Use of the MMPI-2 in Child Custody Evaluations Involving Battered Women: What Does Psychological Research Tell Us?
When a custody evaluation is conducted by a psychologist, the revised version of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2) is often used as part of the evaluation process. The MMPI-2, like other traditional psychological tests, was not designed to be used in custody evaluations and arguably should not be used for such purpose except “when specific problems or issues that these tests were designed to measure appear salient in the case.”
If it used, Erickson notes that “great care must be taken” as “a misinterpretation could result in placing custody of a child with a batterer, which could put the child at severe risk.”
Erickson reviews research on the use of MMPI evaluations with battered women and found that that the psychological stress that battered women suffer may result in MMPI scores that do not accurately evaluate their ability to parent. Erickson, Nancy S. (2005, Spring). Use of the MMPI-2 in Child Custody Evaluations Involving Battered Women: What Does Psychological Research Tell Us? Family Law Quarterly vol 39, no. 1, p. 87-108.