Date of Award

Summer 7-14-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology



First Advisor

Poreh, Amir

Second Advisor

Reardon, Kathleen

Third Advisor

McMahon, Colleen

Subject Headings



The feigning of psychiatric symptoms is of great concern in both clinical and forensic settings. Therefore, it is crucial to develop reliable and valid measures that are not only diagnostically valid but also allow for the detection of individuals who are attempting to exaggerate illness in order to receive monetary compensation or escape duty or work. The present study was initiated so as to assess the psychometric properties of a new measure for the assessment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the A-PTSD Scale. This 35-item self-report measure relies on the DSM-V criteria and employs indirect questioning as well as reversed items to provide more security against the feigning of symptoms. The A-PTSD scale utilizes two subscales: the primary PTSD scale which provides a total score, and a resiliency scale. The resiliency scale is intended to work as both a prognostic measure and a validity scale. Namely, there is ample research showing that individuals with such traits can successfully recover from adverse experiences. As such, they are less likely to suffer from long-term chronic PTSD symptoms. Given that stand-alone PTSD measures are impacted by confirmatory bias the A-PTSD scale was intended to be embedded within the 148-item CAP-Q, a multiscale self-report measure that includes its own traditional validity scales. The results of the study show that A-PTSD psychometric properties are not impacted by being embedded within the CAP-Q. It also had comparable reliability with existing PTSD measures and was able to discriminate between PTSD simulators and non-simulators, correlated with cognitive measures of effort. Overall, the A-PTSD appears to have incremental utility over traditional measures, although additional studies using clinical populations are recommended prior to adapting measure into clinical practice.

Included in

Psychology Commons