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Answers to FAQs about the following topics: Abbreviated Form, Content Component Scales, Critical Items, Norms, Psy-5 Scales, and User/Purchasing Qualifications.

Abbreviated Form

What scales can be scored if only the first 350 items are administered?

The clinical scales, validity indicators L, F1, K, and the Harris-Lingoes and Si subscales.

Content Component Scales

In 2006, Content Component Scales were added to the MMPI-A. A test manual supplement and a test monograph containing information on the scales are available from Pearson Assessments.

Critical Items

Where can I find information on the critical items for the MMPI-A test?

In 2006, a standard set of critical items was added to the MMPI-A Extended Score Report. Additional information on the development of this set of critical items can be found in a test monograph, A Critical Item Set for the MMPI-A by Forbey and Ben-Porath, published by the University of Minnesota Press and available from Pearson Assessments.


Are different norms used for different settings?

No. However, there are different norms for the MMPI-2 and MMPI-A tests. The MMPI-A normative sample consists of 1,620 adolescents (805 boys; 815 girls) between 14 and 18 years of age, who were selected as representative of the US population.

Are there norms for different cultures?

American minorities are included in the normative samples. No separate cultural norms are available.

What effect does age have on test scores?

The MMPI-A instrument was developed for young people between the ages of 14 and 18 (the normative group).  Clinicians administering the MMPI-A instrument to clients 12 or 13 years old should be aware that they are using the instrument with an age group that has a higher incidence of difficulty with the assessment and therefore they should be cautious in their interpretations. The MMPI-A instrument is probably developmentally inappropriate for children under 12.  Normative and clinical samples for both the MMPI-2 and the MMPI-A instruments include 18-year-olds, so the clinician should make a case-by-case judgment about which assessment to use with 18-year-old clients. A suggested guideline would be to use the MMPI-A instrument with 18-year-olds who are still in high school and the MMPI-2 instrument with 18-year-olds who are in college, working, or living an otherwise independent adult lifestyle.

Psy-5 (Personality Psychopathology Five) Scales

What are the PSY-5 scales, and where can I find information about them?

Harkness and McNulty developed a dimensional model of personality from quantitative studies of key personality and personality disorder descriptors (1994). The constructs that emerged from these studies are Aggressiveness (AGGR), Psychoticism (PSYC), Disconstraint (DISC), Negative Emotionality/Neuroticism (NEGE), and Introversion/Low Positive Emotionality (INTR). In 1995 Harkness, McNulty, and Ben-Porath developed PSY-5 scales for the MMPI-2; this was followed in 1997 with the development of PSY-5 scales for the MMPI-A by McNulty, Harkness, Ben-Porath, and Williams. The MMPI-A Personality Psychopathology Five (PSY-5) Scales are available on the Extended Score Report, the Minnesota Report: Adolescent Interpretive System, and in the hand-scoring Supplementary Scales materials.

Information about the PSY-5 Scales can be found in the  Supplement to the MMPI-A Manual for Administration, Scoring, and Interpretation (full citation below), available from Pearson Assessments.


Ben-Porath, Y. S., Graham, J. R., Archer, R. P., Tellegen, A., & Kaemmer, B. (2006). Supplement to the MMPI-A Manual for Administration, Scoring, and Interpretation: The Content Component Scales; the Personality Psychopathology Five (PSY-5) Scales, and the Critical Items. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Harkness, A. R., & McNulty, J. L. (1994). The personality psychopathology five (PSY-5): Issue from the pages of a diagnostic manual instead of a dictionary. In S. Strack and M. Lorr (Eds.), Differentiating normal and abnormal personality (pp. 291-315). New York: Springer.

Harkness, A. R., McNulty, J. L., & Ben-Porath, Y. S. (1995). The personality psychopathology five (PSY-5): Constructs and MMPI-2 scales. Psychological Assessment, 7, 104-114.

McNulty, J. L., Harkness, A. R., Ben-Porath, Y. S., & Williams, C .L. (1997). Assessing the Personality Psychopathology Five (PSY-5) in adolescents: New MMPI-A scales. Psychological Assessment, 9, 250-259.

What is required to purchase, administer and score the MMPI® test materials?

A Level "C" qualification is required to purchase MMPI® materials from Pearson Assessments, please see the user qualifications.