Multiaxial Diagnostic Approaches

  • Dennis P. Cantwell
  • Lorian Baker
Part of the Current Issues in Autism book series (CIAM)


This chapter deals with diagnostic approaches in child psychiatry. The chapter begins with a discussion of why diagnostic classification is desirable and a summary of the basic principles of such classification. The goals and requirements of a classification system are outlined, and four types of classification systems (categorical, dimensional, uniaxial, and multiaxial) are explained. The type of multiaxial classification system used in DSM-III is explained, and two case histories of autistic children are provided to illustrate how such an approach is superior to a uniaxial system. Finally, some of the unresolved issues having to do with the DSM-III classification system are presented, and the relevance of these issues to the diagnosis and classification of autism is noted.


Personality Disorder Autistic Child Child Psychiatry Dimensional Approach Physical Disorder 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis P. Cantwell
    • 1
  • Lorian Baker
    • 1
  1. 1.Neuropsychiatric InstituteUniversity of California at Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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