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MMPI-A-RF FAQs


Frequently asked questions below. Click on a topic to see the responses.

Invalid Report and Required Demographics

What demographic information is required to generate an MMPI-A-RF software-based report?
Test Date, Birth Date, ID, and Gender must be provided. The software will not generate any report without this information. Age is calculated from the Test Date and Birth Date. If the client is younger than 12 or older than 18, no report will be generated.

My MMPI-A-RF Score Report is invalid, but it doesn't say that on the report. Why not
The Score Report provides profiles and scores for the MMPI-A-RF scales, but does not provide an interpretation. Interpretation of the Score Report, including invalidity determination, is the responsibility of the test user.

How does the MMPI-A-RF Interpretive Report deal with invalid protocols?
The full text of the Interpretive Report will not be generated if scores on the Validity Scales raise significant concerns about the interpretability of the results. In such cases, the profiles will be plotted but will be marked by a statement indicating that the protocol is invalid. The automated interpretation in these cases will be limited to addressing concerns about the validity of the protocol.


The MMPI-A Interpretive Report indicates that a protocol is valid and interpretable, but the MMPI-A-RF Interpretive Report indicates that the same protocol is invalid. Which version of the test and report should I rely upon? 
The MMPI-A-RF Validity Scales are similar but not identical to the MMPI-A Validity Scales. The former are less redundant (e.g., there is no item overlap on the VRIN-r and TRIN-r scales) and more up-to-date (e.g., unlike F, F-r includes only items rarely endorsed by adolescents in the MMPI-A normative sample and inpatient, outpatient, correctional, and school settings). Because all of the MMPI-A-RF items are embedded in the MMPI-A, if the MMPI-A-RF report indicates that the protocol is invalid, then the MMPI-A results are likely invalid as well and should not be interpreted. In the reverse case of the MMPI-A-RF report indicating that the protocol is valid, while the MMPI-A report declares it invalid, the MMPI-A-RF results can be interpreted with caution.

Why can’t I get an MMPI-A-RF report for an 11-year-old?
There is no research at this time to support use of the MMPI-A-RF with adolescents younger than 12.

Norms and Scales

Are the MMPI-A-RF norms different from the MMPI-A norms?
No new normative data were collected for the MMPI-A-RF. The MMPI-A-RF normative sample is drawn from the MMPI-A normative sample and consists of 1,610 adolescents (805 boys; 805 girls) ages 14 to 18 from several regions of the U.S., a balanced sample with respect to region, rural-urban residence, and ethnicity. The MMPI-A-RF T scores are non-gendered.  

Are MMPI-A-RF norms available for different cultures? 
American minorities are included in the normative sample. There are no separate cultural norms for any version of the MMPI.

Are all MMPI-A-RF scales copyrighted? 
Yes.

Does the MMPI-A-RF include adolescent-specific scales? 
Yes, several Externalizing Scales are unique to the MMPI-A-RF: Negative School Attitudes (NSA), Antisocial Attitudes (ASA), Conduct Problems (CNP), and Negative Peer Influence (NPI). 

Restructured Clinical (RC) Scales

Are the MMPI-A-RF RC Scales the same as the MMPI-2-RF RC Scales?
The Restructured Clinical (RC) Scales, introduced with the MMPI-2 in 2003 and integrated into the MMPI-2-RF in 2008, were used as a template in developing the MMPI-A-RF RC Scales.  Whereas the MMPI-A-RF RC Scales overlap considerably with their MMPI-2-RF counterparts, they do not include all items from the MMPI-2-RF RC Scales and do include some adolescent-specific items. Both sets of scales assess the same constructs. Construction of the MMPI-A-RF RC Scales is described in the development chapter of the MMPI-A-RF Administration, Scoring, Interpretation, and Technical Manual.  

Do the RC Scales overlap?
As is the case with the MMPI-2/MMPI-2-RF RC Scales, the MMPI-A-RF RC Scales have no overlapping items.

What are the intercorrelations of the MMPI-A-RF scales?
Scale intercorrelations of the MMPI-A-RF normative and development samples are reported in Tables 3-17 through 3-26 of the MMPI-A-RF Administration, Scoring, Interpretation, and Technical Manual.

What are the reliabilities of the MMPI-A-RF scales?
Test-retest and internal consistency reliability estimates for all of the MMPI-A-RF scale scores are provided in Chapter 3 of the MMPI-A-RF Administration, Scoring, Interpretation, and Technical Manual.

What are the recommended cut-offs for interpreting elevations on the MMPI-A-RF Substantive Scales?
Interpretive guidelines and specific cut-off recommendations for all MMPI-A-RF scales are provided in Chapter 7 of the MMPI-A-RF Administration, Scoring, Interpretation, and Technical Manual. In general, clinically significant elevations on the Substantive Scales are identified beginning at T score 60. This is a change from the MMPI-A, in which T scores in the 60-64 range are identified as “borderline” elevations by means of a grey zone. Research conducted after publication of the MMPI-A indicates that T score 60 is the optimal cut-off for beginning to identify clinically significant elevations.

How do the Clinical Scales on the MMPI-A and the RC Scales on the MMPI-A-RF differ in how they assess psychopathology?
Multiple elevations on the Clinical Scales may reflect comorbidity and/or demoralization, making it difficult to accurately determine the presence of actual comorbid and complex syndromes. The relatively low demoralization saturation of the RC Scales and their improved discriminant properties enable users to more accurately identify the necessary elements of a syndrome and the actual occurrence of comorbidity. 

Administration, Scoring, and Interpretation

Can I create my own comparison group?
Yes. Users can create custom comparison groups based on test records in their system database. See chapter 5 of the MMPI-A-RF User's Guide for Reports (2016) for more information about custom comparison groups and refer to the Help function within Pearson’s Q Local or Q-global scoring and reporting systems for detailed, platform-specific instructions.

Can the MMPI-A-RF Interpretive Report serve as a complete and independent psychological report on a client?
No, the statements contained in the narrative are not intended to serve as an independent or “stand-alone” report. The following notice appears in the MMPI-A-RF reports: “The interpretive report is intended for use by a professional qualified to interpret the MMPI-A-RF. The information it contains should be considered in the context of the test-taker’s background, the circumstances of the assessment, and other available information.”

Can I exchange unused MMPI-A report usages for MMPI-A-RF usages?
Call Pearson at 1-800-627-7271 to discuss the exchange of MMPI-A report usages for MMPI-A-RF report usages.

Can I generate an MMPI-A report and an MMPI-A-RF report for the same test-taker?
Yes, the scoring and reporting menu for an MMPI-A administration includes an option to generate an MMPI-A-RF report for an MMPI-A protocol. An MMPI-A-RF report usage is required to generate the report.

Can I administer an “abbreviated” MMPI-A test (first 350 items only) and get an MMPI-A-RF report?
No. The MMPI-A-RF is composed of items throughout the entire MMPI-A test booklet.

Does the MMPI-A-RF manual include tables converting MMPI-A item ordering to MMPI-A-RF item ordering and vice versa? 
Yes, these tables are located in Appendix E of the MMPI-A-RF Administration, Scoring, Interpretation and Technical Manual (2016).

Where can I find additional information about the MMPI-A-RF Interpretive Report? 
The MMPI-A-RF User's Guide for Reports is available from Pearson. Archer, R. P., Handel, R. W., Ben-Porath, Y. S., & Tellegen, A. (2016). MMPI-A-RF User’s Guide for Reports. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.


Where can I find information about the validity of the MMPI-A-RF instrument? 
The MMPI-A-RF Administration, Scoring, Interpretation and Technical Manual, available from Pearson, provides detailed validity data for MMPI-A-RF scale scores.

Archer, R. P., Handel, R. W., Ben-Porath, Y. S., & Tellegen, A. (2016). MMPI-A-RF Administration, Scoring, Interpretation, and Technical Manual. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Are additional resources available to help me learn more about MMPI-A-RF scales and interpretation? 
Yes. MMPI-A-RF co-author Robert P. Archer’s Assessing Adolescent Psychology: MMPI-A/MMPI-A-RF, 4th Edition published by Routledge in 2016.