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J Pers Assess. 2005 Feb;84(1):49-63.

DSM-oriented scales and statistically based syndromes for ages 18 to 59: linking taxonomic paradigms to facilitate multitaxonomic approaches.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont. Thomas.Achenbach@uvm.edu

Abstract

We used behavioral and emotional problem items to construct (a) nosologically based Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) oriented scales from experts' ratings of the items' consistency with DSM-IV (4th ed.; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) diagnostic categories, and (b) statistically based syndromes from factor analyses of adults' self-ratings and ratings of adults by people who knew them (N = 4,628). Quantified, operationally defined, and normed DSM-oriented scales and statistically based syndromes facilitate multitaxonomic approaches to the assessment of adult psychopathology. Psychometric properties and cross-informant correlations were similar for DSM-oriented scales and statistically derived syndromes. Statistical associations between phenotypically similar DSM-oriented scales and statistically based syndromes were moderate to strong. Multitaxonomic approaches can avoid reification of provisional taxa that may result from excessive reliance on a single taxonomic paradigm.

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