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Classification of Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders

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Handbook of Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders

Abstract

Classification in psychopathology has moved through several important stages, based on the trajectory of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual from its first edition to the most current, and the upcoming fifth edition. The initial two editions were marked by a unifying theoretical basis, whereby specific diagnoses were conceptualized in psychodynamic terms. This tradition is similar to the formulation of taxonomies in other branches of science. For example, in biology the reliance on a hierarchical arrangement from kingdom down to species is based on a specific theoretical framework, whereby all newly discovered organisms may be readily classified. While not totally without controversy, such as the recent movement toward cladistics (whereby organisms are classified by ancestry rather than present biological structure; Scott-Ram, 2008), these represent mere refinements rather than sea-change level alterations in classification. Another example is in chemistry, where elements are classified by a theory-driven framework regarding the organization of atoms, with specifications within the periodic table of elements (such as noble gases, metals, etc.) that also readily guides researchers in how to classify newly discovered entities. Again, controversies exist (e.g., cloud theory versus heliocentric theory of atomic structure; Cox, 1996), but these do not substantially alter the manner of utilizing the classification system.

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Correspondence to Dean McKay .

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McKay, D., Storch, E.A. (2011). Classification of Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders. In: McKay, D., Storch, E. (eds) Handbook of Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-7784-7_1

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