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June 1987

Adjustment Disorder as a Marginal or Transitional Illness Category in DSM-III

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1987;44(6):567-572. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1987.01800180087013

• This study examines the resources of DSM-III for dealing with conditions that fall outside the domain of illnesses with specific, recognized, and clearly delineated symptom profiles. In discussing some of the theoretical and problematic aspects of the categories "Adjustment Disorder" (AD) and "not ill" (NI), AD is viewed as an example of a marginal or transitional illness category. Clinical psychopathologic features of subjects in the AD and NI categories are compared with those in the logical complementary category composed of all other specific diagnosis categories of DSM-III. The results support the descriptive validity of AD and NI in DSM-III.

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