JOURNAL ARTICLE

Performance on the Test of Memory Malingering in children with neurological conditions

Danielle M Ploetz, Anya Mazur-Mosiewicz, Michael W Kirkwood, Elisabeth M S Sherman, Brian L Brooks
Child Neuropsychology: a Journal on Normal and Abnormal Development in Childhood and Adolescence 2016, 22 (2): 133-42
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Despite increasing interest in the use of performance validity tests with youth, relatively little is known about how children and adolescents with neurological diagnoses perform on these measures. The purpose of this study was to examine performance on the Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM) in a general pediatric neurologic sample. Data were obtained from 266 consecutive patients (mean age = 13.0, SD = 3.7, range = 5-18) referred for a neuropsychological assessment in a tertiary care pediatric hospital. As part of a broader neuropsychological battery, patients were administered the TOMM. In this sample, 94% of children passed the TOMM. Pass rate was 87% for 5-7 year-olds but was ≥ 90% for all other ages. Children with a history of stroke had the lowest pass rate (86%), with other diagnostic groups scoring ≥ 90%, including epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and hydrocephalus. Lower TOMM performance was related to slower processing speed and weaker memory performance. The results support using the TOMM with children and adolescents who have neurological diagnoses. Caution may still be warranted when interpreting scores in those who are younger and/or who have more significant cognitive difficulty.

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