Culture specific MMPI norms for a sample of Northern Ontario Indians / by Karen Charles. --
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The most recent controversy to arise in the area of ethnic exceptions to normative data in the use of the MMPI centers on the establishment of minority norms. Significant general profile and specific scale elevations have been reported for a number of ethnic groups and although research with American and Canadian Indians is limited, consistent elevations have been reported for both psychiatric and normal samples. In light of these findings, arguments proposing the establishment of culture specific norms for Indian populations have arisen in the literature. The purpose of the present study therefore was to examine the utility of compiling native norms for a primarily Ojibway and Cree population in the region north of Lake Superior. The sample consisted of 47 males and 56 females ranging in age from 18 to 58 years. Group Form MMPIs were administered and demographic questionnaires accompanied the test. Two tailed z-tests were performed on the 13 scales with and without K. All means were found to be significantly different from the population of Minnesota normals. In light of the recent controversy surrounding the comparison of mean differences, results are discussed in terms of proportions of individuals scoring greater than T=70 on individual K corrected scales. In view of the results, it was concluded that normal native scores are extreme enough to result in the misclassification of 50% of the population on scales F, D, PD+K, PA, PT+K, SC+K, and MA+K. With the exception of pathological groups, results from the present study indicating extreme elevations differ from those of previous studies in terms of the degree of deviation observed. Disconcordance is thought to be reflective of variability introduced by methodological, regional, socioeconomic, and acculturation differences and is believed to be further evidence for the establishment of regional ethnic norms. Since it was determined that standard norms are inappropriate for use with the Indian population in question, K corrected raw scores obtained from the native sample were transformed to a distribution having a mean of 50 and a standard deviation of 10 for each scale. Raw score conversion tables and profile sheets were then derived for each sex. However, while the present research demonstrated that the Minnesota norms are not valid for use with the Indian population in northern Ontario, the clinical utility of local norms in the diagnosis of pathological individuals remains in question since it has not been demonstrated that the usual interpretation of elevated scales will be equally applicable to profiles plotted against local norms. It is suggested that future research be directed at an examination of the validity of the MMPI in the detection of pathological Indian subgroups in the region for which these norms have been developed.