Assessment of prescription stimulant misuse among college students using the MMPI-2-RF

Veronica A. Thornton, Cody G. Dodd, Nathan C. Weed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Prescription stimulant misuse (PSM) is a growing concern on college campuses and more research is needed to validate clinical measures commonly used for the assessment of risk for PSM among college students. The present study examined correlations between scores on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory–Second Edition–Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF) and self- and peer-reported misuse of prescription stimulants and other drugs in a sample of 96 pairs (included within a total N = 212) of undergraduate students. Nearly half of the participants (48%) reported that they had been offered prescription stimulants and one quarter (26%) reported trying someone else's prescription stimulant medications, often to perform better academically. Scores on the MMPI-2-RF scales designed to measure general substance misuse (Substance Abuse [SUB]) and related behavioral or externalizing constructs (e.g., Antisocial Behavior [RC4], Behavioral/Externalizing Dysfunction [BXD], and Disconstraint-Revised [DISC-r]), were correlated positively with both self- and peer-reported prescription stimulant misuse (rs = 0.45–0.66), as well as with problematic use of other drugs (rs = 0.44–0.63). MMPI-2-RF scales designed to measure constructs in the domains of Emotional/Internalizing, Somatic/Cognitive, and Thought Dysfunction, as well as Interpersonal Functioning, had weaker correlations with misuse of prescription stimulants (rs < 0.24) and other drugs (rs < 0.29). These results provide support for the convergent validity of the MMPI-2-RF with regard to the assessment of prescription stimulant misuse and general drug misuse among college students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106511
JournalAddictive Behaviors
StatePublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • College students
  • MMPI-2-RF
  • Psychological assessment
  • Stimulants
  • Substance misuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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