Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Clinical.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The primary purpose of this study was to compare psychiatric, forensic, and inmate groups in an attempt to clarify the forensic distinction. The second purpose of this study was to examine the applicability of the Overcontrolled Hostility (O-H) scale of the MMPI and its corresponding typology (Megargee, 1967) to the forensic and inmate groups. This typology suggests that persons who commit severely assaultive crimes tend to overcontrol their hostility and score higher on the O-H scale than do persons who commit mildly/moderately assaultive crimes. Sixty subjects per group from an inpatient psychiatry unit, a medium secure forensic assessment unit, and a medium secure Federal Correctional Institution were assessed at admission. Half of the forensic and inmate subjects had been charged with a severely assaultive crime (e.g., murder, attempted murder) and half had been charged with a mildly/moderately assaultive crime (e.g., theft, break and enter) Demographic information, IQ, and MMPI scores, including the O-H scale, were collected for these 180 subjects. Severely assaultive forensic subjects obtained significantly higher O-H scale scores than did mildly/moderately assaultive forensic subjects. Similarly, severely assaultive inmates obtained significantly higher O-H scores than did mildly/moderately assaultive inmates. In addition, both severely assaultive forensic subjects and severely assaultive inmates obtained significantly higher O-H scores than did the group of nonoffending psychiatric subjects. These findings provided further support for the theoretical and clinical utility of the O-H scale within offender populations. Suggestions for future areas of research with this scale were offered. While forensic subjects shared characteristics with both psychiatric subjects and inmates, discriminant function analysis found the forensic group to be more similar to the psychiatric group than to the inmate group, based upon MMPI scores, IQ, age, and education. Certain MMPI scales were found to be more effective in this discrimination than were others and the clinical implications of these scales were discussed. The forensic subjects in this study were less often diagnosed psychotic as compared to the psychiatric subjects, and they tended to exhibit milder indications of psychopathology. Alcohol abuse was a frequently diagnosed problem for forensic subjects, as compared to the other two groups. The implications of these and other distinguishing forensic characteristics for the assessment and treatment of forensic subjects were discussed. Finally, recommendations for further investigation within the forensic speciality were offered.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1986 .S353. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 47-05, Section: B, page: 2185. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1986.