The role of gender in proposed DSM-5 alcohol use disorder criteria

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Amanda Victoria Metze (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Leonardo Bobadilla

Abstract: The high prevalence of alcohol related fatalities and the large population of individuals at risk or diagnosed with alcohol use disorders make understanding the disorders a public health priority. As the publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-fifth edition (DSM-5; n.d.) approaches, a substantial amount of research has focused on how to best conceptualize disorders. Currently, the DSM-IV-TR conceptualizes alcohol use disorders as two categorical diagnoses: abuse and dependence. However, recent research suggests that the diagnostic criteria may be better represented as a continuum. An issue that could inform the debate is whether problematic alcohol use presents itself differently in males and females. Previous research has utilized populations representative of both genders, but little to no research has explicitly focused on the role that gender plays in the nosology of alcohol use disorder. The present study examined the role of gender in the proposed DSM-5 alcohol use disorder diagnostic scheme using a corrections population. Results indicated that there was agreement between dependence categories in the DSM-IV-TR and severe alcohol use categories in the proposed DSM-5 for both genders. The results also indicated that gender differences exist in severity of diagnosis, which could impact treatment decisions. Overall, the proposed DSM-5 may have more clinical justification for diagnosis. The inclusion of an additional criterion was also explored. Results indicated that a “use to relieve emotional distress” criterion may be warranted.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Alcoholism -- Diagnosis
Alcoholism -- Sex differences
Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 5th ed

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