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A Comparison of DSM-II and DSM-III in the Diagnosis of Childhood Psychiatric Disorders II. Interrater Agreement

Richard Mattison, MD; Dennis P. Cantwell, MD; Andrew T. Russell, MD; Lois Will, MA
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1979;36(11):1217-1222. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1979.01780110071008.
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• A case-history format was utilized to compare interrater agreement on childhood and adolescent psychiatric disorders, using DSM-II and DSM-III. The average interrater agreement was 57% for DSM-II and 54% for axis I (clinical psychiatric syndrome) of DSM-III. There was high agreement in both systems on cases of psychosis, conduct disorder, hyperactivity, and mental retardation, with DSM-III appearing slightly better. There was noteworthy interrater disagreement in both systems for "anxiety" disorders, complex cases, and in the subtyping of depression. Overall, the reliability of DSM-III appears to be good and is comparable with that of DSM-II and other classification systems of childhood psychiatric disorders.


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