Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-Adolescent-Restructured Form

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-Adolescent-Restructured Form® (MMPI-A-RF®) is the most up-to-date, empirically-based personality assessment for use with adolescents. The test mirrors the structure of the MMPI-2-RF® and includes several adolescent-specific scales to provide a valuable alternative to the MMPI-A® test. Guidance on using this test in telepractice
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MMPI-A-RF Validity Scales Answer Key
9780749171377 Qualification Level C

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Publication date:


Age range:
14 – 18
Reading Level:
4.9 grade (Lexile average), 4.4 grade (Flesch-Kincaid)
Qualification level:
Completion time:
25 to 30 minutes computer-administered; 30-45 minutes paper and pencil
Web-based (Q-global), Computer-based (Q Local), paper and pencil
241 True-False items
Scoring options:
Q-global® Scoring & Reporting, Q Local™ Software, Hand Scoring.
Report Options:

Score and Interpretive Reports


The MMPI-A-RF norms are non-gendered, drawn from the MMPI-A normative sample, and consist of 1,610 adolescents (805 boys; 805 girls) between 14 and 18 years of age from several regions of the U.S., a balanced sample for region, rural-urban residence, and ethnicity.

Guidance on using this test in your telepractice.

Product Details

The MMPI-A-RF is the most up-to-date, empirically based personality assessment for use with adolescents. The test mirrors the structure of the MMPI-2-RF, the most recent version for use with adults, and includes several adolescent-specific scales.  The MMPI-A-RF is composed of 241 items, is linked to current models of psychopathology and personality, and features 48 empirically validated scales relevant for use with adolescents in a variety of clinical, forensic, and school settings.

The MMPI-A-RF provides a valuable alternative to the MMPI-A test. The MMPI-A test continues to be published and fully supported by the University of Minnesota Press and distributed exclusively by Pearson.

How to use this test

The MMPI-A-RF provides relevant information to aid clinicians in problem identification, diagnosis, and treatment planning for adolescents' ages 14 to 18. Clinical, school, and counseling psychologists can use this self-report inventory to support:

  • Diagnosis and treatment planning in a variety of settings.
  • Early identification of potential problems and possible root causes.
  • Information sharing with parents, teachers, and others in the adolescent's support network.
  • Decision making for appropriate referrals.


Key Features

  • Psychometrically up-to-date and linked to current models of psychopathology. The test manual provides comprehensive documentation on the development of this contemporary broadband assessment - including empirical correlates of the scales in a variety of settings.
  • Comparison Groups. Data are reported in the test manual, and can be accessed in the reports for an additional level of interpretation that allows the comparison of individual test results with relevant reference groups. 
  • Customizable reporting. Innovative scoring and reporting software allows a clinician to create and share custom comparison groups as well as to set user-designated parameters for reporting item-level information on additional scales and for lowering cutoffs on critical responses.
  • Nationally representative normative sample. Drawn from the MMPI-A normative sample, the MMPI-A-RF norms consists of 1,610 adolescents (805 boys; 805 girls) ages 14 to 18 years of age from several regions of the U.S., a balanced sample for region, rural-urban residence, and ethnicity.
  • Only 30-45 minutes to administer.  Save even more time with computer administration, which takes only 25 to 30 minutes.  

Comparison Groups

The following gender-specific comparison groups are available in the Score and Interpretive Reports.

  • MMPI-A-RF Normative (boys) (girls)
  • Psychiatric Outpatient, National (boys) (girls)
  • Psychiatric Inpatient, National (boys) (girls)
  • Acute Psychiatric Inpatient, Midwest (boys) (girls)
  • Psychiatric Residential Treatment, Midwest (boys) (girls)
  • Forensic Predisposition, Mid-Atlantic (boys) (girls)
  • Forensic Correctional, National (boys) (girls)
  • Forensic Detention, Midwest (boys)
  • Medical Setting, National (boys) (girls)
  • School Setting, National (boys) (girls)


View list of scales

Psychometric Information

The MMPI-A-RF normative sample is drawn from the MMPI-A normative sample. It consists of 1,610 adolescents (805 boys; 805 girls) ages 14 to 18  from several regions of the U.S., a balanced sample for region, rural-urban residence, and ethnicity.


Find out how to use this test in your telepractice.

Learn more

Scoring & Reporting

The Score and Interpretive Reports provide raw and scores for all 48 empirically validated scales of the MMPI-A-RF. Comparative means and standard deviations from one of 10 different standard settings, or a custom comparison group, can optionally be reported.

Score Report

  • Six validity scales offer reliable measures of random responding, fixed responding, over-reporting, and under-reporting—enabling clinicians to comprehensively assess protocol validity.
  • Higher-Order Scales assess the three over-arching dimensions of psychopathology: Emotional Internalizing Dysfunction (EID), Thought Dysfunction (THD), and Behavioral/Externalizing Dysfunction (BXD).
  • Somatic/Cognitive and Internalizing Scales include measures of self-reported poor health and specific somatic and cognitive complaints as well as measures of emotional dysfunction.
  • Externalizing, Interpersonal, and Interest Scales provide measures of behavioral dysfunction; measures of specific types of interpersonal dysfunction; and measures of two types of general interests.
  • Updated from the MMPI-A, Harkness and McNulty's PSY-5 Scales provide a temperament-oriented perspective on major dimensions of personality pathology.

Sample Reports

Interpretive Report

In addition to full scoring information, the Interpretive Report contains the following narrative sections:

  • Comprehensive information about potential threats to test validity
  • Substantive Scale Interpretation—Description of clinical symptoms, personality characteristics, and behavioral tendencies
  • Diagnostic Considerations—Any diagnostic possibilities indicated by test results
  • Treatment Considerations—Recommendations pertaining to treatment planning
  • Item-Level Information—List of unscorable responses, critical responses, and user-designated item-level information (if selected)
  • Endnotes—Identification of scores that triggered each statement

Sample Reports

Scoring and Reporting Options

Q-global™ Web-based Administration, Scoring, and Reporting – Enables you to quickly assess and efficiently organize examinee information, generate scores, and produce accurate comprehensive reports all via the Web.

Q Local™ Scoring and Reporting Desktop Software - Enables you to score assessments, report results, and store and export data on your computer.

Manual Scoring – Administer assessments on answer sheets and score them yourself with answer keys and profile/record forms.



Frequently asked questions follow. Click on a question to see the response.

Invalid Report and Demographic Defaults

What demographic information is required to generate an MMPI-A-RF software-based report?

Test Date, Birth Date, ID, and Gender must be provided. The software will not generate any report without this information. Age is calculated from the Test Date and Birth Date. If the client is younger than 12 or older than 18, no report will be generated.

My MMPI-A-RF Score Report is invalid, but it doesn't say that on the report. Why not?

The Score Report provides profiles and scores for the MMPI-A-RF scales, but does not provide an interpretation. Interpretation of the Score Report, including invalidity determination, is the responsibility of the test user.

How does the MMPI-A-RF Interpretive Report deal with invalid protocols?

The full text of the Interpretive Report will not be generated if scores on the Validity Scales raise significant concerns about the interpretability of the results. In such cases, the profiles will be plotted but will be marked by a statement indicating that the protocol is invalid. The automated interpretation in these cases will be limited to addressing concerns about the validity of the protocol.

The MMPI-A Interpretive Report indicates that a protocol is valid and interpretable, but the MMPI-A-RF Interpretive Report indicates that the same protocol is invalid. Which version of the test and report should I rely upon?

The MMPI-A-RF Validity Scales are similar but not identical to the MMPI-A Validity Scales. The former are less redundant (e.g., there is no item overlap on the VRIN-r and TRIN-r scales) and more up-to-date (e.g., unlike F, F-r includes only items rarely endorsed by adolescents in the MMPI-A normative sample and inpatient, outpatient, correctional, and school settings). Because all of the MMPI-A-RF items are embedded in the MMPI-A, if the MMPI-A-RF report indicates that the protocol is invalid, then the MMPI-A results are likely invalid as well and should not be interpreted. In the reverse case of the MMPI-A-RF report indicating that the protocol is valid, while the MMPI-A report declares it invalid, the MMPI-A-RF results can be interpreted with caution.

Why can’t I get an MMPI-A-RF report for an 11-year-old?

There is no research at this time to support use of the MMPI-A-RF with adolescents younger than 12.

Norms and Scales

Are the MMPI-A-RF norms different from the MMPI-A norms?

No new normative data were collected for the MMPI-A-RF. The MMPI-A-RF normative sample is drawn from the MMPI-A normative sample and consists of 1,610 adolescents (805 boys; 805 girls) ages 14 to 18 from several regions of the U.S., a balanced sample with respect to region, rural-urban residence, and ethnicity. The MMPI-A-RF T scores are non-gendered.

Are MMPI-A-RF norms available for different cultures?

American minorities are included in the normative sample. There are no separate cultural norms for any version of the MMPI.

Are all MMPI-A-RF scales copyrighted?


Does the MMPI-A-RF include adolescent-specific scales?

Yes, several Externalizing Scales are unique to the MMPI-A-RF: Negative School Attitudes (NSA), Antisocial Attitudes (ASA), Conduct Problems (CNP), and Negative Peer Influence (NPI).

Restructured Clinical (RC) Scales

Are the MMPI-A-RF RC Scales the same as the MMPI-2-RF RC Scales?

The Restructured Clinical (RC) Scales, introduced with the MMPI-2 in 2003 and integrated into the MMPI-2-RF in 2008, were used as a template in developing the MMPI-A-RF RC Scales. Whereas the MMPI-A-RF RC Scales overlap considerably with their MMPI-2-RF counterparts, they do not include all items from the MMPI-2-RF RC Scales and do include some adolescent-specific items. Both sets of scales assess the same constructs. Construction of the MMPI-A-RF RC Scales is described in the development chapter of the MMPI-A-RF Administration, Scoring, Interpretation, and Technical Manual.

Do the RC Scales overlap?

As is the case with the MMPI-2/MMPI-2-RF RC Scales, the MMPI-A-RF RC Scales have no overlapping items.

What are the intercorrelations of the MMPI-A-RF scales?

Scale intercorrelations of the MMPI-A-RF normative and development samples are reported in Tables 3-17 through 3-26 of the MMPI-A-RF Administration, Scoring, Interpretation, and Technical Manual.

What are the reliabilities of the MMPI-A-RF scales?

Test-retest and internal consistency reliability estimates for all of the MMPI-A-RF scale scores are provided in Chapter 3 of the MMPI-A-RF Administration, Scoring, Interpretation, and Technical Manual.

What are the recommended cut-offs for interpreting elevations on the MMPI-A-RF Substantive Scales?

Interpretive guidelines and specific cut-off recommendations for all MMPI-A-RF scales are provided in Chapter 7 of the MMPI-A-RF Administration, Scoring, Interpretation, and Technical Manual. In general, clinically significant elevations on the Substantive Scales are identified beginning at T score 60. This is a change from the MMPI-A, in which T scores in the 60-64 range are identified as “borderline” elevations by means of a grey zone. Research conducted after publication of the MMPI-A indicates that T score 60 is the optimal cut-off for beginning to identify clinically significant elevations.

How do the Clinical Scales on the MMPI-A and the RC Scales on the MMPI-A-RF differ in how they assess psychopathology?

Multiple elevations on the Clinical Scales may reflect comorbidity and/or demoralization, making it difficult to accurately determine the presence of actual comorbid and complex syndromes. The relatively low demoralization saturation of the RC Scales and their improved discriminant properties enable users to more accurately identify the necessary elements of a syndrome and the actual occurrence of comorbidity.

Administration, Scoring, and Interpretation

Can I create my own comparison group?

Yes. Users can create custom comparison groups based on test records in their system database. See chapter 5 of the MMPI-A-RF User's Guide for Reports (2016) for more information about custom comparison groups and refer to the Help function within Pearson’s Q Local or Q-global scoring and reporting systems for detailed, platform-specific instructions.

Can the MMPI-A-RF Interpretive Report serve as a complete and independent psychological report on a client?

No, the statements contained in the narrative are not intended to serve as an independent or “stand-alone” report. The following notice appears in the MMPI-A-RF reports: “The interpretive report is intended for use by a professional qualified to interpret the MMPI-A-RF. The information it contains should be considered in the context of the test-taker’s background, the circumstances of the assessment, and other available information.”

Can I exchange unused MMPI-A report usages for MMPI-A-RF usages?

Call Pearson at 1-800-627-7271 to discuss the exchange of MMPI-A report usages for MMPI-A-RF report usages.

Can I generate an MMPI-A report and an MMPI-A-RF report for the same test-taker?

Yes, the scoring and reporting menu for an MMPI-A administration includes an option to generate an MMPI-A-RF report for an MMPI-A protocol. An MMPI-A-RF report usage is required to generate the report.

Can I administer an “abbreviated” MMPI-A test (first 350 items only) and get an MMPI-A-RF report?

No. The MMPI-A-RF is composed of items throughout the entire MMPI-A test booklet.

Does the MMPI-A-RF manual include tables converting MMPI-A item ordering to MMPI-A-RF item ordering and vice versa?

Yes, these tables are located in Appendix E of the MMPI-A-RF Administration, Scoring, Interpretation and Technical Manual (2016).

Where can I find additional information about the MMPI-A-RF Interpretive Report?

The MMPI-A-RF User's Guide for Reports is available from Pearson.

Archer, R. P., Handel, R. W., Ben-Porath, Y. S., & Tellegen, A. (2016). MMPI-A-RF User’s Guide for Reports. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Where can I find information about the validity of the MMPI-A-RF instrument?

The MMPI-A-RF Administration, Scoring, Interpretation and Technical Manual, available from Pearson, provides detailed validity data for MMPI-A-RF scale scores.

Archer, R. P., Handel, R. W., Ben-Porath, Y. S., & Tellegen, A. (2016). MMPI-A-RF Administration, Scoring, Interpretation, and Technical Manual. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Are additional resources available to help me learn more about MMPI-A-RF scales and interpretation?

Yes. MMPI-A-RF co-author Robert P. Archer’s Assessing Adolescent Psychology: MMPI-A/MMPI-A-RF, 4th Edition published by Routledge in 2016.


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