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PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS OF COUNSELING STUDENTS AT A - page 40 / 135

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example, Dillon (1983) studied the MMPI profiles of 827 evangelical missionaries to

compare scale Means with the published norms. Noting that attrition is of serious

concern to missionary sending agencies and that there can be serious emotional damage

for missionary failures, the researcher also compared the MMPI Means of the

missionaries who persevered and those who did not. Consideration was given to gender,

age, education and the year the MMPI was taken over a 30 year period. A number of

statistical differences were found between the missionary MMPI scores and the MMPI

norms. However, closer examination of these differences led researchers to conclude that

the differences were not clinically significant in that the missionary MMPI scores were

still within the normal range on these scales. Researchers also found differences in

MMPI scores between those missionaries who were considered “persevering” and those

who were not. Those who were in the non-persevering group were found to be higher on

the L scale, lower on the F scale, and lower on Pt (scale 7). But again, while differences

were statistically significant, the Mean scores on these scales were still within normal

limits. Nonetheless, it was concluded that additional research is necessary to evaluate the

effectiveness of the MMPI as a tool to help evaluate applicants for missionary service.

Schubert and Gantner (1996) also expressed concern for a screening method for

use with missionary selection, noting that the screening process has traditionally ranged

from expensive test batteries and interviews to that of no testing at all. The researchers

studied 129 missionary units (unmarried individual or married couple) who had entered

service through an interdenominational evangelical mission 6 to 20 years previously.

Twenty-one variables composed from specific MMPI scales considered to be predictive

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