Comparisons of dissociative patients to maltreated and non maltreated samples on the personality assessment inventory
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Type of Workapplication/pdf
vii, 47 pages
DepartmentTowson University. Department of Psychology
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Patients with dissociative identity disorder and dissociative disorder not otherwise specified (DID/DDNOS) exhibit a wide range of psychological symptoms according to self-report measures such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) and the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI). DID/DDNOS patients are often elevated on validity scales that supposedly measure symptom exaggeration such as the Negative Impression Scale (NIM) on the PAI, which uninformed clinicians may interpret as malingering. However, it has been shown that these elevations are mainly due to dissociative disorder patients' past history of childhood maltreatment. Additionally, it has been shown that traumatized college students experience more difficulties with depression, anxiety, paranoia, aggression, and characteristics of antisocial and borderline personality disorder compared to non-maltreated college students. No research has been conducted to determine how hospitalized maltreated DID/DDNOS patients, maltreated college students, and non-maltreated college students differ on severity of psychological symptoms. The goal of the current study was to determine how these groups differ on PAI scales. It was found that, DID/DDNOS patients had many significant elevations on PAI scales compared to both the maltreated and non-maltreated students and that maltreated students obtained significant elevations on the PAI compared to non-maltreated students. Furthermore, as it has been found in DID/DDNOS patients, it was found that childhood maltreatment and dissociation were significantly associated with NIM in maltreated students. These results add growing evidence that NIM is not a valid measure of symptom exaggeration in trauma survivors and that trauma exposure is related to elevations on many different forms of psychopathology.