Corresponding Author Information: Stephen J. Pappalardo

Session Abstract: While schizophrenia is relatively rare in adolescents, psychotic symptoms and psychotic states are not, and the accurate detection and quantification of psychosis is critical to the clinical care of adolescents in mental health settings. The MMPI-A is a widely used broad-band diagnostic measure for adolescents which includes scales designed to detect psychosis. The MMPI-A-RF is a relatively new measure for adolescents that also includes scales for detecting psychosis. While the MMPI-A-RF was developed out of the item pool of the MMPI-A, the authors of the MMPI-A-RF intend it to be an entirely new instrument for the detection of adolescent psychopathology. The data concerning the validity of the scales in the MMPI-A relevant to psychosis is quite limited and to date, no studies specific to this issue for the MMPI-A-RF have been published. The current study examined both the convergent and discriminant validities of the MMPI-A and MMPI-A-RF psychosis scales by examining their relationships to other self-report measures, observer ratings, and performance-based measures.  Their discriminant validity was assessed by comparing the psychosis scales from each MMPI to measures expected to have a weaker relationship to psychosis (i.e., measures of general distress) and those expected to be relatively impervious to the presence or absence of psychosis (i.e., measures of verbal intellect). 333 subjects had valid and complete data across all measures. Both the MMPI-A and MMPI-A-RF showed evidence of good convergent and discriminant validity in the detection of psychosis, but each appeared to have unique strengths and weaknesses when compared to the other, and each appears likely to serve an important diagnostic role in settings where the detection of psychosis is important.


Stephen J. Pappalardo | Randolph, NJ

David L. Pogge | Four Winds Hospital - Katonah, NY

John Stokes | Four Winds Hospital - Katonah, NY

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