The MCMI-IV provides mental health clinicians with various information for diagnosing and treating personality disorders.
You may undergo psychological testing if you’re seeking a mental health diagnosis. Psychological testing may consist of various assessments.
One assessment you might take is the MCMI-IV, which is administered and scored by mental health professionals. This self-report measure helps determine if personality challenges are present and helps clinicians diagnose and treat personality disorders.
A mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed professional counselor, may also request that you obtain psychological testing if they have concerns about your personality and think you may benefit from an official diagnosis.
The Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI) is a self-report assessment tool used to help diagnose and treat personality disorders. The MCMI-IV stands for the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory, Fourth Edition.
The name Millon comes from psychologist Theodore Millon’s theory of personality. According to research from 2015 summarizing Millon’s theory, he viewed personality based on evolutionary adaptations.
When individuals have a personality disorder, he viewed this as difficulty with adaptation that ranges on a spectrum from typical to disordered.
Millon’s personality theory is closely related to the symptoms of personality disorders present in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, text revision (DSM-5-TR) — which is utilized to help clinicians diagnose, classify, and identify mental health conditions.
The MCMI-IV measures several patterns associated with personality disorders and psychopathology. The scale also measures other mental health disorders. According to the MCMI-IV brochure, the inventory measures three levels of personality functioning:
- Typical functioning: patterns of adaptive personality features
- Abnormal types/traits: moderately maladaptive features or traits
- Disordered: more significant likelihood of personality dysfunction
The MCMI-IV is aligned with the DSM-5-TR and ICD-10 codes for personality disorders.
2021 research on the use of the MCMI-IV and the Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory-II (MACI-II) in legal settings indicates that the test measures 15 different personality types that exist on a spectrum from adaptive to maladaptive.
The MACI-II is a similar assessment tool used to measure mental health and behavioral concerns in adolescents. It contains 11 of the 15 different personality types described in the MCMI-IV.
The Millon Personality Group states that the test consists of 25 total scales broken down as follows:
15 clinical personality scales:
Three of which are severe personality pathology scales:
Seven clinical syndrome scales:
- bipolar spectrum
- persistent depression
- alcohol dependence
- drug dependence
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Three severe clinical syndrome scales:
- delusional disorder
- major depression
- schizophrenic spectrum
The authors of the inventory note that the scales are parallel to the personality disorders listed in the DSM-5-TR.
The MCMI-IV is a 195-item test of true or false questions. If you’re taking the MCMI-IV, it should take you about 25-30 minutes to complete it. It’s a self-report test.
The MCMI-IV can be administered online or with paper and pen. The online version is scored online and gives explanations of each of the personality domains.
The paper and pen versions can be mailed for scoring purposes. If you’re taking this assessment, chances are you will review your inventory results with a licensed mental health professional.
As with any assessment, there are benefits and limitations to the inventory. Research from 2017 on the inventory highlights some of its strengths and weaknesses.
The first benefit of this assessment is that it isn’t time-consuming compared to other personality assessments, such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI).
For example, the MCMI-IV takes less than a half hour, while the MMPI usually takes between 60 and 90 minutes.
Another benefit of this assessment is its alignment with the DSM-5-TR. The alignment of personality scales in the evaluation with the DSM-5-TR can help clinicians better evaluate and treat personality disorders.
2022 research that evaluated the MCMI-IV for use in forensic evaluations highlighted the strength of the theory behind Millon’s work and contributions to the field of personality research.
The authors in this study noted that the inventory does have the significant limitation of having very little peer-reviewed literature available for the fourth revision.
If you have a personality disorder, you may experience pervasive patterns of maladaptive thinking, behavior, and emotions. The MCMI-IV helps measure specific aspects of your personality that correlate with personality disorders.
The MCMI-IV is an inventory designed to help assess, diagnose, and provide treatment options for individuals with personality disorders.
It also aligns with personality disorders in the DSM-5-TR, which helps clinicians improve evaluations and treatment.
Typically administered in a clinical setting, you can take this true or false test online or with pen and paper. After taking the assessment, a licensed mental health professional will review your inventory results with you.
If you believe you would benefit from psychological testing to determine if you have a personality disorder, consider using the FindCare tool to help you find a mental health professional near you.
They can help determine treatment options that will best suit your needs.