The effects of toxic exposure on personality as reflected in the MMPI
Hornstein, Vera B.
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Populations exposed to neurotoxins in the occupational environment, and populations who have endured a mild traumatic brain injury complain of a similar constellation of psychological sequelae. As an added dimension to subjective reports, the focus of this research project was to obtain objective data of the reported personality changes subsequent to the exposure/injury. The MMPI/MMPI-2 were used to quantify these changes and to add a statistical dimension in the measurement of the reported alterations in personality. The Validity Scale means indicated that in neither group was there evidence of an attempt to malinger for the purposes of secondary gain. The Clinical Scale means yielded a cluster of elevations which were strikingly similar in both of these populations. While other clinical scale elevations were found to be within normal limits, Scales 1, 2, 3, and 8 were significantly elevated in both groups. Of particular interest was the examination of the Scale 8 (Schizophrenia) elevations, as this particular scale can mislead the clinician to dismiss the presenting symptomatology as a pre-existing psychiatric condition rather than being attributable to the exposure/injury. Therefore, a Harris-Lingoes Subscale Item Analysis was done for this scale. The results revealed the presence of different valances of the sources of the psychological distress in each group, as evidenced by different degrees of elevations on three of the six subscales for Scale 8.;An attempt was made to link length of exposure to severity of clinical scale elevations. Probably due to limited availability of specific data relating to specific neurotoxin exposure, correlation between these factors was not found in this population.;The findings in this study suggest that for purposes of timely detection of neurotoxicity, the MMPI/MMPI-2 Clinical Scale configurations should be utilized to detect early manifestation of psychological distress which is reactive to toxic exposure, in order to facilitate early removal from the toxins and thus prevent further deterioration, both structural and functional.
- Theses and Dissertations