A Beginner's Guide to the MMPI–A

Pages: 314
Item #: 4317255
ISBN: 978-1-4338-0938-5
List Price: $49.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $39.95
Copyright: 2011
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock
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For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories


The MMPI–A is the most widely used personality inventory for adolescents, and there are no two people who know it better than Carolyn L. Williams and James N. Butcher.

A Beginner's Guide to the MMPI–A provides an introduction to an assessment standard that is solidly grounded in adolescent psychology. It can be used as a text in graduate classes, as a how-to for psychologists interpreting the MMPI–A, or as a reference book. It is written for a diverse audience to include physicians, social workers, counselors, and attorneys, along with psychologists.

Williams and Butcher explain, in jargon-free language, how the MMPI–A was developed and how it can be interpreted using the multiple scales added over its almost 70-year history. The book walks the reader through the steps of test administration, scoring, interpretation, and how to integrate the MMPI–A into a psychological evaluation. The authors also demystify computerized interpretive systems for the MMPI–A.

Readers have the opportunity to quiz themselves on how scale scores take shape as interpretive statements, and to interact with 15 case scenarios. Finally, the authors provide step-by-step guidance on the best practices for sharing their interpretive reports with adolescents and parents in MMPI–A feedback sessions.

Table of Contents


  1. Understanding Adolescence: A Conceptual Framework for Personality and Behavior
  2. History and Development of the MMPI–A
  3. The Nuts and Bolts: Administering, Scoring, and Augmenting MMPI–A Assessments
  4. Getting Down to the Basics: Validity and Standard Scales
  5. Beyond the Basics: MMPI–A Content Measures, PSY-5, and Supplementary Scales
  6. Globalization of the MMPI–A: Making Culturally Inclusive Interpretations
  7. The MMPI–A and the Digital Age
  8. Putting It All Together: An Interpretive Strategy and Report Writing
  9. The Feedback Loop: Sharing MMPI–A Information With Adolescents and Parents

Appendix A. References on the MMPI–A

Appendix B. Butcher and Williams's Responses to Pop Quiz in Exhibit 7.3

Glossary of MMPI–A Terms



About the Authors

Author Bio

Carolyn L. Williams, PhD, is an emeritus professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. Her doctoral work was completed at the University of Georgia in clinical psychology with a comajor in child and family development.

In 1993 she was named a fellow of APA Division 5 (Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics) and a charter member and diplomate of the American Board of Assessment Psychology.

Dr. Williams has more than 30 years of experience in research, practice, and teaching about the MMPI, MMPI-2, and MMPI–A. She is a coauthor of the MMPI–A and many of its scales, including the Content Scales, Content Component Scales, the alcohol–drug problem scales (ACK and PRO), and PSY-5 Scales. With James N. Butcher, she developed the widely used computerized system The Minnesota Report: Adolescent Interpretive System and wrote the textbook Essentials of MMPI-2 and MMPI–A Interpretation.

In addition to her work on the MMPI instruments, Dr. Williams is a cocreator of Project Northland, published by the Hazelden Foundation. Project Northland is one of the few prevention programs in use in American schools with scientific evidence that its programs actually reduce alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use by adolescents. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism funded Project Northland research from1990 to 2007 and is currently funding follow-up research on a cohort from Chicago.

James N. Butcher, PhD, obtained his bachelor's degree in psychology at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and his master of arts degree in experimental psychology and PhD in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was awarded Doctor Honoris Causa by the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Florence in Italy for his cross-cultural research, much of which was on the MMPI instruments.

Currently, he is a professor emeritus in psychology at the University of Minnesota and is a former editor of the APA journal Psychological Assessment. He consults and testifies as an expert witness in trials involving the MMPI–2 and MMPI–A.

Dr. Butcher was the lead author of both the MMPI–A and MMPI–2 and developed the Minnesota Reports, a computerized interpretive system, for the MMPI and then for the MMPI–2 and MMPI–A (with Carolyn L. Williams).

Recent books include A Beginner's Guide to the MMPI–2, Third Edition (2011); Oxford Handbook of Personality (2009); Assessing Hispanic Clients Using the MMPI–2 and MMPI–A (2007, with José Cabiya, Emilia Lucio, and Maria Garrido); The MMPI, MMPI–2 and MMPI–A in Court: A Practical Guide for Expert Witnesses and Attorneys, Third Edition (2006, with Ken Pope and Joyce Seelan); and Abnormal Psychology in Modern Life, 14th Edition (2010, with Susan Mineka and Jill Hooley).