Using the MMPI With Adolescents: Overview and Recommendations
The application of the MMPI to adolescent populations for both clinical and research purposes occurred early in the development of this instrument. The continued use of the MMPI with adolescents has frequently been based upon the belief that, “by the time a child has reached adolescence he has accumulated the effects of so wide and extensive an array of experiences that his behavior is already shaped and predictable to an important degree in many different situations” (Hathaway & Dahlstrom, 1974, p. IX). Dahlstrom, Welsh, and Dahlstrom (1972) further noted that although the MMPI was originally intended for administration to individuals who were 16 years of age or older, the MMPI could be used successfully “with bright children” as young as 12. Despite the 40-year history of research and clinical applications of the MMPI with adolescents, many fundamental issues have remained unresolved. This chapter reviews the available literature on selected aspects of the use of the MMPI with adolescent respondents and offers several recommendations concerning interpretative practices.