Volume 25, Issue 3 (1996)
Relations Between DSM-IV and Empirically Based Assessment
Thomas M. Achenbach, Stephanie H. McConaughy
Abstract: Similarities and differences between the DSM-IV and empirically based approaches to behavioral/emotional problems are presented. Similarities include: explicit specification of criterial problems; descriptive similarities between some DSM diagnostic categories and empirically based syndromes; and statistically significant agreement between some DSM diagnoses and empirically based syndrome scores. Differences include: use of a nosological versus psychometric model; judgment of problems as present-absent versus quantitative scoring of problems; choice of categories and criteria by committees versus derivation of syndromes from quantitative data; identical cut points for both genders, different ages, and different sources of data versus cut points based on norms for gender, age, and type of informant; data obtained by diagnostician’s decision versus use of standardized forms; nonspecific comparisons of multi-source data versus explicit comparisons between cross-informant scores and correlations; end products are present-absent diagnoses versus norm-referenced profiles showing item and syndrome scores. A case example illustrates applications of the two approaches to school based assessment.
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