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Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory, Assessment Example

Pages: 2

Words: 599

Assessment

Abstract

The Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory III (MCMI-III) is a commonly used assessment in clinical settings for Axis I and Axis II disorders. Although designed primarily for use with clinical patients who have mental health conditions, in fact, it has been shown to be of value and is thus commonly used in more general clinical settings. The goal of the MCMI-III is to assist with diagnosis of Axis I and Axis II disorders.

Description of Test

The MCMI-III is designed to assist in the diagnosis of psychopathologies in adults (ages at least 18 years old) and who have at least an eighth grade reading level. It was specifically designed for use in clinical situations with patients who have existing mental health problems.

The MCMI-III has four scales consisting of 14 personality disorder scales, 10 clinical syndromes, 5 scales used to detect patient subterfuge or random responses, and 42 personality facet scales. The assessment consists of 175 true-false questions and takes about a half-hour to administer. Scoring can be complex, with modifying scales, and combined results from various algorithms to determine an ultimate score. One validating scale, the disclosure scale, is measured based on the raw score; any such raw score below 34 or above 178 indicates some degree of lack of truthful disclosure on the part of the patient. (Bow et al., 2010; Saulsman, 2011).

Development of Test

The MCMI-III assessment, the third version of this assessment, was designed to be used only on patients with existing mental health issues, rather than the general population. Furthermore, its norms were developed on a sample of approximately 1000 members of the clinical population. Despite the caveat that it was never intended for use in the general population, studies have shown its validity and it is often used by clinicians for members of the general population (Saulsman, 2011).

Saulsman (2011) conducted a study on the validity and diagnostic efficiency of the MCMI-III, after noting that each new version of the assessment instrument is, in effect, a substantially different assessment, though designed to give measurement continuity from previous versions. The study concluded that the MCMI-III had strong discriminatory abilities for depression, dysthymia, and anxiety conditions; however its ability to distinguish among various anxiety disorders was questionable.

Rogers et al. (1999) considered the MCMI and its validity for use in legal situations where the standard of evidence was defined by the Supreme Court, which set standards of validity and reliability for scientific expert witness. Rogers et al. noted that the MCMI did indeed meet those evidentiary standards for avoidant, schizotypal, and borderline personality disorders.

Assessment of Test

Although the MCMI-III is commonly used to assist with Axis I and Axis II diagnostics, it was designed for use with clinical populations with existing mental health problems rather than the general population. It is also frequently used in legal cases, particularly in child custody cases, for example. Bow et al. (2010), however noted that it is also often administered incorrectly, or the complex scoring may rely too heavily on computer-generated interpretations rather than expertise of experienced humans. Nevertheless, the MCMI-II is shown to be an effective diagnostic tool even in clinical situations with members of the general population.

References

Bow, J. N., Flenx, J. R., Gould, J. W. (2010). MMPI-2 and MCMI-III in forensics evaluations: A survey of psychologists. Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, 10, 37-52.

Rogers, R., Salekin, R. T., Sewell, K. W. (1999). Validation of the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory for Axis I disorders: Does it meet the Daubert standard? Law and Human Behavior, 23 (4), 425-443.

Saulsman, L. M. (2011). Depression, anxiety, and the MCMI-III: Construct validity and diagnositic efficiency. Journal of Perosnality Assessment, 93 (1), 76-83.

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