Classification and Diagnosis: Historical Development and Contemporary Issues

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter provides an overview the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) diagnostic nomenclature, historical background, followed by a discussion of the major issues facing the current and future revisions. Behaviorists argue that the organismic perspective of DSM-5 is inconsistent with the situational context of dysfunctional behaviour. The diagnosis of mental disorders, however, was still receiving substantial criticism. Fundamental to the concept of a mental disorder is the presence of impairments secondary to feelings, thoughts, or behaviors over which a normal person has adequate self-control to alter or adjust in order to avoid the impairments, if he or she wishes to do so. A person with a mental disorder could be comparable to a computer lacking the necessary software to combat particular viruses or execute effective programs. The concept of mental disorder does include a value judgment that there should be necessary, adequate, or optimal psychological functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsychopathology
Subtitle of host publicationFoundations for a Contemporary Understanding: Fifth Edition
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780429650512
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Taylor and Francis.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Medicine


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