DSM-IV and behavioral assessment

Michael B. First, Allen Frances, Thomas A. Widiger, Harold A. Pincus, Wendy Wakefield Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The DSM-IV classification scheme will continue to be syndromally-based because of the utility of this approach in organizing clinical data and facilitating research efforts and treatment planning. This paper begins by discussing the merits of the syndromal classification scheme and compares it with a more symptom-based organizational approach. The paper then focuses on the development of DSM-IV. The most significant difference between the forthcoming DSM-IV and earlier efforts is in its emphasis on establishing an empirical basis through the three stages of literature review, data reanalyses, and field trials. The paper then discusses some of the conceptual issues that have arisen in the process, with emphasis on their interface with behavioral assessment. The paper concludes by examining how DSM-IV and the approach of behavioral assessment are complementary and have exerted useful mutual influence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-306
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioral Assessment
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Sep 1992


  • DSM-IV
  • behavioral assessment
  • classification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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