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Alcohol Health Res World. 1998;22(2):95-105.

Diagnosis and assessment of alcohol use disorders among adolescents.

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University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh Adolescent Alcohol Research Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


The diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorders (AUDs) (i.e., alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence) as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) were developed largely from research and clinical experience with adults. Little is known about the validity of these criteria when applied to adolescents. Recent epidemiological and clinical studies of AUDs and their symptoms among adolescents have indicated that the DSM-IV criteria have significant limitations when applied to this age group. Diagnostic interviews and screening tools for adolescent AUDs are discussed. Numerous instruments are available that have shown moderate-to-high reliability and validity in assessing AUDs among adolescents.

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