Diagnosing DSM-IV - Part I: DSM-IV and the concept of disorder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this first article in a two-article series, I 'diagnose' a problem with DSM-IV, specifically, the overinclusiveness of its diagnostic criteria. Using the harmful dysfunction analysis of the concept of disorder as a framework, I argue that DSM-IV criteria for many diagnostic categories fail to satisfy the analysis' 'dysfunction' requirement, that is, the criteria do not distinguish harmful conditions due to internal dysfunctions from harmful conditions that are nondisordered 'problems in living'. The overinclusiveness problem, I suggest, can be partly dealt with by giving up purely symptomatic criteria and contextualizing diagnosis to take into account the relationship between triggering causes and resulting symptoms. In Part II, I examine Eysenck's proposal for a dimensional diagnostic system to supplant DSM-IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-649
Number of pages17
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Diagnosing DSM-IV - Part I: DSM-IV and the concept of disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this