The utility of the structured inventory of malingered symptomatology for distinguishing individuals with dissociative identity disorder (DID) from DID simulators

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Author/Creator ORCID

Date

2017-10-17

Department

Towson University. Department of Psychology

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Citation of Original Publication

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Abstract

Due to the breadth of symptoms and history of trauma, individuals with dissociative disorders are at risk of being misclassified as malingering by psychological assessments and validity scales. Research has indicated a need for caution when using these measures with traumatized and dissociative populations. This study sought to explore the utility of the Structured Inventory of Malingered Symptomatology (SIMS) with individuals with dissociative identity disorder (DID). We hypothesized that individuals with DID would have higher scores on the SIMS than coached simulators of DID. Although this hypothesis was not supported, we found that the SIMS misclassified 67.7% of genuine DID patients as malingering. We also found a positive relationship between dissociation and total scores on the SIMS, indicating that individuals with DID have underlying dissociative phenomena that simulators are not able to imitate. These findings suggest that the SIMS is likely not a valid measure for individuals with dissociative disorders.