Document Type


Date of Degree


Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

John Westefeld

First Committee Member

Elizabeth Altmaier

Second Committee Member

William Liu

Third Committee Member

Timothy Ansley

Fourth Committee Member

Donald Black

Fifth Committee Member

Leonard Welsh


The rate of incarcerated individuals in the United States continues to grow. At midyear 2005 the Nation's prisons and jails incarcerated 2,186,230 persons. (Bureau of Justice 1). Prison systems are in need of a brief mental health-screening tool that rapidly and readily identifies mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse in inmates to improve the approach to mental health diagnosis and treatment throughout an offender's incarceration. This study was designed to assess whether the Modified Mini Screen (MMS) is a valid screening measure for identifying mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and psychotic disorders in newly admitted inmates during the intake and reception process in prisons. For this study, 130 individual's MMS scores were compared with results from the Brief Symptom Inventory to determine the proportion in each group with mental illness.

Findings show concurrent validity for age, ethnicity, level of education, and history of substance abuse and mental health. Concurrent validity of the MMS with the BSI was better for females than for males for. Results suggest that the sensitivity of the MMS is somewhat weak, as it only has a 55% chance of correctly identifying a mentally ill individual as being mentally ill. For females, the sensitivity of MMS was 87.5%, while the specificity was 100%. Moreover, for males, the sensitivity of MMS was 46.9%, while the specificity was 95.6%. These results suggest that the concurrent validity of the MMS with the BSI was better for females than for males for in this study sample.


2, vii, 84 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 59-63).


Copyright 2008 Jennifer Lynn Spotts

Included in

Psychology Commons