MMPI-2 Hwa-Byung Scale Factor Structures in North Korean Defectors and U.S. Clinical Female Samples


Woo Chang Kim

Publication Date



The hwa-byung (HB) scale of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2; Roberts, Han, & Weed, 2006) was used in the current study to compare the latent factor structures of two female samples: U.S. patients from the Caldwell Report and North Korean defectors in South Korea with potential psychiatric disorders. The purpose of this study was to identify and compare latent factor structures of HB in the two samples. HB is a Korean culture-bound syndrome that results from suppressed anger (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Using symptoms from the HB scale, an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was used to identify underlying factors within each group. A confirmatory factor analysis was then conducted to verify the underlying factor structures that were identified through EFAs. The factor structures were examined to identify prominent HB symptom clusters in the samples. For the North Korean group, the second-order factor model, similar to the one developed by Ketterer, Han, and Weed (2010), demonstrated the best fit for the data (General Health Problems, Gastrointestinal Symptoms, Hopelessness, and Anger factors accounted for by a common higher order construct, HB). With the exception of a non-significant loading of Item 102 on Factor Anger, the U.S. group also demonstrated a model with a good fit comparable to Ketterer, Han, and Weed’s second-order model, with item-to-factor loadings mostly comparable to or stronger than those of the North Korean group’s factor loadings. However, Items 29 and 102 in the Anger factor demonstrated stronger factor loadings in the North Korean group than they did in the U.S. group.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology (PhD)

First Advisor

Kim, Seong-Hyeon

Document Type





Korean American women, Psychological testing, Psychiatry, Transcultural, Ethnopsychology




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