Mental Health Screening: Utility of the Psychological Screening Inventory

Richard I. Lanyon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


The Psychological Screening Inventory (PSI) was designed for use as a rapid mental health screening device to identify persons who should receive more extensive evaluation. This study evaluated the accuracy of the three screening scales using receiver operating characteristic (ROC), positive predictive power-negative predictive power, and sensitivity-specificity analyses. Persons with major psychiatric disorder (N = 536) were distinguished from control participants by the Alienation scale with an area underneath the ROC curve (AUC) of .905; persons with significant antisocial behavior (N = 410), by the Social Nonconformity (Sn) scale with an AUC of .811; and persons with general psychological distress (N = 620), by the Discomfort (Di) scale with an AUC of .773. There were comparable findings for the other comparison procedures, and some results were better for men and women separately. An empirically developed index (the Overall Screening Index-Revised) showed significant improvement over the Di scale in identifying persons with general psychological distress (AUC = .842). These findings support the utility of the PSI for its intended purpose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-180
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological Services
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006



  • mental health
  • PSI
  • Psychological Screening Inventory
  • screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

Cite this