Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 368–374

Differentiating Bipolar Disorder from Major Depressive Disorder Using the MMPI-2-RF: A Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) Analysis


DOI: 10.1007/s10862-010-9212-7

Cite this article as:
Watson, C., Quilty, L.C. & Bagby, R.M. J Psychopathol Behav Assess (2011) 33: 368. doi:10.1007/s10862-010-9212-7


We examined the utility of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2-Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF) to differentiate patients with lifetime bipolar disorder (BD) from patients with lifetime major depressive disorder (MDD), and to differentiate patients with BD who are currently depressed from patients with current MDD. Sixty-one patients with BD (BD-I n = 51, BD-II n = 10) and 381 patients with MDD were administered the MMPI-2; MMPI-2-RF scale scores were derived from these MMPI-2 protocols. Receiver operating characteristics analysis revealed that the MMPI-2-RF Activation (ACT) scale had the largest Area Under the Curve (AUC), which was 0.74. Using a cut-off score of 4 on the ACT scale resulted in 71% of patients being correctly classified as having BD or MDD (sensitivity = 0.67, specificity = 0.71). An examination of currently depressed patients with BD (n = 29) and a randomly selected sample of MDD patients (n = 29) revealed that the ACT scale correctly classified 72% of patients (AUC = 0.75, sensitivity = 0.69, specificity = 0.76). Implications and limitations of these findings were discussed.


Bipolar disorder Major depressive disorder MMPI-2-RF Activation scale ROC analysis 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris Watson
    • 1
  • Lena C. Quilty
    • 1
  • R. Michael Bagby
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Clinical Research DepartmentCentre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations