Contemporary MMPI-2 Personality Disorder Spectra Scales

  • Abby L. Mulay, Ph.D. MUSC
  • Mark H. Waugh, Ph.D., ABPP
  • Michael T.M. Finn, Ph.D.
  • Jenna E. Gilmore, M.A.
  • Marissa L. Whitley, M.A.
  • Nicole M. Cain, Ph.D.
  • Robert M. Gordon, Ph.D., ABPP
  • Christopher J. Hopwood, Ph.D.
  • Alvin Jones, Ph.D.
  • David S. Nichols, Ph.D.
  • Gina M. Rossi, Ph.D.
  • David L. Streiner, Ph.D.


Objectives: We describe updated and revised MMPI-2 scales for personality disorder (PD) using Loevinger’s (1957) integrated construct validation (CV) approach to guide scale development. Method: Dimensionalized PD “Spectra” scales were constructed out of the item pool of all previous MMPI-2 PD scales using content validity, item-analytic, and external criterion comparisons. Relationships between MMPI-2 PD Spectra scales and known marker variables and other self-report PD scales were studied in multiple, international data sets. We also examined the scale properties when scored from the MMPI-2-RF. PD Spectra scale items were cross-walked with the DSM-5 Alternative Model of Personality Disorder (AMPD) pathological personality traits, permitting convergent and discriminant validation with published PD prototypes. Results: PD Spectra scales demonstrate strong substantive, structural, and external CV, including convergent and divergent correlations with external PD variables, incremental validity, and correspondences with dimensional PD prototypes. We also provide normative data for clinical and community populations. Conclusions: The PD Spectra scales enhance contemporary MMPI-2 assessment of PD, retain the clinical utility of familiar PD categories, and show meaningful correspondences with the AMPD. Keywords: MMPI-2, personality disorder scales, personality disorder, DSM-5, AMPD

Personality Assessment