Volume 29, Issue 4 (October 1984)
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-III: A Perspective from Family Court
The third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-III) is evaluated from the standpoint of forensic science experience in a family court setting. The importance of diagnosis in developing pertinent recommendations within an adversarial system is discussed, with particular emphasis on difficulties in coordinating the Manual with the mental disorders frequently found in such a population. The limitations of the current criteria of the developmental disabilities are noted, and problems of reconciling incest and child abuse with the nomenclature are investigated. Some inconsistencies in the conceptualization of the conduct disorders and antisocial personality disorder are explored in terms of the needs of the juvenile justice system. An additional coding procedure is proposed for DSM-III, in order to identify more easily prodromal or emerging disorders of clinical significance.