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Appl Neuropsychol Child. 2014;3(1):26-30. doi: 10.1080/21622965.2012.670584. Epub 2012 May 1.

Performance and specificity rates in the Test of Memory Malingering: an investigation into pediatric clinical populations.

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  • 1a Department of Neuropsycholoy , Westside NeuroRehabilitation Services/Goodwill Industries , Lewiston , Maine.


Symptom validity tests are becoming standard as an effort measure during pediatric neuropsychological assessment. An important component of symptom validity test use is understanding limitations of these measures and how select clinical groups may have difficulty with them. Research has begun to clarify the limits of the Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM) with diverse childhood diagnoses. This study compared TOMM scores of children (N = 86) classified with common childhood disorders. Findings suggest that a substantial proportion of children performed below the recommended cutoff score of 45 on Trial 2 and attained varied specificity rates. This included children with conduct disorders (85%), affective disorders (92%), traumatic brain injury (83%), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (93%), learning disabilities (100%), and pervasive developmental disorder (88%). The group with the most children scoring below the cutoff was children with intellectual disabilities (76%). This finding is consistent with some of the adult research suggesting that very limited cognitive ability may compromise TOMM performance. Caution may be necessary when drawing conclusions about test-taking effort based on the recommended TOMM cutoff scores when evaluating children with disabilities.

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