MMPI-2 Custody Report

36/63 Coded Profile, Female, Sensitization to the pain of humiliation

Caldwell Report


5839 Green Valley Circle

Suite 203

Culver City, CA 90230

TEL 310-670-2874

FAX 310-670-7907


January 31, 2008



NAME: Sample 36


AGE: 38


SEX: Female


EDUCATION: 12 years




REFERRED BY: -------


DATE TESTED: August 1, 2007


TEST ADMINISTERED: Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2)






Morally Proper Responding: Her willingness to admit minor faults and shortcomings on the MMPI-2 was about average for the MMPI-2 normative sample. She was, however, more open than average for child custody litigants. Based on scales L, Sd, and a part of K that is not attributable to socioeconomic status.


Subtle Intentional Minimizing: Her scores showed some conscious caution as to what emotional and interpersonal concerns she chose to admit. This included a relatively subtle and sophisticated tendency to underreport her personal discomforts in various areas throughout the test. This caution was slightly more than usual for child custody litigants as well as being appreciably more than average for the MMPI-2 normative sample. The following interpretations of her scores may incompletely reflect some of her interpersonal difficulties. Based mainly on the Mp scale, secondarily on scales S, Sd, and a part of K that is not attributable to socioeconomic status.


Atypical and Deviant Responding: Her scores on the scales measuring unusual responding and overreporting of pathology were well within acceptable limits. There were no indications of any systematic attempt to exaggerate her level of emotional distress or to malinger psychopathology. Based mainly on scales F and Ds and secondarily on scales Fb, Fp, and the difference of raw F minus raw K.






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Positive Social Confidence and Self-Esteem: The pattern of scores suggests an unusually high level of social effectiveness and positive belief in herself. She may be described by such terms as poised, persuasive, fluent, and expressing herself clearly. She also appears likely to be seen as productive, effective, showing initiative, cheerful, and arousing of liking in others. Thus, her relatively high elevation on scale K primarily reflects an effective and sophisticated adjustment and genuine self-confidence. Her K score is only minimally or secondarily the product of defensiveness and a conscious desire to "look good". Based mainly on Block's Ego Resiliency scale (the best MMPI measure I can find for general likableness) and scale K, and secondarily on the Ss scale, ego strength, Do (as autonomy), and an absence of overly self-favorable responding.





Cheerful vs. Guilt Issues, Depressed: Her responses did not report any significant amount of depression. In general she should show generally positive and cheerful moods. Based mainly the elevation of scale 2-D, with small additional weights for the deepening effects of scales 7-Pt and 8-Sc and low elevations on 9-Ma.


Energy Level: Slow Pace vs. High Energy: She tests as having a mildly above average level of activity and energy. As her focus of attention shifts, some of her undertakings may not be completed on time. Based strongly on scale 9-Ma with secondary weights on the Ma-2 subscale, the type A scale, 9-Ma greater than 4-Pd, and an energizing aspect of 3-Hy greater than 2-D.


Denying and Repressive vs. Frank and Candid: She tests as a somewhat repressive and denying individual. That is, she would be seen as wanting to avoid antagonistic confrontations or perhaps even as physiologically becoming painfully upset when forced to confront someone's anger at her. At times she would also be seen as tending to have "Pollyanna" attitudes and as looking the other way in order not to have to face uncomfortable problems. Based mostly on scale 3-Hy and additionally on indices of repressiveness, i.e., Hy-Subtle and the Repression-Sensitization scale, and the denial elements of scale L.


Level of Health Concerns: Her test scores did not reflect any special level of concerns or preoccupations about her physical health. Based centrally on 1 -Hs plus some weights on Hy-obvious and the primacy (or not) of Hs in the code.


Awareness of Her Potential for Interpersonal Provocation: She appears quite lacking in awareness of the ways in which she upsets or provokes others. She would generally not appreciate how her reactions annoy or antagonize them nor why they see her so negatively when they feel offended by her. The awareness of interpersonally provocative behaviors is assessed primarily by


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scores on the Control (Cn) scale. High scorers are typically able to put up a facade and to successfully hide provocative thoughts and aggressive impulses; low scorers have self-justified good intentions with a limited awareness of "bugging" others, this latter being the frequent direction of custody litigant responses. There is also a small influence by weights on L and Mf masculine. Clinical confirmations of these interpretations of Cn have been remarkably strong and consistent.


Oriented Toward Own Agenda vs. Incorporates Others' Interests: Her pattern of scores suggests an about average balance of seeing things in terms of her own interests versus an empathic allowance for the interests of others; this is a slightly greater degree of considerateness than the average child custody litigant. She would be expected to give reasonable weight to the best interests of her child(ren). Based strongly on 4-Pd and secondarily on 9 -Ma, with an additional weight on how much 4-Pd is predominant in the profile, a small weight on a psychotic tilt in the profile (internally driven ideation), and adjustments for defensive covering over.


Social Shyness vs. Extroversion: She tests as generally extroverted socially. She would like social occasions, be relatively comfortable in group leadership roles, accept public attention, and probably be reluctant to spend any extended periods of time alone. At times she might promote sociability in a way that could be seen as dismissive of a child's interpersonal discomforts. Primarily based on the score on the O-Si scale with small adjustments for the shyness content scale (SOD) regarding visibility of the trait and K for consciously trying to appear social and gregarious.


Level of Dav-to-Dav Organization: Her scores indicate a quite positive and well above average level of immediate personal organization. This anticipates independent and competent effectiveness in many different situations. She would waste little time and energy in worrying or in ineffective or self-distracting activities. Basically the ego strength scale with adjustments for the interference of anxiety (Welsh A) and K to assess for an exaggerated assertion of high or low competence.





General Emotional Threshold: The stresses and suffering of the divorce/custody context may elicit occasionally intense and possibly dramatic emotional outbursts. Over the longer term, however, her scores anticipate a high threshold for allowing her emotional feelings to surface and be expressively engaged. That is, much of the time her emotions are likely to be closely held in and pervasively constricted. A child's unrestrained emotionality could at times be uncomfortable for her and a challenge for her to manage constructively and without being suppressive of the child's intensity.

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The larger weight for this variable is on Welsh's scale R, on which high scores anticipate a constriction of one's engagement with one's emotions, i.e., less open and spontaneous expression, briefer intervals of expression or outbursts, and degrees of a general inhibition; low scores anticipate relatively immediate if not ongoing emotional reactivity, the person's emotions being relatively obvious and present. Minor weights are for the modulating effects of higher K and disinhibition of lower K scores, the emotionally outgoing quality reflected in low scores on Block's Ego Control (EC-5) scale, and the emotional activation (or not) of scale 9-Ma.


Potential for Self-Centered Actions vs. Other-Centered Reactions: Her scores suggest a generally caring ability to take the feelings of others into consideration. It would not be "in character" for her to disregard their interests or to take selfish and inconsiderate actions that would hurt them. These hypotheses should be considered with caution because of her defensiveness. Based substantially on scales 9-Ma and 4-Pd, the "9-4" code just within or close to the normal range being the prototype of the DSM criteria for Narcissism. Several pages of algorithms then include the contributions of coding (rank ordering) effects among the eight basic clinical scales.


Externalizing--Internalizing: Her scores indicate a mixed general balance between seeing some of her problems as external to herself and caused by other people versus an awareness of other problems as being due to her own misjudgments or mistakes. This is based on Welsh's I-E Ratio (internalization-externalization), which is the combined sum of the T-scores on scales 3-Hy, 4-Pd, and 9-Ma as externalizing divided by the sum of the T-scores on scales 1-Hs, 2-D, and 7-Pt as internalizing. This has been expanded to cover a wider range of code positions of these scales along with other small weights.


Linear Focus Under Stress vs. Strained Reasoning: Her scores indicate a potential for some different connections or perhaps unexpected points of focus in her stream of thought. When she feels threatened, her ideas and self-justifications might require careful attention to follow. At times there may be what others perceive as unexpected social attitudes or lapses of judgment. Some individuals with this pattern can identify closely with children and their vulnerabilities, but if there were any indications of mean or punitive reactions or specific deficits or parenting behavior, these may need to be specifically evaluated. Based on scales 6-Pa, 8-Sc, and the Neurotic-Psychotic Index (L. Goldberg).


Interpersonal Functioning: Anxious vs. Self-Comfortable: Her responses volunteered a very low overall level of anxiety. She presented herself as being consistently poised and socially effective as well as generally comfortable interpersonally. It should be emphasized, however, that her defensiveness could have covered over serious interpersonal problems. The primary weight is the Welsh scale A, Anxiety, elevations on which include a substantial element of social impairment; there are also adjustments for K, for scores on Block's Ego Resiliency (ER-S), and for the ANX content scale.

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Ability to Let Go, to Forgive and Forget: Her scores suggest definite difficulties in being able to forgive and forget, although this level is about average for child custody litigants. At times she could focus on specific past occasions when she felt hurt in inconsiderate or mean ways that violated her particular values as to what is right and wrong in marital conduct. Such resentments with this self-righteous coloring could then get in the way of letting go and moving on with her life. They might also lead to imitative judgmentalness by a child, perhaps especially when that child's expectations or wants were frustrated. Most of 12 summed weights involve scale 6-Pa, with special emphasis on the self-righteousness of the Pa3 subscale and the wounded hurt quality of Pa2, as well as the position of scale 6 in the code and the degree to which it is "spiked" above the other scales.





Under-controlled and Ascendant vs. Self-Constrained and Rule-Bound: Her item responses suggest reasonably strong self-controls. Her self-portrayal is as an ethical and responsible person with dependable moral values; when needed, she would be reasonably accepting of restraints on her self-indulgences. Her self-presentation is also as respectful and considerate. It should be noted that while her score is above average for the MMPI-2 normative sample, it is at or slightly below average for child custody litigants; it is not clear how much the demands of the evaluative circumstances may have affected the item responses that are relevant to these hypotheses, but she did not show a high degree of conscious defensiveness. Based on the weighting of a series of scales: Responsibility (Re), Block's Ego Control-5 (EC-5), the properness of the L scale, the righteousness of the Pa3 subscale, and the Overcontrolled Hostility scale (0-H).


Low vs. High Decision Control needs: Her scores indicate relatively strong needs to make her own decisions and to have "veto rights" over decisions that would affect or control her. Others may find her more controlling of them than they want or feel necessary and dislike an inequality of power in their relationships with her. Based in part on a series of scales, high Dominance-Autonomy (Do) , low Dependency (Dy) , the righteous-judgmental aspect of Pa3, and the control aspect of Ma3 subscale. In addition a long complex of weights adds in the code-rank positions of scales 3-Hy, 6-Pa, and 9 -Ma, reflecting the three pairwise code combinations which are most characterized by major control issues.


Potential for Antisocial Conduct: The general potential for antisocial behavior appears about average for both the MMPI-2 normative sample and the child custody litigation cases. No special risks would be indicated unless there were some unexpectedly aggressive event in her history; if there were such an event and given her reasonably high threshold for aggression, the level of provocation might have been especially great. These estimations of

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antisocial potential should be utilized with caution because her underreporting of her problems may cover over more risk than is reflected by the scores she obtained. Essentially the elevations on scales 4-Pd, 8-Sc, and 9-Ma, the three way combination of which is clearly the antisocial pattern on the MMPI-2, plus minor adjustments for inhibitory factors.


Possible Temper Control Problems: She did not obtain an MMPI-2 pattern that would be specifically indicative of temper control problems; in general the risk appears about average. That is, in the absence of a definite past history of temper problems, her temper should be reasonably well controlled and not a serious risk. It would likely have taken a substantial provocation to have triggered any such past outbursts. Based mainly on elevations on the "temper control triad": 4-Pd, 6-Pa, and 9-Ma with secondary adjustments for alcohol/drug abuse and for the overcontrol and explosive potentials of the 0-H scale; 34 steps of weights.


Vulnerability to Chemical Dependency; She obtained a below average score on indices for chemical dependence (primarily the MAC-R alcoholism scale together with the AAS items). False negatives can occur in this range, but they are very infrequent. This score, along with the absence of more specific responses to individual items reporting problems with chemical agents, indicates that a pattern of long-term abuse or dependence is highly unlikely. This is mainly the Mac-R scale with secondary adjustments from the Addiction Admission Scale (AAS) and from 49/94 and 47/74 codes.





Quality of Parent-Child Bonding: Her bonding with the child(ren) appears stable and dependable, somewhat more solid than average for both the MMPI-2 normative sample and the child custody litigant sample. It appears that her caring can be counted on to protect the interests of the child(ren). The preceding could underestimate her difficulties in bonding because of her tendency to underreport problematic emotions and possibly unsocial attitudes. Therefore, this may merit a particularly careful evaluation. Based largely on both the absolute elevation of 4-pd and the relative (code) elevation; minor adjustments for scales 8-Sc, 9-Ma, and Neurotic-Psychotic Index (Goldberg) . Although Pd has many expressions depending on the scales with which is combined, it nevertheless has a central focus on the quality--or impairment--of attachment. (Megargee et al. demonstrated this dramatically with their "spike 4" prisoner code as the most completely unattached and never bonded of all prisoner codetypes).


Risk of Alienation of Affection: Her scores indicate a mild tendency to see someone or various others as either being for her or against her. Thus, she may be sensitive to a child's comments that favored her former spouse over her. This in turn might lead to a perception that the former spouse was attempting to turn the child (ren) against her. Any efforts to counter this would then tend to have alienating effects against the other parent. In

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summary, if there were any alienating efforts on her part, they are likely to derive from sincere perceptions (whether accurate or not) that the biasing actions of the other spouse needed to be counterbalanced.


It should be emphasized that this does not demonstrate alienation as an ongoing issue. That would need observation of confirming behaviors such as how she puts down the other parent or acts in subtle if not overt ways to undermine the authority or worthiness of that parent in the eyes of the child(ren). More primarily, it would need for the evaluator to record occasions when the child(ren) expressed such attitudes spontaneously and without parental cueing. Rather, her score on the alienation variable should be viewed as a vulnerability or a potential reaction to intensely threatening circumstances. It should also be emphasized that, given the mild elevations involved, this vulnerability may be no more than latent. Based primarily on scale 6-Pa and the self-righteous subscale Pa3, with small adjustments for whichever of the 7 basic clinical scales the Pa scale is combined when 6-Pa is first or second in the code.


Presentation as a Parent: Role-Played Virtue vs. Sincerity: A presentation as a good parent may be seen by others as somewhat illusory role-playing and possibly misleading (in a "white lie" or duplicitous sense of emphasizing "responsibilities" more than occasions of spontaneous affection). She might be seen as not having as much unconditional positive love for the child(ren) as an average mother. This is relative to the MMPI-2 normative sample, however; it should be noted that the child custody litigant sample tests as almost a full standard deviation higher on this variable and thus at or slightly higher than she did. This combines the absolute elevations of scales 3-Hy and 4-Pd with their code rankings along with minor adjustments for the Control (Cn) and 0-H scales. This is to call attention to the ability of the people with 34/43 patterns to role-play ideal parenting and artfully cover over occasions of personal egocentrism, indifference to the child's distress, and abruptly punitive reactions.


Thank you for this referral.





       Alex B Caldwell, Ph.D.

Diplomate in Clinical Psychology




No clinical or judicial decisions should be made from this information alone. This material is only intended to facilitate the individual evaluation process by providing an extended set of hypotheses for clinical exploration. The possible behavioral tendencies noted here should be

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confirmed, disconfirmed, or otherwise qualified for this individual by the primary clinical evaluator or other appropriate test-knowledgeable persons.


The validity of these ratings derives from two general sources. The first is the decades of research on the basic scales of the MMPI and MMPI-2, on the patterns of interrelationships among these scales, and on information about the wide range of supplemental scales that have additionally been developed. The second source is the consulting and clinical experience in child custody cases of the author, Alex B. Caldwell, Ph.D.. The ratings are not based on research that is specific to these characteristics among child custody litigants because no such body of research exists. Thus, the MMPI-2 is applicable to child custody determinations to the extent that MMPI and MMPI-2 results in general are pertinent to the questions asked in such evaluative procedures.


This report was prepared for our professional clientele. In most cases this is confidential information and legally privileged. The ongoing protection of this privilege becomes the responsibility of the professional person receiving the attached material from Caldwell Report.

Name: Sample 36   Age: 38 Sex: Female
Marital Status: Married Education: 12 years Date Tested: 08/01/07
Referred by: ----------   Date Processed: 02/01/08





minor faults readily admitted.......... 52 minor, improper reactions minimized
candid as to own deficiencies.......... 62 understating of most deficiencies
conventional responding................ 39 atypical responding, exaggeration
low self-esteem........................ 73 positive effectiveness, high self-esteem





cheerful, positive outlook............. 48 guilt issues, unhappy, depressed
low energy level....................... 54 highly energetic
frank, candid, direct.................. 68 represses problems, looks the other way
limited attention to own health........ 54 many health concerns, preoccupied
very aware how she may provoke others.. 73 lacks awareness she may upset others
agenda includes others' interests...... 44 oriented toward own agenda & interests
socially extroverted................... 37 socially shy
deficits of personal organization...... 61 good personal organization





reactive, readily emotional............ 71 constricted, minimally emotional
other centered responsiveness.......... 47 acts in self-centered, narcissistic ways
internalizing, self-blaming............ 51 externalizing, other-blaming
focus stays linear under stress........ 56 strained reasoning when threatened
positive interpersonal comfort......... 32 anxieties interfere interpersonally
able to forgive and forget............. 58 holds on, slow to forgive





non-traditional and expressive......... 59 responsible and self-controlled
wants support for decisions............ 63 high decision control needs
lower potential for antisocial conduct. 47 higher potential for antisocial conduct
temper problems limited, unlikely...... 50 possible serious temper problems
less vulnerable to chemical dependency. 37 vulnerable to chemical dependency






solid bonding and attachment........... 42 less dependable bonding
alienation of affection unlikely....... 56 significant risk of alienation
sincere as to own parenting efforts.... 59 role-played virtue as a parent



The numeric values represent her relative scores on each variable. It is compared against the scores on the variables as obtained by the (1138 males/1462 females) of the MMPI-2 normative sample.


Distributions for the MMPI-2 samples are set at a mean of 50 points with a standard deviation of 10 points.





minor faults readily admitted 59 minor, improper reactions minimized
candid as to own deficiencies 60 understating of most deficiencies
conventional responding 45 atypical responding, exaggeration
low elf-esteem 52 positive effectiveness, high self-esteem




cheerful, positive outlook 50 guilt issues, unhappy, depressed
low energy level 47 highly energetic
frank, candid, direct 59 represses problems, looks the other way
limited attention to own health 49 many health concerns, preoccupied
very aware how she may provoke others 59 lacks awareness she may upset others
agenda includes others' interests 54 oriented toward own agenda & interests
socially extroverted 46 socially shy
deficits of personal organization 52 good personal organization



reactive, readily emotional 59 constricted, minimally emotional
other centered responsiveness 55 acts in self-centered, narcissistic ways
internalizing, self-blaming 53 externalizing, other-blaming
focus stays linear under stress 54 strained reasoning when threatened
positive interpersonal comfort 44 anxieties interfere interpersonally
able to forgive and forget 58 holds on, slow to forgive




non-traditional and expressive 58 responsible and self-controlled
wants support for decisions 55 high decision control needs
lower potential for antisocial conduct 49 higher potential for antisocial conduct
temper problems limited, unlikely 56 possible serious temper problems
less vulnerable to chemical dependency 47 vulnerable to chemical dependency




solid bonding and attachment 53 less dependable bonding
alienation of affection unlikely 56 significant risk of alienation
sincere as to own parenting efforts 59 role-played virtue as a parent



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