MCMI-derived personality subtypes and psychosocial status in a cocaine-abusing population

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

Robert C. McMahon - Committee Chair


The present investigation was designed to draw upon Millon's (1981) theory of personality and psychopathology as a framework for understanding clinically important relationships between personality factors and the psychosocial functioning of substance abusing individuals. Four personality subgroups were formed based on a factor analysis of treatment intake Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-II (MCMI-II) profiles of 304 cocaine abusing males. The four subgroups were labeled High Pathology, Antisocial, Avoidant/Self-Defeating, and Subclinical. Differences among the four subgroups were examined in seven clinical areas typically affected by substance abuse. The areas examined were medical problems, family and social relationships, psychological symptoms, legal problems, employment history, drug use and alcohol use. Composite scores from the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) were used to measure status in each area.The results from this investigation revealed that the High Pathology group experienced higher levels of employment, alcohol, drug, and psychiatric problems than the Subclinical group and higher levels of psychiatric problems than the Antisocial group. The Antisocial group was found to evidence higher levels of alcohol and drug problems than the Subclinical group, and the Avoidant/Self-Defeating group was found to exhibit higher levels of psychiatric symptoms than the Subclinical group. No predicted differences were found between the groups in the areas of medical, legal, or family/social status. In the areas of medical and legal status there was an overall absence of observed problems across the subgroups. In the area of family/social status all four groups evidenced dissatisfaction with their current marital situation, moderate to extreme concern regarding their family/social problems, and considerable to extreme interest in treatment for their family/social problems. The most robust finding from this investigation was that membership in the High Pathology group was associated with more chronic and more pervasive psychosocial problems than the other groups. Fewer clinical differences were observed between the Antisocial, Avoidant/Self-Defeating, and Subclinical groups. The implications of these findings are discussed with respect to patient-treatment matching hypotheses.


Psychology, Social; Psychology, Personality

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