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October 1979

A Comparison of DSM-II and DSM-III in the Diagnosis of Childhood Psychiatric DisordersIV. Difficulties in Use, Global Comparison, and Conclusions

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Mental Retardation and Child Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California at Los Angeles Center for the Health Sciences.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1979;36(11):1227-1228. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1979.01780110081010

• A good classification system, in addition to being reliable, must be easy to use. This report examines the difficulties raters encountered in using DSM-III to diagnose 24 child and adolescent psychiatric case histories. Overall, the raters reported few difficulties. They consistently preferred DSM-III over DSM-II as the more useful diagnostic system. In summarizing the results of the entire four-part study, we conclude that DSM-III, with additional refinement, gives promise of being a very usable and reliable classification system for the diagnosis of psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents.