Date of Award

Summer 2003

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Committee Director

Robert P. Archer

Committee Member

Richard Handel

Committee Member

Michelle Kelley

Committee Member

J. D. Ball

Committee Member

Neill Watson


Archer, Handel, and Lynch (2001) recently compared the item endorsement frequencies for the MMPI-A normative sample against two adolescent clinical samples. Results showed that the MMPI-A contains a substantial number of items that do not show a significant difference in item endorsement frequency between normative and clinical samples. The current study extends Archer et al.'s (2001) research in three ways: (1) it examines the item endorsement frequencies of the Supplementary scales, Harris Lingoes subscales, and subtle-obvious items; (2) it examines the Basic, Content, and Supplementary scales, and Harris Lingoes subscales with two homogeneous diagnostic criterion groups (as suggested by Archer, Handel, and Lynch); and finally (3) it reexamines and recalculates Basic scale data using only those items that were shown by Archer, Handel, and Lynch (2001) to effectively discriminate between the normative and clinical populations. The mean profiles of the normative and clinical groups were contrasted based on these “revised” Basic scales using a newly acquired independent clinical sample to evaluate the extent to which profile sensitivity and specificity is affected by these scale modifications. Results demonstrated that examining the Supplementary scales and Harris-Lingoes subscales, or subtle-obvious items, or when extended to homogeneous criterion groups led to no improvement in item effectiveness from the results of Archer and his colleagues' study. However, results supported the hypothesis in that the overall effectiveness of Basic scale discrimination increased, in terms of sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive power, and hit rate, when the Basic clinical scale items were removed that did not discriminate between normative and clinical groups of adolescents.


A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculties of The College of William and Mary, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk State University, and Old Dominion University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology through the Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology.