Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




School Psychology

Committee Chair

Randy Floyd

Committee Member

Thomas Fagan

Committee Member

Elizabeth Meisinger

Committee Member

Meghan McDevitt-Murphy


Children are capable of deliberately distorting or misrepresenting psychological symptoms on self-reports of behavior and personality, which is referred to as dissimulation. Malingering and defensiveness are two forms of dissimulation that involve exaggerating symptoms or denying symptoms, respectively. The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which the Behavior Assessment System for Children-2 Self-Report of Personality validity scales identified dissimulation response styles in children. This investigation employed a between-subjects experimental simulation design with three conditions. One hundred and eighteen children were randomly assigned to a control group or to one of two simulation groups: (a) a malingering group to simulate behavioral and emotional symptoms, or (b) a defensive group to simulate minimization or denial of behavioral and emotional symptoms. Specific research questions addressed whether the validity scales were useful in signaling caution for children who were instructed to malinger and for children who were instructed to respond defensively. Findings suggested that the F Index is most sensitive to detecting malingering. Results also indicated that the L Index may be a useful indicator of malingering, but this scale did not perform as well as expected in detecting children who were instructed to respond defensively.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.