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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1991 Dec;84(6):497-502.

The criteria of Cloninger et al. and von Knorring et al. for subgrouping alcoholics: a comparison in a clinical population.

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  • 1Laboratory of Clinical Studies, DICBR, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Bethesda, Maryland.


There is increasing evidence that meaningful subgroups of alcoholics may exist. Cloninger et al. and von Knorring et al. have developed criteria to delineate what both call type 1 and type 2 alcoholism. However, when we compared their criteria in a predominantly inpatient sample of male alcoholics, we found large differences between the approaches in identifying type 1 and type 2 alcoholism. Concordance was equally low in a subsample of 34 alcoholics exhibiting antisocial behavior and when subjects were divided by whether the first alcohol-related problem began before or after 20 years of age. Similar findings emerged when we limited our analyses to primary alcoholics and alcoholics with no other mental disorders.

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