Investigating differences in truthful and fabricated symptoms of traumatic stress over time
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, symptoms, victimization
False allegations of victimization typically are accompanied by malingered emotional symptomology to corroborate claims. This analog study was designed to compare truthful and fabricated symptom profiles on measures of post-traumatic stress (i.e., Revised Impact of Event Scale, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Checklist, Trauma Symptom Inventory) and levels of symptom consistency over time. Participants (undergraduate students) described their mental health symptoms for both traumas at time 1 (N = 291), time 2 (N = 252, 3 month), and time 3 (N = 181, 6 months). Results indicated that fabricated traumas were associated with inflated symptom profiles. Validity scales were not effective at discerning symptom veracity, although reports could be discriminated somewhat by atypical responding and clinical scales. PTSD symptoms in malingerers also were reported more consistently over time. This research offers applicable information for identifying feigned traumatic stress.
Peace, K. A., Porter, S., & Cook, B. L. (2010). Investigating differences in truthful and fabricated symptoms of traumatic stress over time. Psychological Injury and Law, 3, 118-129. doi:10.1007/s12207-010-9078-8
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