Faculty Articles


The Frequency of Neuropsychological Complaints and Their Relationship to the MMPIA Clinical Scales

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Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology








The purpose of this study was to obtain base rates in a sample of adolescents with externalizing disorders of the endorsement of symptoms frequently found in patients with neuropsychological dysfunction and, secondly, to determine the personality correlates of these symptoms on the MMPIA. One hundred adolescent psychiatric inpatients with externalizing disorders were administered the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Adolescent Version and a checklist of neuropsychological symptoms (such as headache, head injury, seizures, loss of consciousness, etc.). Fifteen of the 24 items on the checklist were endorsed by 20 or more of the subjects. Thirteen of these 15 highly endorsed symptoms, resulted in significant relationships with selected MMPIA Clinical Scales. Univariate ANOVAs calculated between item endorsers and nonendorsers of the fifteen items resulted in significant T-score differences for the 10 MMPIA Clinical Scales (Hs, D, Hy, Pd, Mf, Pa, Pt, Sc, Ma, and Si) and the three validity scales (F, L, and K). Some checklist items (headaches, loss of consciousness, learning problems, and personality changes) resulted in nearly entire profile differences. For the 100 subjects the average order T-scores with the highest elevations on the MMPIA Clinical Scales were: Pd, Ma, Pa, Sc, & D. Highest reported symptom base rates were for headaches (57%), previous hospitalizations (55%), arithmetic disability (49%), use of psychoactive medications (44%), and dizzy spells (37%). The findings of this study suggest that adolescents with externalizing disorders may respond differentially to the MMPIA depending on the presence or absence of symptoms frequently reported in neuropsychological screening interviews.



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