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Professor Martin Sellbom

Sellbom-MartinEmail martin.sellbom@otago.ac.nz
Tel +64 3 479 9055

Professor Martin Sellbom’s research interests focused broadly on maladaptive manifestations of personality and applied clinical personality assessment. More specifically, he studies personality disorders from the perspective of dimensional personality traits that is being incorporated in diagnostic manuals (DSM-5, ICD-11). Moreover, in this vein, he is also interested in the broader integration of personality traits (e.g. neuroticism, disinhibition) and psychopathology, with a goal of determining the degree with which personality traits can explain what many common mental disorders have in common, Finally, he has long-standing interests in applied personality assessment, especially with the MMPI-3 instrument, in forensic, correctional, and mental health settings.

Professor Sellbom was trained as a clinical psychologist in the United States, graduating from Kent State University (Kent, Ohio) in 2007. Subsequently, he spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow at Kent State University and Psycho-Diagnostic Clinic in Akron, Ohio, specialising in forensic psychological assessment. He began his academic career as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Alabama in the USA. After four years, he moved to the Australian National University in July 2013 prior to accepting a position as at the University of Otago starting in January 2016.

Professor Sellbom came to Otago with an extensive background in teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses at universities in the USA and Australia. At the undergraduate level, he has taught abnormal psychology, personality psychology, and forensic psychology among others. At the postgraduate level, he has taught personality assessment, adult psychopathology, clinical assessment supervision, and advanced statistics for several years.

Teaching

  • PSYC 112 Abnormal Psychology
  • PSYC 404 Assessment in Clinical Psychology Practice

Research Interests

Personality, Psychopathology, and Measurement lab

Professor Sellbom directs the Personality, Psychopathology, and Measurement lab, which recurrently includes several PhD, Masters, Honours, and PSYC310 students. Below is a description of general research themes that are currently ongoing in the PPM lab.

NOTE: The PPM lab is currently at capacity for PhD and Masters supervision. No additional supervision requests will be considered for 2022.

Personality Disorders

Most of this work has focused on how we can use individual differences personality traits to understanding and operationalise personality pathology. Current diagnostic manuals (DSM-5, ICD-11) have begun to move away from traditional personality disorders (e.g. Borderline, Antisocial, Narcissistic) and instead understand them from the perspective of functional impairment in relation to self and others coupled with description using dimensional personality trait profiles. PPM lab members have focused on personality trait manifestations of traditional antisocial, borderline, and obsessive-compulsive manifestations of dysfunction.

Indeed, in the PPM lab, a lot of work has been directly devoted towards furthering our understanding of the classical concept of psychopathic personality. In addition to conceptualising psychopathy from the perspective of dimensional personality traits, some specific areas are also being targeted. We are focused on how psychopathy personality traits manifest across different settings. Although it is straightforward to study psychopathy in prisons, as individuals high on such traits are readily available there, we know relatively little about those with psychopathic traits operate in the community. Moreover, one major question that continues to puzzle the field is what factors differentiate individuals high on psychopathic traits who operate successfully in the community from those who end up in the criminal justice system. Finally, self-report questionnaires constitute an economical method for assessing psychopathy – but can we trust the results given psychopathic individuals’ propensity to lie? The PPM lab continues to address many of these questions and more.

Integration of Personality and Psychopathology

There is considerable evidence that the structure of common mental disorders is hierarchical in nature. Research in behaviour genetics, for instance, has indicated that a lot of the shared commonalities among groups of mental disorders (e.g. internalising, externalising) can be largely attributed to genetic vulnerabilities that translate into brain (dys)functions. Interestingly, similar brain functions can also be linked to individual differences in personality traits (e.g. neuroticism, disinhibition). The PPM lab seeks to further understand what mechanisms are shared between personality traits and mental disorders. Do they represent manifestations of the same thing (e.g. is mental disorder a reflection of dysfunctional personality under stressful circumstances?) Are personality traits risk factors for developing mental health problems? The PPM lab continues to address these questions.

Clinical Personality Assessment

How can patients’ or offenders’ personality and mental health be best assessed in applied settings? The PPM lab conducts research on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory – 3 (MMPI-3), which it a multi-scale omnibus clinical assessment measure designed to cover a wide range of personality and psychopathology. Recent work has focused a lot on the assessment of personality disorders and mapping the instruments’ scales onto contemporary hierarchical structures of personality and psychopathology and the assessment of personality disorders using the MMPI-3. Another line of research has centred on malingering and defensiveness. Can people feign their responses on the MMPI-3 and get away with it? The answer to that question is most often “no” and the PPM lab has focused on understanding how the MMPI-3’s so called validity scales can be best used in detecting distorted responding.

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Publications

Lagera, L. M., & Sellbom, M. (2022). Examining the psychometric properties of the Expanded Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale in community and university samples. Assessment. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/10731911221109448

Hartman, J., Bräscher, A.-K., Forbush, K. T., Sellbom, M., Watson, D., & Witthöft, M. (2022). The somatoform spectrum within the HiTOP system: A taxometric test of the latent structure. Psychosomatic Medicine. Advance online publication.

Neal, T. M. S., Sellbom, M., & de Ruiter, C. (2022). Personality assessment in legal contexts: Introduction to the special issue. Journal of Personality Assessment, 104(2), 127-136. doi: 10.1080/00223891.2022.2033248

Reeves, C. K., Brown, T. A., & Sellbom, M. (2022). An examination of the MMPI-3 validity scales in detecting overreporting of psychological problems. Psychological Assessment. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/pas0001112

Wang, M.-C., Deng, J., Shou, Y., & Sellbom, M. (2022). Cross-cultural examination of psychopathy network in Chinese and U.S. prisoners. Journal of Psychopathology & Behavioral Assessment. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10862-022-09960-0

Sellbom, M., Lilienfeld, S. O., Latzmanr, R. D., & Wygant, D. B. (2022). Assessment of psychopathy: Addressing myths, misconceptions, and fallacies. In L. Malatesti, J. McMillan & P. Šustar (Eds.), Psychopathy: Its uses, validity and status. (pp. 143-168). Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-82454-9_9

Chapter in Book - Research

Sellbom, M., Wygant, D. B., Tarescavage, A. M., & Ben-Porath, Y. S. (2022). Using the MMPI-3 in forensic psychological assessments. In C. Garofalo & J. J. Sijtsema (Eds.), Clinical forensic psychology: Introductory perspectives on offending. (pp. 515-537). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-80882-2_26

Chapter in Book - Research

Sellbom, M. (2019). Antagonism's place in psychiatric nosology. In J. D. Miller & D. R. Lynam (Eds.), The handbook of antagonism: Conceptualizations, assessment, consequences, and treatment of the low end of agreeableness. (pp. 171-181). London, UK: Academic Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Sellbom, M., & Bromberg, D. S. (2019). The assessment and diagnosis of “mental abnormalities,” personality disorders, and psychopathy in sexually violent predator evaluations. In W. T. O'Donohue & D. S. Bromberg (Eds.), Sexually violent predators: A clinical science handbook. (pp. 153-165). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Chapter in Book - Research

Sellbom, M., & Anderson, J. L. (2013). The Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory-2. In R. P. Archer & E. M. A. Wheeler (Eds.), Forensic uses of clinical assessment instruments. (Second ed.) (pp. 21-62). New York, NY: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9780203118740

Chapter in Book - Research

Sellbom, M., & Ben-Porath, Y. S. (2006). The Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory-2. In R. P. Archer (Ed.), Forensic uses of clinical assessment instruments. (pp. 19-55). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. doi: 10.4324/9780203726587

Chapter in Book - Research

Andersen, D. M., Veltman, E., & Sellbom, M. (2022). Surviving senior psychopathy: Informant reports of deceit and antisocial behavior in multiple types of relationships. International Journal of Offender Therapy & Comparative Criminology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0306624X211067089

Journal - Research Article

Brown, T. A., & Sellbom, M. (2022). Associations between MMPI-3 scale scores and the DSM-5 AMPD and ICD-11 dimensional personality traits. Assessment. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/10731911221075724

Journal - Research Article

DeYoung, C. G., Chmielewski, M., Clark, L. A., Condon, D. M., Kotov, R., Krueger, R. F., … Sellbom, M., … and the HiTOP Normal Personality Workgroup. (2022). The distinction between symptoms and traits in the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP). Journal of Personality, 90, 20-33. doi: 10.1111/jopy.12593

Journal - Research Article

Hartman, J., Bräscher, A.-K., Forbush, K. T., Sellbom, M., Watson, D., & Witthöft, M. (2022). The somatoform spectrum within the HiTOP system: A taxometric test of the latent structure. Psychosomatic Medicine. Advance online publication.

Journal - Research Article

Lagera, L. M., & Sellbom, M. (2022). Examining the psychometric properties of the Expanded Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale in community and university samples. Assessment. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/10731911221109448

Journal - Research Article

Reeves, C. K., Brown, T. A., & Sellbom, M. (2022). An examination of the MMPI-3 validity scales in detecting overreporting of psychological problems. Psychological Assessment. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/pas0001112

Journal - Research Article

Sajjadi, S. F., Gross, J., Sellbom, M., & Hayne, H. (2022). Narrative identity in borderline personality disorder. Personality Disorders, 13(1), 12-23. doi: 10.1037/per0000476

Journal - Research Article

Sellbom, M., Flens, J., Gould, J., Ramnath, R., Tringone, R., & Grossman, S. (2022). The Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-IV (MCMI-IV) and Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory-II (MACI-II) in legal settings. Journal of Personality Assessment. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/00223891.2021.2013248

Journal - Research Article

Simms, L. J., Wright, A. G. C., Cicero, D., Kotov, R., Mullins-Sweatt, S. N., Sellbom, M., … Zimmermann, J. (2022). Development of Measures for the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP): A Collaborative Scale Development Project. Assessment, 29(1), 3-16. doi: 10.1177/10731911211015309

Journal - Research Article

Vaňousová, N., Brown, T. A., & Sellbom, M. (2022). Criterion and incremental validity of the MMPI-3 eating concerns scale in a university sample. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 29, 34-43. doi: 10.1007/s10880-021-09772-6

Journal - Research Article

Wang, M.-C., Deng, J., Shou, Y., & Sellbom, M. (2022). Cross-cultural examination of psychopathy network in Chinese and U.S. prisoners. Journal of Psychopathology & Behavioral Assessment. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10862-022-09960-0

Journal - Research Article

Watson, D., Levin-Aspenson, H. F., Waszczuk, M. A., Conway, C. C., Dalgleish, T., Dretsch, M. N., … Sellbom, M., … HiTOP Utility Workgroup. (2022). Validity and utility of Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP): III: Emotional dysfunction superspectrum. World Psychiatry, 21(1), 26-54. doi: 10.1002/wps.20943

Journal - Research Article

Wissenburg, S. A., Garofalo, C., Blokland, A. A. J., Palmen, H., & Sellbom, M. (2022). Longitudinal validation of the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy (LSRP) scale in a high-risk Dutch community sample. Assessment, 29(3), 367-384. doi: 10.1177/1073191120975130

Journal - Research Article

Zajenkowska, A., Nowakowska, I., Kaźmierczak, I., Rajchert, J., Bodecka-Zych, M., Jakubowska, A., … Sellbom, M. (2022). The interplay between disinhibition and Present-Hedonistic time perspective in the relation between Borderline Personality Organization and depressive symptoms. Personality & Individual Differences, 186, 111317. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2021.111317

Journal - Research Article

Anderson, J. L., & Sellbom, M. (2021). Assessing ICD-11 personality trait domain qualifiers with the MMPI-2-RF. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 77, 1090-1105. doi: 10.1002/jclp.23099

Journal - Research Article

Anderson, J. L., Burchett, D., Glassmire, D. M., Wygant, D. B., Kamphuis, J. H., Smid, W., & Sellbom, M. (2021). Differentiating borderline and antisocial personality disorders in forensic settings. Psychology, Crime & Law, 28(2), 132-152. doi: 10.1080/1068316X.2021.1880586

Journal - Research Article

Bach, B., Brown, T. A., Mulder, R. T., Newton-Howes, G., Simonsen, E., & Sellbom, M. (2021). Development and initial evaluation of the ICD-11 personality disorder severity scale: PDS-ICD-11. Personality & Mental Health, (15), 223-236. doi: 10.1002/pmh.1510

Journal - Research Article

Bagby, R. M., Keeley, J. W., Williams, C. C., Mortezaei, A., Ryder, A. G., & Sellbom, M. (2021). Evaluating the measurement invariance of the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5) in Black Americans and White Americans. Psychological Assessment. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/pas0001085

Journal - Research Article

Bowes, S. M., Brown, A. L., Thompson, W. W., Sellbom, M., & Lilienfeld, S. O. (2021). Do psychopathic traits statistically protect against PTSD? A retrospective study of Vietnam veterans. Journal of Personality Disorders, 35(1), 127-144. doi: 10.1521/pedi_2019_33_432

Journal - Research Article

Brown, T. A., & Sellbom, M. (2021). Associations between MMPI-3 scale scores and the DSM-5 personality disorders. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 77, 2943-2964. doi: 10.1002/jclp.23230

Journal - Research Article

Hall-Jones, M., Liggett, J., & Sellbom, M. (2021). Validation of the five-factor obsessive-compulsive inventory in a mental health sample. Assessment, 28(4), 1147-1158. doi: 10.1177/1073191120976860

Journal - Research Article

Krueger, R. F., Hobbs, K. A., Conway, C. C., Dick, D. M., Dretsch, M. N., Eaton, N. R., … Sellbom, M., … HiTOP Utility Workgroup. (2021). Validity and utility of Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP): II. Externalizing superspectrum. World Psychiatry, 20, 171-193. doi: 10.1002/wps.20844

Journal - Research Article

Krueger, R. F., Kotov, R., Watson, D., Forbes, M. K., Eaton, N. R., Ruggreo, C. J., … Sellbom, M., … Zimmermann, J. (2021). Les progrès dans la réalisation de la classification quantitative de la psychopathologie. Annales Médico-Psychologiques, 179, 95-106. doi: 10.1016/j.amp.2020.11.015

Journal - Research Article

Lee, K. Y., & Sellbom, M. (2021). Further validation of the Elemental Psychopathy Assessment - Short Form (EPA-SF) in a large university sample. Journal of Personality Assessment, 103(3), 289-299. doi: 10.1080/00223891.2020.1779734

Journal - Research Article

Liggins, C., & Sellbom, M. (2021). Personality-based assessment of psychopathy: Comparison of the comprehensive assessment of psychopathic personality and the elemental psychopathy assessment. Personality Disorders. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/per0000503

Journal - Research Article

Long, T. A., Reinhard, E., Sellbom, M., & Anderson, J. L. (2021). An examination of the reliability and validity of the Comprehensive Assessment of Traits Relevant to Personality Disorder-Static Form (CAT-PD-SF). Assessment, 28(5), 1345-1357. doi: 10.1177/1073191120907957

Journal - Research Article

Munro, O. E., & Sellbom, M. (2021). Evaluating borderline personality disorder traits in the context of an intimate partner violence intervention programme. Psychology, Crime & Law. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/1068316X.2021.1929976

Journal - Research Article

O'Hare, K., White, N., Harding, R., Galland, B., Sellbom, M., Shine, B., & Schaughency, E. (2021). Sluggish cognitive tempo and daytime sleepiness mediate relationships between sleep and academic performance. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1097/dbp.0000000000000948

Journal - Research Article

Sajjadi, S. F., Sellbom, M., Gross, J., & Hayne, H. (2021). Dissociation and false memory: The moderating role of trauma and cognitive ability. Memory. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2021.1963778

Journal - Research Article

Sellbom, M., & Drislane, L. E. (2021). The classification of psychopathy. Aggression & Violent Behavior, 59, 101473. doi: 10.1016/j.avb.2020.101473

Journal - Research Article

Sellbom, M., Anderson, J. L., Goodwin, B. E., Kastner, R. M., Rock, R. C., Johnson, A. K., … Salekin, R. T. (2021). Evaluation of the moderated-expression and differential configuration hypotheses in the context of "successful" or "noncriminal" psychopathy. Personality Disorders. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/per0000498

Journal - Research Article

Sellbom, M., Butler, J. S., Lee, T. T. C., Loucaides, A. M., Masterson, T. L., & Wygant, D. B. (2021). Construct validity of the E-LSRP in a correctional sample. Assessment. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/10731911211038619

Journal - Research Article

Sellbom, M., Corey, D. M., & Ben-Porath, Y. S. (2021). Examining the validity of the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire in the assessment of police candidates. Assessment, 28(1), 295-309. doi: 10.1177/1073191119887443

Journal - Research Article

Sellbom, M., Corey, D. M., & Ben-Porath, Y. S. (2021). Incremental validity of the multidimensional personality questionnaire in the preemployment assessment of police officer candidates. Criminal Justice & Behavior. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/00938548211033630

Journal - Research Article

Sellbom, M., Forbush, K. T., Gould, S. R., Markon, K. E., Watson, D., & Witthöft, M. (2021). HiTOP assessment of the somatoform spectrum and eating disorders. Assessment. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/10731911211020825

Journal - Research Article

Sellbom, M., Kremyar, A. J., & Wygant, D. B. (2021). Mapping MMPI-3 scales onto the hierarchical taxonomy of psychopathology. Psychological Assessment. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/pas0001049

Journal - Research Article

Sellbom, M., Laurinaitytė, I., & Laurinavičius, A. (2021). Further validation of the Comprehensive Assessment of Psychopathic Personality-Self-Report (CAPP-SR) in Lithuanian offender and nonoffender samples. Assessment, 28(2), 472-484. doi: 10.1177/1073191120914403

Journal - Research Article

Sellbom, M., Liggins, C., Laurinaitytė, I., & Cooke, D. J. (2021). Factor structure of the Comprehensive Assessment of Psychopathic Personality-Self-Report (CAPP-SR) in community and offender samples. Psychological Assessment. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/pas0001029

Journal - Research Article

Semel, R. A., Pinsoneault, T. B., Drislane, L. E., & Sellbom, M. (2021). Operationalizing the triarchic model of psychopathy in adolescents using the MMPI-A-RF (restructured form). Psychological Assessment, 33(4), 311-325. doi: 10.1037/pas0000985

Journal - Research Article

Shou, Y., Lay, S. E., De Silva, H. S., Xyrakis, N., & Sellbom, M. (2021). Sociocultural influences on psychopathy traits: A cross-national investigation. Journal of Personality Disorders, 35(2), 194-216. doi: 10.1521/pedi_2019_33_428

Journal - Research Article

Shou, Y., Sellbom, M., & Wang, M. (2021). Developing and validating a Chinese version of the comprehensive assessment of psychopathic personality-self-report. Personality Disorders, 12(3), 261-274. doi: 10.1037/per0000446

Journal - Research Article

Tylicki, J. L., Sellbom, M., & Ben-Porath, Y. S. (2021). Examining the association between the MMPI-2-RF triarchic psychopathy scales and suicidality in a criminal defendant sample. Journal of Personality Disorders, 35(3), 336-354. doi: 10.1521/pedi_2019_33_452

Journal - Research Article

Anderson, J. L., Brockhaus, R., Kloefer, J., & Sellbom, M. (2020). Utility of the MMPI-2-RF in sexual violence risk assessment. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 19(4), 403-415. doi: 10.1080/14999013.2020.1805648

Journal - Research Article

Bach, B., Christensen, S., Kongerslev, M. T., Sellbom, M., & Simonsen, E. (2020). Structure of clinician-reported ICD-11 personality disorder trait qualifiers. Psychological Assessment, 32(1), 50-59. doi: 10.1037/pas0000747

Journal - Research Article

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