Year of Publication

2006

Document Type

Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

David T. R. Berry

Abstract

Detection of malingering is a significant concern in forensic psychological assessments. The best-validated tests currently available are time-intensive for both test-takers and mental health professionals. Thus, well-validated, brief screening measures for malingering would be useful in a forensic environment. The Structured Inventory of Malingered Symptomatology (SIMS; Smith andamp; Burger, 1997) has demonstrated potential in this role. The present study attempts replication of previous studies while extending validation from analogue and male criminal forensic samples to both men and women in a civil forensic setting. The SIMS accuracy in the detection of both neurocognitive and psychiatric symptom feigning is evaluated by comparing its performance to stringent multi-scale criterion measures in a large forensic sample. Cut scores suggested by previous studies yield high sensitivity and negative predictive power in this sample when the SIMS is used to detect psychiatric symptom malingering; however, these cut scores perform inadequately here when screening for the feigning of neurocognitive impairment, and no alternative cut score functions well in this capacity. The results lend support to the utility of the SIMS as a screen for psychiatric symptom malingering by men and women in a civil forensic setting.

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