Detecting Feigning in Adolescents on the Personality Assessment Inventory-Adolescent Form. Academic Article uri icon


  • Much of the research on identifying feigning in psychological assessment has focused on adults with less attention to adolescents. The purpose of the present study is to expand the limited literature on detecting feigning in adolescents using the Personality Assessment Inventory - Adolescent. The study included 114 nonclinical adolescents (ages 15 to 18) recruited from high schools in the Midwest who were randomly assigned to experimental groups: honest nonclinical, uncoached feigning, and coached feigning. 50 randomly selected individuals with depression from the PAI-A clinical standardization sample were included as the honest clinical group. Sample demographics included a mean age of 16.64 years; 51.2% young men, 48.2% young women; 85.4% Caucasian, 6.7% African American, 5.5% Hispanic, and 2.4% Asian. 80% of feigning profiles reported clinical levels of depression. MANOVA results showed strong support for the Rogers Discriminant Function (RDF; d range = 1.85-2.05). The Negative Impression Management (NIM) scale also demonstrated promise (d range = 0.77-1.08), while the smallest effects for detecting feigning were found for the Malingering Index (d range = 0.58-0.70). The negative distortion indices showed good utility in differentiating between groups. Cut-scores and pragmatic implications are presented.

published proceedings

  • J Pers Assess

author list (cited authors)

  • Malm, S. P., Pierson, E. E., Finch, W. H., Spengler, P. M., Johnson, J., & Morey, L. C.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Malm, Steven P||Pierson, Eric E||Finch, W Holmes||Spengler, Paul M||Johnson, James||Morey, Leslie C

publication date

  • November 2020