The Usefulness of DSM-IV and DSM-5 Conduct Disorder Subtyping in Detained Adolescents

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to test whether the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), and DSM-5 conduct disorder (CD) subtyping approaches identify adolescents with concurrent psychiatric morbidity and an increased risk to reoffend. A diagnostic interview was used to assess childhood-onset CD (CoCD), adolescent-onset CD (AoCD), and concurrent psychiatric morbidity in 223 detained male adolescents. The callous-unemotional (CU) specifier was established through a self-report questionnaire. Two to four years later, information on official criminal recidivism was collected. The CoCD and AoCD youths were different in concurrent psychiatric morbidity but not in their risk to reoffend. The youths with CD and CU (CD+CU) and the CD-only youths did not differ with regard to concurrent psychiatric morbidity. In addition, the CD+CU youths were at risk to reoffend but merely when compared with their counterparts without CD/CU. Although CD subtyping approaches may identify youths with concurrent psychiatric morbidity, the usefulness to predict recidivism in already delinquent youths is limited.

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