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Jana L. Price-Sharps


The life of a police officer is filled with high stress and demands, so it is important to hire the right candidates. Preemployment testing is where candidates are screened with instruments such as the M-PULSE and the MMPI-2-RF to see if they are psychologically suitable for law enforcement. The purpose of this quantitative, nonexperimental study was to determine the extent that scores on selected M-PULSE scales (negative emotions and interpersonal difficulties) predicted scores on selected MMPI-2-RF scales (stress/worry and family problems). Archival data were provided by a small corporation that conducts preemployment testing of police officer candidates. Data from the 4 scales across the M-PULSE and MMPI-2-RF (N = 107) were obtained and analyzed in SPSS using multiple regression. The results showed that the negative emotions and interpersonal difficulties were significant predictors of stress/worry (F(2, 104) = 6.687, p < .05, R2 = 0.114) and family problems (F(2, 104) = 6.497, p < .05, R2 = 0.111). Of the 2 M-PULSE factors, negative emotions was a significant predictor of the 2 MMPI-2-RF factors on an individual basis. This study adds to the body of literature on preemployment testing of police officer candidates. The implications of positive social change include increasing understanding of the preemployment process and helping police psychologists and police departments make more informed decisions of which candidates to hire as police officers.

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