Friday, April 23, 2010

New MR/ID malingering research study: Existing measures not that good for MR/ID

Shandera, A. L., Berry, D. T. R., Clark, J. A., Schipper, L. J., Graue, L. O., & Harp, J. P. (2010). Detection of Malingered Mental Retardation. Psychological Assessment, 22(1), 50-56. (click here to view)

 Emphasis in abstract and conclusion added by IDCP blogmaster


In a cross-validation of results from L. O. Graue et al. (2007), standard psychological assessment instruments, as well as tests of neurocognitive and psychiatric feigning, were administered under standard instructions to 24 participants diagnosed with mild mental retardation (MR) and 10 demographically matched community volunteers (CVH). A 2nd group of 25 community volunteers was instructed to malinger MR (CVM) during testing. CVM participants obtained Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (3rd ed.; D. Wechsler, 1997) Full Scale Intelligence Quotient scores that were significantly lower than the demographically similar CVH group but comparable to the MR group, suggesting that CVM subjects feigned cognitive impairment. On the basis of standard cutting scores from test manuals or published articles, of the 11 feigning measures administered, only the Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM; T. N. Tombaugh, 1996) retention trial had a specificity rate >.90 in the MR group. However, the 2nd learning trial of the TOMM, as well as a short form of the Digit Memory Test (T. J. Guilmette, K. J. Hart, A. J. Guiliano, & B. E. Leininger, 1994), approached this level of specificity, with both at .88. These results raise concerns about the specificity rates at recommended cutting scores of commonly used feigning tests in defendants with MR.
Overall, although there were some helpful findings in the present study, broadly speaking, neurocognitive feigning measures derived primarily on the basis of traumatic brain injury samples do not seem to work well in patients with MR. Given the fairly consistent reports to this effect in the published literature, it may well be that a new approach is needed to develop feigning detection instruments that are both sensitive and specific for the evaluation of possible malingered MR. Research assessing a broad array of possible approaches to this issue is clearly needed by the forensic clinical community.
Prior ICDP malingering-related posts, inclusive of the current, can be found by clicking here

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