Cognitive underperformance and symptom over-reporting in a mixed psychiatric sample

Brechje Dandachi-Fitzgerald, Rudolf W. H. M. Ponds, Maarten J. V. Peters, Harald Merckelbach

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The current study examined the prevalence of cognitive underperformance and symptom over-reporting in a mixed sample of psychiatric patients (N = 183). We employed the Amsterdam Short-Term Memory Test (ASTM) to measure cognitive underperformance and the Structured Inventory of Malingered Symptomatology (SIMS) to measure the tendency to over-report symptoms. We also administered neuropsychological tests (e.g., Concept Shifting Task; Rey's Verbal Learning Test) and the Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90) to the patients. A total of 34% of them failed the ASTM, the SIMS or both tests. ASTM and SIMS scores were significantly, albeit modestly, correlated with each other (r =-.22). As to the links between underperformance, over-reporting, neuropsychological tasks, and the SCL-90, the association between over-reporting on the SIMS and SCL-90 scores was the most robust one. The subsample that only failed on the ASTM performed significantly worse on a compound index of memory performance. Our findings indicate that underperformance and over-reporting are loosely coupled dimensions and that particularly over-reporting is intimately linked to heightened SCL-90 scores. © 2011 Psychology Press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)812-828
JournalClinical Neuropsychologist
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes

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