Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



First Advisor

Radhika Krishnamurthy

Second Advisor

Vida Tyc

Third Advisor

Mary Sohn

Fourth Advisor

Lisa Steelman


The primary purpose of this study was to examine Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Assessment-2-Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF) profiles of parents who underwent psychological evaluation subsequent to substantiated claims by the Florida Department of Children and Families of child neglect. A second purpose was to assess profile differences between this sample and a sample of parents with substantiated claims of child physical abuse, with a particular focus on evaluating comparative levels of internalizing factors, externalizing factors, and defensiveness. Samples were also compared in regards to their levels of substance usage, as this was shown in prior literature to be a salient psychosocial factor contributing to child maltreatment. Results showed general absence of broad-ranging psychopathology, which is unsurprising due to the nature of the evaluation, and is commensurate with earlier studies. Of the 50 MMPI-2-RF scales, 12 showed heightened scores. Notably, neglectful parents demonstrated a significantly lower score on the Aggressiveness-revised scale, than abusive parents, which was hypothesized due to the differences in types of maltreatment (omission versus commission). For internalizing scales, Inefficacy was elevated in both samples, which speaks to the self-concept of maltreating parents in regards to their sense of personal effectiveness. No differences were noted in terms of substance abuse. Defensiveness was seen in both samples, as expected. However, outright defensive problem denial was not as pronounced as denial of minor social faults (Adjustment Validity and Uncommon Virtues scales). Implications of these findings are discussed.


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