Child and Adolescent Behaviorally Based Disorders: A Critical Review of Reliability and Validity
Research on Social Work Practice
DSM, psychiatry, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, history, validity, mental health, adolescent
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the historical construction and empirical support of two child and adolescent behaviorally based mental health disorders: oppositional defiant and conduct disorders.
Method: The study utilized a historiography methodology to review, from 1880 to 2012, these disorders’ inclusion in psychiatric nosology systems, related historical and medical system material, and published empirical literature.
Results: Analysis found limited reliability support and almost no construct or criterion validity support for either early dynamic classification diagnoses or today’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder’s (DSM’s) descriptive symptomology categories.
Conclusion: This is cause for concern because of the high diagnostic prevalence rates for these child and adolescent disorders, diagnostic-driven practice within the field, and the inordinate influence of the DSM on the clinical social work profession.
Mallett, Christopher A., "Child and Adolescent Behaviorally Based Disorders: A Critical Review of Reliability and Validity" (2014). Social Work Faculty Publications. 9.