Symptom Exaggeration in Post-Secondary Students: Preliminary Base Rates in a Canadian Sample
Harrison, Allyson G
Edwards, Melanie J
Applied neuropsychology 2010 Apr ; 17(2): 135-43
Recent studies conducted at American post-secondary institutions report that a high proportion of college students seeking evaluations for either attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or learning disorders fail symptom validity tests (SVTs), calling into question the validity of their performance on standardized assessment measures. The current study undertook to investigate the rate of SVT failure in a Canadian post-secondary sample, drawing on assessment data from a large regional assessment facility. Evaluating the data from 144 consecutively tested students, the present study found that 14.6% of students failed an SVT, and those who failed returned lower scores on many other assessment measures compared with those who passed. These findings indicate that the rate of symptom exaggeration or low test-taking effort may be lower in Canadian samples than in U.S. samples but still represents a substantial number of students. Recommendations and suggestions for future directions are discussed.
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