Title page for ETD etd-06232009-122944

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Pella, Russell D.
URN etd-06232009-122944
Title Evaluation of Embedded Malingering Indices in a Non-Litigating, Relief Seeking Sample: A Partial Cross-Validation Using Control, Clinical, and Derived Groups
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Wm. Drew Gouvier Committee Chair
Alex Cohen Committee Member
Amy Copeland Committee Member
Mike Hawkins Committee Member
Gary Wise Dean's Representative
  • adhd
  • ld
  • neuropsychology
  • malingering
Date of Defense 2009-04-28
Availability unrestricted
Researchers have recently noted college students fail validity measures and base rate data

are needed for students meeting Slick et al.ís criteria (1999) for malingering. The association

between meeting Slick Criteria and subsequent recommendations (i.e., to receive external gain)

is unknown as is the diagnostic utility of embedded validity indices in this population. The

authors utilized archival data from: 1) a university psychological clinic (n = 986) and 2) a

university student control sample (n = 182). Measures included the Wechsler Adult Intelligence

Scale-III, Wechsler Memory Scale-III, and Personality Assessment Inventory. Empirically

supported embedded validity indices were utilized to retrospectively identify suspected

malingering patients. Group performance, according to level of symptom credibility and level of

incentive seeking, was evaluated through a series of multivariate mean comparisons. Data are

presented for frequency of falling in the noncredible range on all validity indices. Diagnostic

statistics for each index are presented according to hypothetical base rates. Examination of

receiving psychological recommendations to obtain external incentive (i.e., academic

accommodations, medications, etc.) is reported according to incentive and credibility level.

University patients explicitly seeking external gain, particularly those meeting criteria for

malingering, demonstrated lower performance on the measures and received a higher rate of

recommendations for academic accommodations and/or medications than patients not seeking

external incentive. Nevertheless, a number of diagnostic statistics indicated some embedded

validity indices lack specificity for malingering in university samples. The current study supports

classifying patients according to level of incentive seeking when evaluating neurocognitive

performance and feigned or exaggerated deficits.

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