Date of Award

Summer 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Committee Director

Richard W. Handel

Committee Member

Robert P. Archer

Committee Member

Desideria S. Hacker

Committee Member

Serina A. Neumann

Committee Member

James F. Paulson


Test bias has long been an area of investigation in the personality assessment literature, including the MMPI-2-RF. Research on previous versions of the MMPI and MMPI-2-RF has pointed to mixed results. The current study aims to examine test bias on the MMPI-2-RF’s nine Internalizing Specific Problem Scales by examining measurement invariance using MIMIC modeling and investigating differential item functioning (DIF). After removal of invalid protocols, the first sample consisted of 2,980 protocols from various settings requested from Pearson (255 African American and 2,755 Caucasian protocols). The second sample consisted of 1,379 valid protocols from psychiatric inpatient settings (1,245 Caucasian and 133 African American protocols). MIMIC modeling was conducted using delta parametrization and the WLSMV estimator in Mplus (Muthén and Muthén, 1998-2012). Latent continuous response variables and threshold estimates were used to accommodate categorical indicators. Results of the MIMIC modeling pointed to latent mean differences in four of the nine and two of the nine scales in the Pearson and inpatient samples, respectively. In both samples, latent mean differences were found between African Americans and Caucasians on the Multiple Specific Fears scale. Evidence of DIF was seen in seven of the nine scales in both the Pearson and inpatient samples. However, only a total of four items were found to functioning differently on the Inefficacy and Multiple Specific Fears scales across both samples. These results have implications for the MMPI-2-RF’s invariance across African American and Caucasian test takers and overall psychological assessment standards involving fairness in testing.


The VIRGINIA CONSORTIUM PROGRAM IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY is a joint program of Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk State University, and Old Dominion University.


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