Re-evaluating the DSM-I

Cooper, Rachel and Blashfield, Roger (2016) Re-evaluating the DSM-I. Psychological Medicine, 46 (3). pp. 449-456. ISSN 0033-2917

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The DSM-I is currently viewed as a psychoanalytic classification, and therefore unimportant. There are four reasons to challenge the belief that the DSM-I was a psychoanalytic system. First, psychoanalysts were a minority on the committee that created the DSM-I. Second, psychoanalysts of the time did not use the DSM-I. Third, the DSM-I was as infused with Kraepelinian concepts as it was with psychoanalytic concepts. Fourth, contemporary writers who commented on the DSM-I did not perceive it as psychoanalytic. The first edition of the DSM arose from a blending of concepts from the Statistical Manual for the Use of Hospitals of Mental Diseases, the military psychiatric classifications developed during World War II, and the International Classification of Diseases (6th edition). As a consensual, clinically oriented classification, the DSM-I was popular, leading to 20 printings and international recognition. From the perspective inherent in this paper, the continuities between classifications from the first half of the 20th century and the systems developed in the second half (e.g., the DSM-III to DSM-5) become more visible.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Psychological Medicine
Additional Information: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Psychological Medicine, 46 (3), pp 449-456 2016, © 2016 Cambridge University Press.
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28 Sep 2015 11:05
Last Modified:
16 Sep 2023 01:13