Comorbidity of Disorders in Children and Adolescents
Since the advent of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition and Third Edition, Revised (DSM-III and DSM-III-R), clinicians and investigators have shown increasing interest in the significance of comorbid disorders in children and adolescents. Coincident with a sharpened focus on comorbidity, some investigators have developed detailed data on child and adolescent comorbid diagnoses in clinical and epidemiological studies (e.g., Bird, Gould, & Staghezza, 1993; Cohen, 1993; Pfeffer & Plutchik, 1989); and comorbidity has been the subject of recent reviews of child and adolescent disorders research (e.g., Biederman, New-corn, & Sprich, 1991; Zoccolillo, 1992). Accumulating evidence suggests that comorbidity is pervasive. Concerns about weaknesses of the nosological system are being advanced to account for the high rates of comorbidity in general (Achenbach, 1990/1991; Caron & Rutter, 1991; Pfeffer & Plutchik, 1989; Rutter, 1989), as well as for the co-occurrence of specific disorders (e.g., Biederman et al., 1991; Carlson, 1990). With respect to children and adolescents, these concerns intersect with developmental and methodological issues. For the advancement of knowledge about child and adolescent disorders, it is essential that comorbidity patterns be identified and examined, not only for their implications for prognosis and treatment, but also for evaluation of the classification system on which they are based.
KeywordsConduct Disorder Oppositional Defiant Disorder Conduct Disorder Separation Anxiety Comorbid Disorder
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