Risks associated with overcontrolled behavior in police officer recruits.

Potential externalizing tendencies have long been a focus of research in police candidates. Early studies often reported positive correlations between Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) externalizing scales and problem behaviors in law enforcement officers. However, more recent investigations reveal mixed findings, with some showing either no significant correlations between externalizing measures and police performance problems or negative associations. In the current study, we examined associations between MMPI-2 Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF) externalizing scale scores and personal history information (biodata) in a large sample (n = 1,226) of police officer candidates and observed expected positive correlations between them. Next, we examined associations between MMPI-2-RF externalizing scale scores and biodata and posthire performance measures in a subset of officers who were judged to be psychologically qualified, were subsequently hired, and for whom posthire performance records were available. We hypothesized that recently observed negative correlations would be replicated, and that this could be attributed to overcontrolled behavior, as reflected in low externalizing scale scores. Our findings were consistent with expectations. Finally, we found that, by and large, MMPI-2-RF scores and biodata augmented one another in the prediction of poor performance outcomes due to overcontrolled behavior among hired police officer recruits. Implications for considering overcontrolled behavior as a potential risk factor when evaluating police officer candidates are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)