). Multivariate models evidenced similar results. Findings support the construct validity of MMPI–2–RF scales as measures of internalizing, thought, and externalizing dysfunction.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
StatePublished - 2017


  • Psychology

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