Comparing Family Functioning Levels in Individuals Using the MMPI-2

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Kaverman, Kristen
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Previous research has demonstrated a relationship between poor family functioning (i.e. poor communication, a lack of bonding and cohesion, and family conflict) and problems within individual areas (i.e. juvenile delinquency, social adjustment, substance abuse, and bipolar disorder) in adolescents. The current study examines the relationship between family functioning, as measured by the Family Functioning Scale (FFS), and scale scores on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2). Participants were 1,109 students from a Midwestern university (449 Men and 660 Women) ranging in age from 18 to 53 (mean age = 19.47). All participants completed a computer-administered version of the MMPI-2 and FFS, as part of a larger study. Zero-order correlations were calculated between the FFS total score and MMPI-2 scales. Results indicated that poor family functioning is most highly correlated with the MMPI-2 Content Scale Family Problems; however, poor family functioning was also related to scores on Content Scales, Depression scale and Low Self Esteem scale, as well as Supplementary Scales, College Maladjustment scale, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder-Keane scale on the MMPI-2. The research suggests that individuals with poor family functioning are more likely to have problems with depression and low self-esteem and may also be more likely to deal with symptoms related to PTSD. Treatment implications are also discussed.