Clinical Implications of Historical Development of the DSM through Examining Two Main Disorders

  • Author / Creator
    Sanders, James Ladell
  • As a gateway to support for those who experience significant distress or impairment as a result of cognitive, affective, developmental, social, environmental, or other personal/interpersonal challenges, mental disorder diagnosis is a common practice in mental health professions. In order to practice effectively and ethically, diagnosticians should develop a keen understanding of the diagnostic guidelines they follow in research and practice. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM) is a dominant diagnostic classification used throughout the world. Because it impacts innumerable lives in significant ways, the DSM should be used judiciously by diagnosticians. By understanding the history and development of the DSM within a clinical backdrop, diagnosticians can better understand the fundamental strengths and limitations of this hegemonic manual. In addition, understanding the history and development of specific mental disorders can help diagnosticians better understand the conditions they diagnose and facilitate a more rigorous and careful diagnostic process. This thesis uses paper format, where each chapter stands as its own study. Using a paper thesis format, dissemination via peer-reviewed journals is more easily facilitated so that the papers may be available to a wide body of readership in order to promote more judicious use of the DSM and mental disorder diagnosis. Variations of four chapters in this paper-format dissertation have been published in peer-reviewed journals, and a fifth has been accepted and is in press. In addition to a review of the historical developments of the DSM, I review the historical developments of autism and Asperger’s Disorder, developmental disorders within the current edition of the DSM, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), a developmental disorder that is not in the current edition of the DSM but has been proposed for a future edition. Finally, recommendations for ethical and effective diagnostic practice using the DSM or other diagnostic guidelines are provided.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2013
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Psychological Studies in Education
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Robertson, Scot (History)
    • Whelton, William (Educational Psychology)
    • Larsen, Denise (Educational Psychology)
    • Clarren, Sterling (Developmental Neurosciences & Child Health, University of British Columbia)
    • Dust, Thomas (Secondary Education)