Jon Elhai

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Jon Elhai (born 1972 in Baltimore, Maryland) is a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Toledo. He directs the University of Toledo's Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Research Lab.[1] Elhai is known for being an expert in the assessment and diagnosis of Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), forensic psychological assessment of PTSD, and detection of fabricated/malingered PTSD.

Academic career[edit]

Elhai earned his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Delaware in 1994. He earned his M.S. in Clinical Psychology in 1996 and his Ph.D. in 2000 from Nova Southeastern University. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in PTSD at the Medical University of South Carolina and Charleston Veterans Affairs Medical Center. In 2003, he was awarded the Chaim Danieli Young Professional Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.[2] In 2007, he was awarded the Samuel J. and Anne G. Beck Award for outstanding early career research in personality assessment from the Society for Personality Assessment.[3]


Elhai's research on PTSD focuses on such issues as assessment and diagnostic questions,[4] psychopathology and symptom structure,[5] co-occurring mental disorders,[6] and psychological treatment issues.

Elhai is particularly known for examining the detection of fabricated PTSD using psychological assessment instruments such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2.,.[7] and Trauma symptom inventory[8] For example, he developed the Fptsd scale [9] of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 as a means to detect fabricated PTSD, which has demonstrated modest success.,[10][11]

One of Elhai's particularly well-known scientific articles involved an examination of Vietnam combat military records. Specifically, because of anecdotes describing isolated cases of Americans falsely claiming to have served in combat during the Vietnam War and to suffer from PTSD as a result,[12] B. Christopher Frueh, Elhai and collaborators examined the official military records of individuals presenting to the PTSD Clinic of the Charleston (South Carolina) Veterans Affairs Medical Center, in order to systematically evaluate the prevalence of fraudulently reported Vietnam combat exposure in 100 consecutively presenting individuals. The authors found evidence of some fraudulent cases: most alarming, 32% served in Vietnam but had no documentation of combat exposure, 3% served in the military but not in Vietnam, and 2% never served in the military.[13] Although the Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of the Inspector General subsequently supported these results in their own study,[14] others have challenged the use of official military records as an infallible method of corroborating combat exposure in support of a PTSD diagnosis.[15] Nonetheless, the paper by Frueh, Elhai et al. continues to generate research and debate on the veracity of veterans' reports of combat exposure.,[16][17][18]

Elhai is also known for establishing the prevalence of using standardized instruments of traumatic event exposure and PTSD among traumatic stress clinicians and researchers.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ University of Toledo PTSD Research Lab
  2. ^ ISTSS. "Awards". Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  3. ^ SPA. "Awards". Archived from the original on 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  4. ^ Elhai, J. D., Ford, J. D., Ruggiero, K. J., & Frueh, B. C. (2009). "Diagnostic alterations for post-traumatic stress disorder: Examining data from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication and National Survey of Adolescents". Psychological Medicine. 39 (12): 1957–1966. doi:10.1017/S0033291709005819. PMID 19379536. 
  5. ^ Elhai, J. D., & Palmieri, P. A. (2011). "Posttraumatic stress disorder symptom instruments and factor structure: An update on the current literature and advancing a research agenda". Journal of Anxiety Disorders. 25 (6): 849–854. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2011.04.007. PMID 21793239. 
  6. ^ Elhai, J. D., Grubaugh, A. L., Kashdan, T. B., & Frueh, B. C. (2008). "Empirical examination of a proposed refinement to DSM-IV posttraumatic stress disorder symptom criteria using the National Comorbidity Survey Replication data". Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 42 (4): 597–602. doi:10.4088/JCP.v69n0411. 
  7. ^ Elhai, J. D., Gold, S. N., Sellers, A. H., & Dorfman, W. I. (2001). "The detection of malingered posttraumatic stress disorder with MMPI-2 fake bad indices". Assessment. 8 (2): 221–236. doi:10.1177/107319110100800210. PMID 11428701. 
  8. ^ Elhai, J. D., Gray, M. J., Naifeh, J. A., Butcher, J. J., Davis, J. L., Falsetti, S. A., & Best, C. L. (205). "Utility of the Trauma Symptom Inventory's Atypical Response Scale in detecting malingered post-traumatic stress disorder". Assessment. 12 (2): 210–219. doi:10.1177/1073191105275456. PMID 15914722. 
  9. ^ Elhai, J. D., Ruggiero, K. J., Frueh, B. C., Beckham, J. C., Gold, P. B., & Feldman, M. E. (2002). "The Infrequency-Posttraumatic Stress Disorder scale (Fptsd) for the MMPI-2: Development and initial validation with veterans presenting with combat-related PTSD". Journal of Personality Assessment. 79 (3): 531–549. doi:10.1207/S15327752JPA7903_08. PMID 12511019. 
  10. ^ Arbisi, P. A., Ben-Porath, Y. S., & McNulty, J. (2006). "The ability of the MMPI-2 to detect feigned PTSD within the context of compensation seeking". Psychological Services. 3 (4): 249–261. doi:10.1037/1541-1559.3.4.249. 
  11. ^ Marshall, M. B., & Bagby, R. M. (2006). "The incremental validity and clinical utility of the MMPI-2 Infrequency Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Scale". Assessment. 13 (4): 417–429. doi:10.1177/1073191106290842. PMID 17050912. 
  12. ^ Burkett, B. G., & Whitley, G. (1998). Stolen Valor: How the Vietnam Generation Was Robbed of its Heroes and its History. Verity Press. ISBN 1-56530-284-2. 
  13. ^ Frueh, B. C., Elhai, J. D., Grubaugh, A. L. , Monnier, J., Kashdan, T. B., Sauvageot, J. A., Hamner, M. B., Burkett, B. G., & Arana, G. W. (2005). "Documented combat exposure of U.S. veterans seeking treatment for combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder". British Journal of Psychiatry. 186 (6): 467–472. doi:10.1192/bjp.186.6.467. 
  14. ^ Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (May 19, 2005). "Review of State Variances in VA Disability Compensation Payments" (PDF). Washington, DC: Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General. Retrieved 2011-09-03. 
  15. ^ Joseph R. Moore (July 24, 2005). "A Misleading Premise and Flawed Methodology". London: The Royal College of Psychiatrists. Retrieved 2011-09-03. 
  16. ^ Dohrenwend, B. P., Turner, J. B., Turse, N. A., Adams, B. G., Koenen, K. C., & Marshall, R. (August 18, 2006). "The psychological risks of Vietnam for U.S. veterans: A revisit with new data and methods". Science. 313 (5789): 979–982. doi:10.1126/science.1128944. PMC 1584215Freely accessible. PMID 16917066. 
  17. ^ McNally, R. J. (2007). "Revisiting Dohrenwend et al.'s revisit of the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study". Journal of Traumatic Stress. 20 (4): 481–486. doi:10.1002/jts.20257. PMID 17721958. 
  18. ^ Kilpatrick, D. G. (2007). "Confounding the critics: The Dohrenwend and colleagues reexamination of the National Vietnam Veteran Readjustment Study". Journal of Traumatic Stress. 20 (4): 487–493. doi:10.1002/jts.20262. PMID 17721965. 
  19. ^ Elhai, J. D., Gray, M. J., Kashdan, T. B., & Franklin, C. L. (2005). "Which instruments are most commonly used to assess traumatic event exposure and posttraumatic effects?: A survey of traumatic stress professionals". Journal of Traumatic Stress. 18 (5): 541–545. doi:10.1002/jts.20062. PMID 16281252. 


  • Reyes, G., Elhai, J. D., & Ford, J. D. (Eds.) (2008). Encyclopedia of psychological trauma. (John Wiley & Sons)

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