This study addresses the use of scales and subscales from prehire MMPI’s to predict levels of aggression and stress among law enforcement professionals in the field (n=75). Multiple regression analysis revealed promising results in support of the MMPI’s predictive utility.

Two scales, Aggression (AGR) and Stress Vulnerability (SYS) were developed as outcome measures through a three step validation process: (a) theoretical-substantive, through a literature review and analysis of pilot data (n = 202); (b) internal-structural, statistical analysis on sample data and (c) criterion-external, through corelational analysis with externally derived departmental assessments of each officer. The final Aggression index (AGR) is an aggregate score composed of three separate measures: Emotional/empathic withdrawal (EW), a bias indicator (PREJ), and an abbreviated version of the Buss-Perry aggression questionnaire (AGGR, see also Riggs & Greenberg, 1999). The final Stress index was an aggregate score composed of separate measures including: depression (DEP), avoidant coping (AVOID), emotional fatigue (EF), perceived number of stressors (PRCSTR), level of hope (HOPE), and somatic response level (SOMAT).

MMPI scales and subscales that have been theoretically related to characteristics of aggression and stress were selected as potential predictors variables. Reduction of the number of predictors was performed through theoretical and statistical means in an effort to protect the outcome against multi-collinearity. Results demonstrated the utility of SC5, PK and HY1 as predictors of aggression (N=45: Multiple R = 0.52, Adjusted R square = 0.22). Variance in level of stress was accounted for by Cn, MF(5), and HY (N=75, Multiple R = 0.44, Adjusted R square = 0.16).

The results are discussed relative to new measures for selection cut scores in the law enforcement hiring process using the MMPI. Further the potential utility of AGR and SVS measures are discussed in terms of their use in managing stress and aggression among active law enforcement professionals.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Matt Riggs

Second Advisor

Hector Betancourt

Third Advisor

Nancy Bohl

Fourth Advisor

Alex Caldwell

Fifth Advisor

Janet Sonne

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Law enforcement; Aggressiveness -- (Psychology); Stress -- (Psychology)



Page Count

ix; 125

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives