Adjustment Disorder as a Marginal or Transitional Illness Category in DSM-III

Horacio Fabrega, Juan E. Mezzich, Ada C. Mezzich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


This study examines the resources of DSM-III for dealing with conditions that fall outside the domain of illnesses with specific, recognized, and clearly delineated symptom profiles. In discussing some of the theoretical and problematic aspects of the categories "Adjustment Disorder" (AD) and "not ill" (NI), AD is viewed as an example of a marginal or transitional illness category. Clinical psychopathologic features of subjects in the AD and NI categories are compared with those in the logical complementary category composed of all other specific diagnosis categories of DSM-III. The results support the descriptive validity of AD and NI in DSM-III.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-572
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of General Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1987
Externally publishedYes


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