Poster Title (Current Submission)

Personality and Parenting: Links Between Traits Relevant to Personality Pathology and Court Outcomes in Department of Human Services (DHS) Assessment Cases

Major(s)

Psychology, Spanish

Minor(s)

Religious Studies

Minor

Human Relations

Mentor Name

Theresa Morgan

Mentor Department

Psychology

Presentation Date

3-26-2011

Abstract

Psychological evaluations of parental competency assess parents’ ability to care for and make appropriate decisions with regard to their children. Such evaluations commonly include measures of personality characteristics, and/or diagnoses of personality disorder, that might interfere with parenting. Currently however, the most frequently administered tests are the MMPI and the MMCI which have been criticized for confounding personality with symptom dimensions and whose scales do not correspond well with factors from current personality research. The current study examines links between trait measures of personality pathology and court outcomes in 100 parenting cases from the Seashore Psychology Clinic at the University of Iowa. Personality was assessed using self- (Schedule for Nonadaptive and Adaptive Personality; SNAP/SNAP-2) and other- (Schedule for Personality from Notes and Documents; SPAN-DOC) report scales. Court-outcome variables include legal charges prior and subsequent to evaluation, grounds for DHS/court involvement, and outcomes of cases related to the evaluation. Preliminary results suggest that personality traits—and specifically those linked to impulsivity or disinhibition—can be linked meaningfully to legal variables. These data demonstrate the utility of trait measures in evaluations of parental competency and provide an empirical link between competency assessments and family outcomes.

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Mar 26th, 12:00 AM

Personality and Parenting: Links Between Traits Relevant to Personality Pathology and Court Outcomes in Department of Human Services (DHS) Assessment Cases

Psychological evaluations of parental competency assess parents’ ability to care for and make appropriate decisions with regard to their children. Such evaluations commonly include measures of personality characteristics, and/or diagnoses of personality disorder, that might interfere with parenting. Currently however, the most frequently administered tests are the MMPI and the MMCI which have been criticized for confounding personality with symptom dimensions and whose scales do not correspond well with factors from current personality research. The current study examines links between trait measures of personality pathology and court outcomes in 100 parenting cases from the Seashore Psychology Clinic at the University of Iowa. Personality was assessed using self- (Schedule for Nonadaptive and Adaptive Personality; SNAP/SNAP-2) and other- (Schedule for Personality from Notes and Documents; SPAN-DOC) report scales. Court-outcome variables include legal charges prior and subsequent to evaluation, grounds for DHS/court involvement, and outcomes of cases related to the evaluation. Preliminary results suggest that personality traits—and specifically those linked to impulsivity or disinhibition—can be linked meaningfully to legal variables. These data demonstrate the utility of trait measures in evaluations of parental competency and provide an empirical link between competency assessments and family outcomes.