Cross-system agreement among demographic subgroups: DSM-III, DSM-III-R, DSM-IV and ICD-10 diagnoses of alcohol use disorders

Deborah Hasin, Stephen McCloud, Qun Li, Jean Endicott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increasing importance is being place on the appropriateness of methodologies for different population subgroups, such as women as well as men, non-Whites as well as Whites, and older and younger individuals. In the alcohol field, this applies to a number of areas, including the agreement between diagnoses of alcohol use disorders by different sets of diagnostic criteria. We tested the agreement between DSM-III, DSM-III-R, DSM-IV and ICD-10 criteria for alcohol dependence and abuse in demographic subgroups of a sample of 962 community residents screened for heavy drinking in the previous 12 months. Good to excellent agreement was found for current diagnoses of dependence across all subgroups and classification systems. For past diagnoses, agreement was good across all subgroups for comparisons that did not involve DSM-III, and quite low for comparisons of DSM-III to other classification systems across subgroups. With few exceptions, cross-system agreement for diagnoses of alcohol abuse was poor. This result was also consistent across demographic subgroups. Results suggest that studies can be compared equally well for diagnoses of alcohol dependence subsequent to DSM-III for males and females, Whites and non-Whites, and older and younger respondents. Abuse remains a problematic category psychometrically across all demographic categories, even in this sample of largely untreated household residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-135
Number of pages9
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol abuse
  • Alcohol dependence
  • Alcohol use disorders
  • DSM-IV
  • ICD-10

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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