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J Pers Assess. 2007 Feb;88(1):25-32.

Detection of malingering of psychiatric disorder with the personality assessment inventory: an investigation of criminal defendants.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, NY 10019, USA.


To assess the diagnostic accuracy of the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI; Morey, 1991) Validity scales for the detection of malingered psychiatric disorders, we divided a sample of criminal defendants referred for forensic evaluation by the federal courts into malingering and not malingering groups based on their performance on the Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms (Rogers, Gillis, & Bagby, 1990). Logistic regression analyses (LGAs) revealed that there were no differences between the malingering and not malingering groups with respect to age, race, years of education, history of drug abuse, or number of previous felony convictions. LGA with malingering versus not malingering as the criterion revealed that the PAI Negative Impression Management (NIM) scale but not the Rogers Discriminant Function (RDF; Rogers, Sewell, Morey & Ustad, 1996) nor the Malingering index (MAL; Morey, 1996) significantly differentiated the malingering from the not malingering group. Receiver operating characteristics analyses demonstrated acceptable sensitivity and specificity for the NIM scale but not the RDF scale or the MAL index. We discuss the results in terms of the suggested cutoff scores for the PAI Validity scales in detecting criminal defendants who are attempting to feign psychiatric disorder.

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