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Adjustment disorder in children and adolescents.

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1
Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029.

Abstract

The literature on adjustment disorder in children and adolescents is reviewed to evaluate the empirical and conceptual basis of this disorder as defined in DSM-III-R, and to determine whether revisions, are indicated in DSM-IV. Existing studies suggest that adjustment disorder is a disorder of high prevalence in all settings, which carries significant morbidity and poor outcome in children and adolescents. Problems identified with the DSM-III-R definition include low reliability, the predominance of mixed rather than discrete symptom presentations in children and adolescents, and the persistence of symptoms in excess of 6 months in a significant number of cases.

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