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www.elsevier.es/ijchp

International Journal

of Clinical and Health Psychology

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

A meta-analytic review of the MMPI validity scales and indexes to detect defensiveness in custody evaluations

Francisca Fari˜ na

a

, Laura Redondo

a

, Dolores Seijo

b

, Mercedes Novo

b

, Ramón Arce

b,∗

aUniversidaddeVigo,Spain

bUniversidaddeSantiagodeCompostela,Spain

Received17December2016;accepted10February2017 Availableonline21April2017

KEYWORDS Parentchildcustody disputes;

Parentingcapacity assessment;

MMPI;

Defensiveness;

Meta-analysis

Abstract Background/Objective:Inchildcustodydisputes,oneoftheremitoftheforensic psychologististoevaluateparentalattributeswhilesuspectingdefensiveness.Theinstrument ofchoiceforundertakingthisdoubletaskistheMMPI.Method:Astoestablishthestateofthe artonthis,ameta-analysiswasundertakenwithatotalof32primarystudiesfromwhich256 effectsizeswereassessed.Ameta-analysiswasundertaken,effectsizeswerecorrected for samplingerrorandcriterionunreliability.Results:Theresultsrevealedapositive,significant, largeandgeneralizablemeantrueeffectsizefortheL,K,SandMPscales,andtheL+KandL+K- Findexes.TheWsdwaspositive,significantandlarge,butnotgeneralizable.Anegativeand significant,butnotgeneralizablemeantrueeffectsizewasfoundfortheFandgeneralizablefor F---Kindex.TheeffectsizesfortheL,K,SandMPscales,andtheL+KandL+K-Findexeswere equal.Boththegenderofparents(fathervs.mother)andthecontextofevaluation(parent childcustodydisputesvs.parentingcapacity)wereassessedasmoderators.Conclusions:The resultsarediscussedinrelationtoforensicpractice.

©2017Asociaci´onEspa˜noladePsicolog´ıaConductual.PublishedbyElsevierEspa˜na,S.L.U.This isanopenaccessarticleundertheCCBY-NC-NDlicense(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/

by-nc-nd/4.0/).

PALABRASCLAVE Disputaparentalpor lacustodia;

evaluacióndela capacidadparental;

MMPI;

disimulación;

Revisiónmeta-analíticadelasescalaseíndicesdevalidezdelMMPIparadetectar disimulaciónenlaevaluacióndecustodias

Resumen Antecedentes/Objetivo:Enloscasosdedisputaporlacustodia,elpsicólogoforense tieneentresuscometidoslaevaluacióndelascompetenciasparentales,asícomosospechar disimulación.Paraestadobletarea,elinstrumentodereferenciaes elMMPI. Método:Para establecerelestadodelacuestiónsellevóacabounmeta-análisisencontrando32estudios primarios delosque seobtuvieron 256tama˜nos delefecto.Los tama˜nosdel efectofueron

Autorparacorrespondencia.FacultadedePsicoloxía.CampusVida,s/n.15782SantiagodeCompostela,Spain.

E-mailaddress:ramon.arce@usc.es(R.Arce).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijchp.2017.02.002

1697-2600/©2017Asociaci´onEspa˜noladePsicolog´ıaConductual.PublishedbyElsevierEspa˜na,S.L.U.Thisisanopenaccessarticleunder theCCBY-NC-NDlicense(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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separación;

meta-ananálisis

corregidosporerrordemuestreoyfaltadefiabilidaddelcriterio.Resultados:Losresultados mostraronuntama˜nodelefectomedioverdaderopositivo,significativo,grandeygeneralizable paralasescalasL,K,SyMP,ylosíndicesL+KyL+K-F.ParaWsd,tambiénresultópositivo, significativoygrande,peronogeneralizable.ParaFyelíndiceF-Kfuenegativoysignificativo, peronogeneralizableparaFygeneralizableparaF-K.Lostama˜nosdelefectodelasescalasL, K,SyMP,ylosíndicesL+K-FyL+Kresultaronseriguales.Seestudiaroncomomoderadoresel génerodelprogenitor(padrevs.madre)yelcontextodeevaluación(progenitoresendisputa porlacustodiadeloshijosvs.evaluacióndelacapacidadparental).Conclusiones:Sediscute lautilidadparalaprácticaforensedeestosresultados.

© 2017Asociaci´onEspa˜noladePsicolog´ıa Conductual.PublicadoporElsevierEspa˜na, S.L.U.

Esteesunart´ıculoOpen AccessbajolalicenciaCCBY-NC-ND(http://creativecommons.org/

licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Forensic psychological evaluation in child custody dis- putesisregulatedby standardsandguidelinesestablished by an array of associations aroundthe world such as the American Psychological Association (2010), the Associa- tionofFamilyandConciliationCourts(Martindale,Martin, Austin,&TaskForceMembers,2007),ortheSpanishPsycho- logicalAssociation [ColegioOficialdePsicólogos](Chacón, García, García, Gómez, & Vázquez, 2009). Though these standards and guidelines may vary slightly, they all have common aimsi.e., todetermine the child’spsychological bestinterests, toguideprofessionals in the evaluationof children,parentsandthechild-parentinteractioninorder to identify the child’s psychological needs and parental attributes to find the best fit between child’s needs and parentalattributes.

The primary aim of these standards and guidelines is to evaluate parenting attributes in terms of the knowl- edge,abilitiesandskillsrequiredtoeffectivelycaterforthe child’sneeds, and todetect deficits and psychopathology thatmayputthechildatrisk.Bothseparationanddivorce are psychosocial stressors closely linked to clinical symp- tomatology(Amato&Keith,1991;Cheng,Dunn,O’Connor,&

Holding,2006;Weaver&Schofield,2015).Moreover,defen- siverespondingshouldbesuspected(Arce,Fari˜na,Seijo,&

Novo,2015;Bagby&Marshall,2004;Strong,Greene,Hoppe, Johnston,&Olesen,1999),affectinganestimated30to40%

ofevaluations(Arce,Fari˜na,Seijoetal.,2015;Baer&Miller, 2002;Fari˜na,Arce,&Sotelo,2010;Strongetal.,1999).

To evaluate parental attributes, psychologists employ psychologicaltests,clinical interviews,behavioural obser- vation (e.g., parent-child interactions), home visits, and collateral contacts (e.g., extended family). The clini- cal interview, in particular the forensic-clinical interview (Vilari˜no, Arce, & Fari˜na, 2013), and psychological tests, primarily the MMPI-2, the psychometric instrument most extensively used worldwide for forensic psychological assessmentwhichhasbeentranslatedintoover40languages (Archer,Buffington-Vollum,Stredny,&Handel,2006;Fari˜na, Arce, Vilari˜no, & Novo, 2014; Rogers, Sewell, Martin, &

Vitacco,2003),andusedinover90%ofparentalevaluations in child custody disputes (Ackerman& Pritzl, 2011; Arch, Jarne,Peró,&Guàrdia,2011;Fari˜naetal.,2010),serveto evaluatebothparentalattributesanddefensiveness.When defensivenessormalingeringissuspectedintheassessment ofpsychologicalandpersonalattributes,thecombinationof

clinicalinterview andpsychometric evaluationis required (Arce,Fari˜na,& Vilari˜no,2015;Graham,2011).TheMMPI- 2 includes the L, F and K original validity scales. The L scale was designed to detect the deliberate and overt acknowledgmentofuncommonvirtues.TheFscalewasini- tiallydesignedtodetectrandomresponding,butempirical researchhasshownthatFwasalsosensitivetointentional attemptstoportrayone’sownnegativeimage.TheKscale was as a subtle indicator (F and L are more obvious) of attemptstoexaggeratepsychopathologyandtoappearina veryunfavourableway(lowscores),ordenypsychopathol- ogyandtopresentoneselfinafavourableway(highscores).

DuetotheRestructuredFormoftheMMPI-2,theMMPI-2-RF, theoriginalvalidityscalesfordefensiveness,LandK,were alsoreformulatedasL-randK-r.TheL-rscaleconsistedof14 items,sharing11withtheoriginalLscaleandaddingthree additionalitems,whiletheK-rscaleconsistedof14items fromtheoriginalKscale(16weredeletedandthescoring direction for one wasreversed). Noevidence or rational- itywasprovidedtosupportactionsinbothscales(Greene, 2011).Moreover,theMMPI-2 containsadditionalscalesfor measuringdefensiveness: Positive Malingering Scale (MP);

Wiggins’s Social Desirability Scale (Wsd); Edward’s Social Desirability (Esd); O-S Scale (Obvious-Subtle); Test Taking DefensivenessScale(Tt);OtherDeception(Od);Superlative Scale(S);andthePositiveMentalHealthScale(PMH4).The Sscalemeasuresthedenialofpsychologicalproblemsand moralshortcomings,aswellastheendorsementofunreal- isticallypositivepersonalandinterpersonalattributes;the Wsd,Od,Mp,EsdandTtscalesmeasuresocialdesirability (OdisanupgradeversionofMPandWsd);thePMH-4,the denialofvariousformsofpsychologicalmaladjustment;and theO-Ssubscalereportsunderreportingwhensubtleitems areendorsedmorethanobvious(negativescores).Finally, threeindices,F-K,L+KandL+K-F,wererelatedwithdefen- siveness(Baer&Miller,2002;Graham,2011;Lanyon&Lutz, 1984;Posthuma&Harper,1998).

Asfordistortionsrelatedtodefensiveness,tworesponse patterns have been observed i.e., self-deception (SD) and positive impression management (IM) according to whether the individual is conscious or not of manipulat- ing them (Paulhus, 1984). These response patterns have differentlegalimplications sincethe IMentails a deliber- ateattempt (volitional component) to wilfullydeceive in spite of being fully aware it is illegal (intent, cognitive

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component), whereas the SD implies a unreal (volitional component), but honest (cognitive component) responses (Fari˜naetal.,2010).Inthecontextofforensicevaluation ofcustodydisputesbothtypesofresponsepatternscanbe expected.Thus, the SDwould be a stabletrait of a sub- ject generalizable to all measurement contexts, whereas IM is characteristic to this measurement context, involv- ingapproximately40%of thepopulation underevaluation (Arce,Fari˜na,&Vilari˜no,2015).TheMMPIWsd,L,Odand MPscales assessedIM, andtheEsd, K,Sand PMH4scales assessed the SD (Arce, Fari˜na, & Vilari˜no, 2015; Bagby &

Marshall,2004; Greene,2011;Strong etal.,1999;Strong, Greene,&Kordinak,2002).

Thesestandardsandguidelinesareenshrinedinthepro- fessionalpracticeofpsychologists(Ackerman&Pritzl,2011;

Archetal.,2011;Archer&Wygant,2012;Bow&Quinnell, 2001).Moreover,judges andthe courtsclassify, according topsychologicalreports,parentalattributesasincapacitat- ingcharacteristics for childcustody (e.g.,drugaddiction, negligence), negative for custody (e.g., parental incom- petence, mental disorders), and positive (e.g., parental abilitiestocaterforthechild’sneeds)(Arce,Fari˜na,&Seijo, 2005).

Researchondefensivenessevaluationhasfocusedmainly ontwocontexts, personnelselection (Strong etal.,2002) andchild custody disputes(Strong etal., 1999), suggest- ing that these MMPI scales and indexes might perform in a different manner across different assessment contexts (Bagby & Marshall, 2004). Thus, Baer and Miller’s (2002) meta-analysishasshownthatthemeaneffectsizeofMMPI- 2traditionalandsupplementary indicesof underreporting washigherforjobapplicants(d=1.55)thanforchildcustody litigants(d=0.99).Nevertheless,theseandotherresultsof thismeta-analysispublishedinthereferencejournalofpsy- chologicalevaluationPsychologicalAssessmentarenotvalid sincetheresultswereincorrectlycomputed,giventhatthe meaneffectsizeswerenotcorrectedforsamplingerror(nor correctedforcriterionunreliability);notwithstanding,these areusedworldwideinforensicsettingasvalidassessments.

Forexample,theunweightedoverallmeaneffectsize(non- correctedforsamplingerror)reportedfortheKscale was d=1.13,whereasthecorrectedsamplingerrorwasd=1.47.

The gap betweencorrected and uncorrected effectsizes, d=0.34,impliesthattheKscaleclassifiedcorrectly16.8%

(r=.16)moredefensivenessthanBaerandMiller’sresults.

Moreover,allthe scales andindexeswere inappropriately mixedina globaleffectsize. Additionally, thesystematic conclusions of the literature, based mainly on the classi- fication accuracy or incremental validity, concerning the superiorityofcertainscalesandindexesoverothers(e.g., Baer&Miller,2002;Bagby,Nicholson,Buis,Radovanovic,&

Fildler,1999;Butcher,1997;Carr,Moretti,&Cue,2005),are notstatisticallysupported.Infact,theapplicationofstatis- ticaltoolstothedataprovidedbyBaerandMilleraboutthe classificationaccuracy(e.g.,thecomputed95%CIs,mean- ingthereareno meandifferences),does notcorroborate thesuperiority.Bearinginmindthesegaps,thetimelapsed fromthelastreviewoftheliterature,2002,ameta-analysis wasundertakentodeterminethemeantrueeffectsizefor eachoftheMMPIscalesandindexesofdefensivenessandto assesstheirutilityinforensicpracticeforevaluatingparents involvedchildcustodylitigation.

Method

Searchofstudies

Thesearchstrategywasaimedatdetectingstudiesevaluat- ingparentsinchildcustodydisputesusinganyofthefamily instruments on the MMPI: MMPI (Hathaway & McKinley, 1940), MMPI-2 (Butcher, Dahlstrom, Graham, Tellegen, &

Kaemmer,1989;Butcheretal.,2001),orMMPI-2-RF (Ben- Porath & Tellegen, 2008/2011). The initial search was intended tolocateprevioussystematic reviewsandmeta- analyses(i.e.,Baer&Miller,2002;Cooke,2010;Romaetal., 2014) from which todraw a list of reviewed articles and descriptors for subsequent searches (i.e., MMPI, response styles, validity scales, child custody litigation, child cus- tody dispute, underreporting, child custody evaluations, defensiveness,fakinggood,parentalcapacityassessment).

These descriptors were used to design search algorithms appliedtoleadingscientificdatabases:WebofScience,Sco- pus, PsycInfoand Proquest Dissertation& Theses. Finally, asearch wasperformed inthe metasearch-engine‘google scholar’.ThesearchwasperformedinJuly2016.Thesesys- temsyieldedatotalof4,310publicationsthatwereapplied thefollowinginclusioncriteria:a)participantswereparents involvedinchildcustodylitigationproceedings;b)empirical studiesreportingeffectsizeorsufficientdataforitscompu- tation(when thiscontingencywasnotmetbut theothers were,theauthorswerecontactedtoobtainthedata);and c) parents wereevaluatedusing the familyinstrument of theMMPI.Studiesinwhichsubjectshadbeeninstructedto respond(simulationresearch)likeparents(mostinstructed studentstobehaveaslitigantparents)incustodydisputes wereexcludedbecausetheresultsofthesesimulationstud- iesenjoyhighfacevalidity,whileexternalvalidityremains untested(Konecni&Ebbesen,1992),andrealsubjectsand those in feigning conditions (simulation research) provide significant differentresults (Amado,Arce, &Fari˜na, 2015;

Amado,Arce,Fari˜na,&Vilari˜no,2016)andhavebeenfound toperformdifferenttasks(Fari˜na,Arce,&Real,1994).Allof thestudiespublishedmeetingthesecriteriawereincluded.

Afterscreening,atotalof32primarystudies(21articles in journals, 2 unpublished studies and 9 doctoral theses) were selected in which the effect sizes of one or more scalesmeasuringdefensivenessontheMMPIwereobtained.

Samples duplicity was controlled, 256 effect sizes were obtained: 67 for the L scale, 65 for the K, 51 for the F, 19fortheS,15fortheWsd,9fortheMP,and1fortheEsd andOd,10fortheF-Kindex,6forL+K,and12forL+K-F.

Codingofprimarystudies

In order to proceed withthe meta-analysisthe following datafromthestudieswascodified:a)articlereference;b) articlesource(paper,unpublisheddata,doctoralthesis);c) sample characteristics(i.e.,size,gender); d)design char- acteristics(evaluationofcustodydisputesorevaluationof parentingabilities,levelofconflict,reportsofsexualabuse, physical abuse, negligence or abandonment, family vio- lence, alienation, descriptor favourable or unfavourable);

e)thestatisticsrequiredforcomputingtheeffectsize.This task wascarried out separately by two researchers,with

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totalconcordance(Cohen’sk=1)inthecoding.Thecharac- teristicsof theprimarystudiesincluded inthisrevieware showninAppendix1.

Data analysis

The effect size of the primarystudies wasobtained with Cohen’s d since the means were systematically reported (nostudy wascorrelational) of groups inthe custody dis- pute evaluation condition (i.e., the target population of this meta-analysis). Primary studies compared indepen- dent groups of cases-controls, multiples groups, repeated measures, and the experimental group witha test value.

Moreover,somestudieswerefoundtoreporttheirresultsin rawscores,butothersusedTscores.Similarly,differentver- sionsoftheMMPIi.e.,MMPI-1,MMPI-2andMMPI-2-RFwere used.WhentheresultswerereportedinTvalues,theeffect sizewasobtainedasfor asinglesampleusingtheformula ofGlass(Glass,1976;Glass,McGraw,&Smith,1981),where themeasureandstandarddeviationofthe‘testvalue’were 50 and 10, respectively. The use of the normative group waspreferredtotheparticularstudycontrolgroupasthe idiosyncrasiesofthisspecificcontrolgroupwerecontrolled bytakingthenormativegroupthatrepresentsthegeneral population(Hunter&Schmidt,2015).Whentheresultswere reportedinrawscores,theseweretransformedintoTscores byusingthemeansandstandarddeviationsofthenormative populationintheMMPImanuals.Forthescalesandindexes notincludedintheMMPImanuals,thetestvalueforcomput- ingdwasthemeancuttingscoresforcoachedparticipants tobe appliedtotest takers involved in legalproceedings (Baer & Miller, 2002), and the standard deviation for the experimentalgroup.Havingcomputedtheeffectssizesthe meta-analysis was performed and corrected for sampling error andcriterion unreliability (procedure of Hunter and Schmidt, 2015), for each of the scales and measurement indexesof defensiveness.Amadoetal.(2015)haveshown theutilityofthreestatisticsforforensicpractice:U1,Bino- mialEffectSizeDisplay(BESD),andProbabilitySuperiority (PS). Thus, thesewere computed to derivethe measures ontheeffectivenessofthescalesandindexesfordetecting defensivenessoverthenatural tendencyfordefensiveness i.e.,respondingdefensivelyevenwithnothingtohideorto giveapositivepresentation(Osuna,López-Martínez,Arce,

& Vázquez, 2015; Palmer, Borrás, Pérez-Pareja, Sesé, &

Vilari˜no,2013).

Criterionreliability

Criterionreliabilityfortheoriginalvalidityscales(Table1) assessing the MMPI and the MMPI-2 (the original scales remain inboth versions withthe exception of 4items on theF scalethat wereeliminatedfromversion2for being offensive) were taken from a meta-analytical review on the reliabilityof theL (70studies), F (70 studies),and K scales(71studies)ofHunsley,Hanson,andParkeret(1988);

andtheMMPI-2-RFManualforadministration,scoring,and interpretation (Ben-Porath & Tellegen,2008/2011). Asfor the additional defensiveness scales, the reliabilityof the S Scale(Superlative) wastakenfromitscreators(Butcher

& Han, 1995), the Wsd was taken from the only study

Table1 Criterionreliability.

Scale/Index ␣12

L .77 .70

F .77 .61

K .82 .68

S .86 —

Wsd .51 —

MP .70 —

F-K .85 —

L+K .84 —

L+K-F .86 —

Note.

1 MMPI/MMPI-2.

2 MMPI-2-RF,Scale/indexnotavailableatthisinstrument.

reportingit(Paulhus,1984),andfortheMP,asnostudywas foundreportingreliability,itwascalculatedonthebasisof 892normativesubjectsevaluatedunderstandardresponse conditions(controlgroupinstudies)fromtheForensicPsy- chologyInstituteoftheUniversityofSantiagodeCompostela (Spain).Nometa-analysiscalculatedEsd andOdscales as onlyonestudywasidentified.Finally,thereliabilityofthe composites(i.e.,F-K,L+K,L+K-F)wascalculatedusingthe formulaofMosier(1943).

Results

Studyofoutliers

Initiallyoutliers[±1.5*IQR]ineachofthescalesandindexes ofdefensivenesswereeliminated.Thistoolfound 2(3.8%) outliersin 53 effect sizes in the F scale; 2 (22%) of 9 in MP; 1 of 15 (6.7%) in Wsd; 1 of 10 (10%) in F-K index;

and4 (33%) of 12in L+K-F.As this techniqueeliminated manyeffectsizes of the MPScale, theF-Kindex andthe L+K-Findex(≥10%, DeDreu & Weingart,2003; Hunter &

Schmidt, 2015; Tukey, 1960), it is likely they were mod- erators,notoutliers.Moreover,theelimination shouldnot accountforanexcessivepercentageofevaluatedsubjects (N), which would substantially affect the MP Scale with thelossof 56.34%of participants.Thus, asecond screen- ing with the criterion M±2SD was performed, being the resultsgeneralizableto96%ofthe futuresamples,with1 outlier,thesameaswithcriterion±1.5*IQR,inF-Kandin L+K-F, and none in MP. Hence, the meta-analysis calcu- latedMPandL+K-Fwiththeeffectsizeswithintheregion M±2SD.Nonetheless,giventhattheeliminationofoutliers reducesthevariance,andinturntheeffectsize,fortheL andWsdscales themeantrue effectsizesof thesamples obtainedwiththe interquartilerange(IQR)criterionwere computed.TheresultsshowedequivalentresultsforL+K-F (␦=1.24and1.20 for thecriterion±1.5*IQR andM±2SD, respectively),andsimilarforMP(apositive,significantand generalizablemeantrueeffectsize),but differentinsize (medium,␦=0.48,withthe±1.5*IQRcriterion;andlarge,

␦=1.08,withtheM±2SDcriterion).

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Table2 Resultsofthemeta-analysesbetweenparentsinchildcustodydisputesandthenormativepopulation.

Scale/Index k N dw SDd SDpre SDresSD %Var 95%CId 80%CI

L+ 67 10642 0.87 0.37 0.16 0.34 0.99 0.38 19.47 0.83,0.91 0.50,1.49

L++ 58 9530 0.93 0.35 0.16 0.31 1.06 0.35 21.79 0.89,0.97 0.60,1.52

K+ 65 10154 0.82 0.27 0.16 0.22 0.91 0.24 36.46 0.78,0.86 0.60,1.23

K++ 57 9074 0.80 0.28 0.16 0.22 0.89 0.25 34.77 0.76,0.84 0.57,1.21

F+ 51 9212 -0.23 0.30 0.15 0.26 -0.27 0.30 23.67 -0.27,-0.19 -0.66,0.13

F++ 43 8132 -0.27 0.29 0.14 0.25 -0.31 0.29 24.94 -0.31,-0.23 -0.68,0.06

S+++ 19 3263 0.85 0.29 0.16 0.24 0.91 0.26 29.85 0.78,0.92 0.57,1.25

Wsd+++ 14 1244 0.78 0.65 0.22 0.61 1.10 0.86 11.51 0.66,0.90 -0.01,2.20

MP+++ 9 1088 0.91 0.45 0.19 0.41 1.08 0.49 17.90 0.79,1.03 0.45,1.71

F-K+++ 9 673 -0.60 0.30 0.23 0.19 -0.65 0.21 59.19 -0.76,-0.44 -0.92,-0.38

L+K+++ 6 188 0.76 0.08 0.37 0 0.83 0 100 0.47,1.05 0.83

L+K-F+++ 11 339 1.11 0.56 0.39 0.40 1.20 0.43 48.64 0.87,1.34 0.64,1.75

Note.+studiesfromoriginalvalidityscalesofMMPI,MMPI-2andreformulatedscalesofMMPI-2-RF;++studiesfromoriginalvalidityscales ofMMPI-2;+++studiesfromtheadditionalvalidityscalesofMMPI-2;k=numberofstudies;N=totalsamplesize;dw=effectsizeweighted forsamplesize;SDd=observedstandarddeviationofd;SDpre=standarddeviationofobservedcorrelationspredictedfromallartifacts;

SDres=standarddeviationofobservedcorrelationsafterremovalofvarianceduetoallartifacts;=effectsizecorrectedforcriterion unreliability;SD=standarddeviationof␦;%Var=varianceaccountedforbyartifactualerrors;95%CId=95%confidenceintervalford;

80%CI=80%credibilityintervalfor␦.

Defensivenessscalesandindexes

Theresultsoftheeffectsizecalculatedforeachscaleand index,thetotalnumberof effectsizes obtained(k);sam- plesize(N);theuncorrectedeffectsizeweightedbysample size(dw),andthestandarddeviation(SDd);theeffectsize correctedfor criterionunreliability(␦);thepercentageof variance explained by the artifactual errors (%Var), 95%

confidenceintervals,and80%credibilityinterval(whenboth intervals have nozero, it indicated the estimated effect size was significant and generalizable, respectively), are shown in Table 2. The results for the L, K, S, MP scales andL+KandL+K-Findexesrevealasignificant(whenthe confidenceintervalhasnozero,indicating theeffectsize wassignificant), positive (between child custody litigants anddefensiveness), generalizable (the credibility interval hadnozero,indicatingtheeffectsizewasgeneralizableto 90%ofothersamples),andlarge(␦>0.80)meantrueeffect size(␦).Similarresultsi.e.,asignificant,positiveandlarge meantrue effectsize,wasfound for Wsd, but itwasnot generalizable.AsfortheFscaleandtheF-Kindex,asignifi- cantandnegativemean trueeffectsizewasfound, small (0.20>␦<0.50) and not generalizable (credibility interval hadzero)forFscale,andmedium(0.50>␦<0.80)andgen- eralizableforF-Kindex.Asonlyoneeffectsizewasfound fortheEsdandOdscales,themeantrueeffectsizescould notbeestimated,theuncorrectedeffectsizewere1.24and 1.38,respectively.

Comparatively, the meantrue effectsizes in the scale andindexeswithapositiveand generalizablerelationship with defensiveness for L, ␦=0.99, 95%CI [0.95, 1.03], K,

␦=0.91,95%CI[0.87,0.95],S,␦=0.91,95%CI[0.84,0.98], and MP, ␦=1.08, 95%CI [0.95, 1.21], scales and for L+K index,␦=0.83,95%CI[0.53,1.13]andL+K-F,␦=1.20,95%CI [0.97,1.43],indexeswereequal(ifthe95%CIsfor␦overlap, itindicatesnomeandifferences).

In terms of utility for forensic practice (Table 3), the resultsrevealedthattheLscaleclassifiedasdefensiveness

Table3 Practicalutilityindicators.

Scale/Index U1 r PS

L .55 .44 .75

K .51 .41 .74

S .51 .41 .74

MP .58 .47 .77

L+K .48 .38 .72

L+K-F .62 .51 .80

Note. Only for scales and indexes with generalizableeffects sizes;U1=Cohen’sU1statistic;r=correlationforBESDcompute;

PS=probabilityofsuperiority.

44.4% more(BESD) protocols inthe population of custody disputes than in the normative group; 55.0% (U1=.55) of theareacoveringbothpopulations(normativeandcustody disputes)did notoverlap i.e., theywere totallyindepen- dent;andaprobabilityof.75(PS)thatsubjectsincustody disputes score higher on the L scale than the population normative. In K, S, MP, L+K and L+K-F, the defensive- nessclassification ratein thecustody disputes population was,respectively, 41.4,41.4,47.6,38.4,and51.6%,more thaninthenormativepopulation;thedistributionsforthe normative population and custody disputes were totally independentin 51.9, 51.9,58.2, 48.7and 62.2%;and the probability of superiority was .74, .74, .77, .72 and .80, thatis,thesewouldbetheprobabilitiesforthepopulation undercustodydisputesscoringhigheronthesescalesthan thenormativepopulation.

The 75% rule (Hunter & Schmidt, 2015) warrants the studyofmoderators,exceptfortheL+Kindex(%Var=100, indicating theprimarystudies werenotentirely randomly distributed,and N[<400]wasinsufficientfor thestudy of moderators). The literature suggests the parent’s gender could play a relevant role in defensiveness (Roma et al., 2014), aswell asthe situational factor (parentchild cus- todydisputes[PCCDs]vs.parentingcapacityassessmentin

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childprotectioncases[PCA-CPCs])(Carretal.,2005).Other moderatorscouldnotbeanalysedduetoinsufficienteffect sizesorNs.Alastmoderator,theversionoftheMMPIi.e., theoriginalMMPI,theMMPI-2andtheMMPI-2-RF,couldnot beexaminedasthestudieswiththeoriginalMMPIandthe MMPI-2-RF,areonlyavailablefortheoriginalvalidityscales, and were insufficient (N<400 and/or k≤3). Thus, results werecomputedforallversionsandonlyfortheMMPI-2(see Table2).

Genderasamoderator

Themeta-analysisonthegenderofthelitigatorasamodera- tor(Table4),inlinewiththegeneralmeta-analysis,showed fortheL,KandSscalesasignificant,positive,generalizable andlarge (or nearlylarge)mean trueeffectsizefor both fathersandmothers.Themeantrueeffectsizesforfathers andmotherswereequal(Table4)inthethreescales(the 95%CIsfor␦overlapped).

IntheFscale,asinthegeneralmeta-analysis,asignifi- cantandnegativemeantrueeffectsizeforbothfathersand mothers was observed. Nevertheless, this negative mean true effect size may be generalised to other samples for fathers,butnotforpopulationsofmothers.

Themeta-analysisfortheWsdandMPscales,andF-Kand L+K-Findexesarenotshownask(≤3)and/orN(<400)were toolowtoguaranteestabilityinsamplingestimates(Hunter

&Schmidt,2015),whichwereinlinewiththegeneralmeta- analysisandequaltogender.

Thecontextofdisputesasmoderator

The context of evaluation (parent child custody disputes [PCCDs] vs. parenting capacity assessment in child pro- tection cases[PCA-CPCs]) appears inprimary studiesas a potentialmoderatorofdifferencesintheevaluationofpar- ents/caregiversincustodydisputes.Tothiseffect,theL,K, FandSscaleswereevaluated.Theresults(Table5)reveal a positive, significant, generalizable and large meantrue effectsizefortheLscalefor bothparents incustodydis- putes and for parents in PCA-CPCs. Notwithstanding, the effect size was significantly larger in PCA-CPCs, ␦=1.41, 95%CI [1.22, 1.60], than in PCCDs, ␦=0.97, 95%CI [0.93, 1.01].As for theKscale, the resultsof themeta-analysis showedapositive,significant,generalizableandlargemean trueeffectsizeforPCCsandofasmallsizeforPCA-CPCs.

IncontrasttotheL,theeffectsizefortheKscalewassig- nificantlylargerinPCCDs,␦=0.95,95%CI[0.91,0.99],than inPCA-CPCs,␦=0.28,95%CI[0.11,0.45].IntheFscalethe resultsshowaninverserelationship:anegative,significant, generalizable and smallmean true effectsize for PCCDs, andpositive,significant,generalizableandlargemeantrue effectsizeinPCA-CPCs.Finally,theresultsfortheSscale showedapositive,significant,generalizableandlargemean trueeffectsizeinPCCDs,andanon-significantmeantrue effectsizeinPCA-CPCs.

Discussion

Thefollowingconclusions maybederivedfromtheresults ofthisstudy.First,noneofthescalesorindexesdetected

totallydefensiveness. Thus,noindicator of defensiveness was a fully efficacious detector on its own and had to beusedincombinationor accumulativelytoenhanceeffi- cacy. Second, in line with the original models, the L, K, S, Mp, Wsd, Od and Esd scales and the L+K and L+K-F indexeswerepositivelyrelatedtodefensiveness,whereas the F scale and the F-K index were negatively related.

Third,theresultsunderminethefindingsofstudies claim- ing the superiority of scale over the other on the basis ofsimply observingthe means and classificationaccuracy (e.g.,Bagbyetal.,1999;Butcher,1997;Carretal.,2005), MMPIreferencemanuals(Graham,2011;Greene,2011),and othermeta-analysis(Baer&Miller,2002),whichshouldbe revised. However, the results for Wsd, F, and F-K were not generalizable i.e., they did not consistently detect inter-study defensiveness. Likewise, the findings of stud- ies reporting the validity of these scales and indexes as detectors ofdefensiveness should alsobe reviewed(e.g., Baer & Miller, 2002; Baer, Wetter, & Berry, 1992, 1995;

Baer,Wetter,Nichols,Greene,&Berry,1995;Bagbyetal., 1997).Forth,theL,K,SandMPscales,andL+KandL+K-F indexes,whoseefficacyindetectingdefensivenesswassim- ilar,werefoundtobethebestdetectors.Fifth, thescales andindexes with generalizable results (i.e., L, K,S, MP, L+K, L+K-F) add to the classification baseline of defen- siveness(normativegroup), withapproximately40 to50%

morecases;thediscriminationrate(independencedistribu- tions)betweenprotocolsofpopulationsincustodydisputes andthenormativepopulation(honestresponse)rangedfrom 50to60%;andtheprobabilitythatparents incustodydis- putes obtained higher scores on the scales and indexes withgeneralizableresultsrangedapproximatelyfrom.75to .80.Sixth,thedefensivenessattitudesof menandwomen in the evaluation of child custody disputes were similar, which disagrees withthe findings of studies claiming dif- ferentattitudes towardstheevaluation (defensiveness)in men and women in child custody disputes (Roma et al., 2014). Seventh, L was a significantly better detector of defensivenessinthePCA-CPCthaninPCCDevaluationcon- text, and both K and S were in PCCDs. Surprisingly, the F scale was related, in line with the model (high scores suspectpotentialfeigning),negatively(betweenparentsin child custody disputes and defensiveness) in PCCDs, but positively related in PCA-CPCs (contrary to the model).

Inshort,attitudes towards theevaluation (defensiveness) weremeasuredaccordingtheevaluationcontexti.e.,PCCDs vs.PCA-CPCs.

Thismeta-analysishasseverallimitationsthatshouldbe borneinmind suchas: a)the results wereobtained from studiesonparentchildcustodydisputesorparentingcapac- ityassessmentinchildprotectioncases,andcautionshould beexercisedingeneralizingthefindingstoothercontexts;

b)theresultsofthemeta-analysisincertainconditionsmay besubjecttoadegreeofvariabilitygiventhatNs<400ok

≤3is noguarantee of thestability of sampling estimates (Hunter & Schmidt, 2015); c) due to insufficient primary studies in the Esd and Od Scales, the effect sizes could notbecorrected;and d)theresults oftheself-deception (SD) and positive impression management (IM) scales cannot be directly generalized to forensic practice since theyare mediated by conscious or not manipulation that havedifferentlegalimplications.

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Table4 Resultsofthemeta-analysesforthegenderofthelitigatorasmoderator.

Scale/Subsample k NT dw SDd SDpre SDresSD %Var 95%CId 80%CI 95%CI LScale

Fathers 24 2783 0.67 0.35 0.19 0.30 0.76 0.34 28.73 0.59,0.75 0.32,1.21 0.68,0.84 Mothers 24 2857 0.81 0.41 0.19 0.37 0.92 0.42 21.21 0.73,0.89 0.38,1.46 0.84,1.00 KScale

Fathers 23 2723 0.67 0.22 0.19 0.11 0.74 0.13 72.18 0.59,0.75 0.57,0.91 0.66,0.82 Mothers 23 2801 0.75 0.23 0.18 0.14 0.84 0.15 64.55 0.67,0.83 0.64,1.04 0.76,0.92 FScale

Fathers 18 2514 -0.34 0.25 0.17 0.18 -0.39 0.21 45.95 -0.42,-0.26 -0.66,-0.11 -0.47,-0.31 Mothers 17 2499 -0.17 0.27 0.16 0.22 -0.20 0.25 36.19 -0.25,-0.09 -0.52,0.12 -0.28,-0.12 SScale

Fathers 8 1306 0.81 0.22 0.16 0.16 0.87 0.17 51.25 0.69,0.93 0.65,1.09 0.75,0.99 Mothers 8 1418 0.90 0.22 0.15 0.15 0.97 0.16 51.05 0.80,0.99 0.76,1.19 0.85,1.09 Note.StudiesonlyfromMMPI-2;95%CI=95%confidenceintervalfor␦.

Table5 Resultsofthemeta-analysesfortheevaluationcontextasmoderator.

Scale/Index k NT dw SDd SDpre SDresSD %Var 95%CId 80%CI

LScale

PCCDs 60 10099 0.85 0.37 0.16 0.34 0.97 0.38 18.43 0.81,0.89 0.47,1.47

PCA-CPCs 7 543 1.24 0.14 0.24 0 1.41 0 100 1.06,1.42 1.41

KScale

PCCDs 58 9611 0.85 0.24 0.16 0.18 0.95 0.20 43.22 0.81,0.89 0.68,1.21

PCA-CPCs 7 543 0.26 0.10 0.22 0 0.28 0 100 0.08,0.44 0.28

FScale

PCCDs 47 8785 -0.28 0.22 0.14 0.16 -0.32 0.19 43.27 -0.32,-0.24 -0.57,-0.07

PCA-CPCs 5 446 0.71 0.29 0.21 0.19 0.81 0.22 55.97 0.53,0.89 0.53,1.10

SScale

PCCDs 16 3043 0.89 0.24 0.15 0.18 0.96 0.20 40.58 0.81,0.97 0.71,1.22

PCA-CPCs 3 220 0.20 0.15 0.23 0 0.21 0 100 -0.07,0.47 0.21

Note.StudiesonlyfromMMPI-2;Meta-analysisonlyforgeneralizedscalesandindexes.

Further research is required to assess the defensive- ness detection capacity of the Esd and Od scales given the lack of studies in the literature and the insufficient Ns;toevaluatetheeffectsoftheevaluationcontext,and toassess the revised MMPI-2-RF scales that could not be used as a moderator in this study owing to the lack of studies. Thus, more studies with the MMPI-2-RF validity scalesarenecessary.Nevertheless, asfor thesubstitution of the L and K, the original defensiveness scales of the MMPI-2,aswell asthe F scale asitwasused tocompute indexes, for thereformulatedones in the MMPI-2-RFi.e., theL-r, K-r,andF-r,and thesubsequentindexesderived from these, a great number of studies with a significan- tlyhigher mean true effectsize willbe required. Hence, a File Drawer Analysis showed that for L,K and F scales wouldbenecessary615,498and143studies,respectively, to reverse the results from MMPI-2 to a trivial effect or to attribute them to a sampling bias. Additionally, there isnoevidenceabout theperformanceoftheindexeswith

the MMPI-2-RF.Moreover,the Sand MPadditionalvalidity scales(resultsfromWsdscale arenotgeneralizable)were notreformulatedforMMPI-2-RF.Asacombinationofallthe measures of defensiveness is necessary toclassify defen- sivenessin forensicpractice(thewrongclassificationof a protocolasdefensiveisnotpermittedinforensicpractice as it supposes a false allegation against assessed person) (Arce,Fari˜na,& Vilari˜no,2015;Fari˜naetal.,2010),while awaitingfurtherevidenceforMMPI-2-RFandfortherefor- mulationof additionalvalidityscales,theMMPI-2 mustbe preferred.

Funding

This research has been sponsored by a grant of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (PSI2014-53085-R).

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Appendix 1. Characteristics of the Primary Studies.

Source Instrument N Subsample Evaluationcontext

AgüeroandÁlvarez-Icaza(2014) Paper MMPI-2 345 Fathers PCCD

342 Mothers PCCD

Arce,Fari˜na,andVilari˜no(2015) Paper MMPI-2 488 All PCCD

Archer,Hagan,Mason,Handle,andArcher(2012) Paper MMPI-2-RF 172 Fathers PCCD 172 Mothers PCCD

Bagbyetal.(1999) Paper MMPI-2 57 Fathers PCCD

58 Mothers PCCD

Bathurst,Gottfried,andGottfried(1997) Paper MMPI-2 258 Fathers PCCD 250 Mothers PCCD

Butcher(1997) Paper MMPI-2 868 Fathers PCCD

911 Mothers PCCD

Caldwell(2004) Unpublished MMPI-2 1867 All PCCD

Carretal.(2005) Paper MMPI-2 73 Fathers PCA-CPC

91 Mothers PCA-CPC

Cooke(2010) Paper MMPI-2 50 Fathers PCCD

50 Mothers PCCD

Daskalakis(2004) Doctoralthesis MMPI-2 49 All PCCD

Ezzo,Pinsoneault,andEvans(2007) Paper MMPI-2 70 All PCCD

205 All PCCD

Fari˜naetal.(2010) Paper MMPI-2 126 All PCCD

Gordon,Stoffey,andBottinelli(2008) Paper MMPI-2 79 Fathers PCCD

79 Mothers PCCD

Gordon,Stoffey,andBottinelli(2008) Paper MMPI-2 41 Fathers PCCD

41 Mothers PCCD

7 Fathers PCCD

7 Mothers PCCD

31 Fathers PCCD

31 Mothers PCCD

Gready(2006) Doctoralthesis MMPI-2 31 Fathers PCA-CPC

66 Mothers PCA-CPC 116 Fathers PCCD 124 Mothers PCCD

Hopkins(1999) Doctoralthesis MMPI/MMPI-2 207 Fathers PCCD

219 Mothers PCCD

Kauffman,Stolberg,andMadero(2015) Paper MMPI-2 51 All PCCD

Leib(2006) Doctoralthesis MMPI-2 6 Fathers PCCD

18 Mothers PCCD

7 Fathers PCCD

18 Mothers PCCD

Mandappa(2004) Doctoralthesis MMPI-2 420 All PCCD

MorelandandGreenberg(1993) Unpublished MMPI 201 All PCCD

MMPI-2 33 Fathers PCCD

32 Mothers PCCD

Normington(2006) Doctoralthesis MMPI-2 19 All PCA-CPC

19 All PCCD

OllendickandCollings(1984) Paper MMPI 38 Fathers PCCD

38 Mothers PCCD

Peters(2012) Doctoralthesis MMPI-2 68 All PCCD

57 All PCCD

PosthumaandHarper(1998) Paper MMPI-2 40 Fathers PCCD

40 Mothers PCCD

27 Fathers PCCD

27 Mothers PCCD

27 Fathers PCCD

27 Mothers PCCD

Rehil(2011) Doctoralthesis MMPI-2 61 All PCCD

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Source Instrument N Subsample Evaluationcontext

ResendesandLecci(2012) Paper MMPI-2 136 All PCA-CPC

Romaetal.(2014) Paper MMPI-2 194 Fathers PCCD

197 Mothers PCCD

Schenk(1996) Paper MMPI-2 60 Fathers PCCD

56 Mothers PCCD

46 Fathers PCCD

34 Mothers PCCD

StrednyandArcher(2006) Paper MMPI-2 127 All PCA-CPC

Strongetal.(1999) Paper MMPI-2 206 Fathers PCCD

206 Mothers PCCD

WakefieldandUnderwager(1990) Paper MMPI-2 32 Fathers PCCD

27 Mothers PCCD

Wisneski(2006) Doctoralthesis MMPI-2 626 All PCCD

Note.PCCD=parentchildcustodydisputes;PCA-CPC=parentingcapacityassessmentinchildprotectioncases.

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