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Diagnostic validity across racial and ethnic groups in the assessment of adolescent DSM-IV disorders


Ronald C. Kessler, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, 180 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

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We examine differential validity of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) diagnoses assessed by the fully-structured Composite International Diagnostic Interview Version 3.0 (CIDI) among Latino, non-Latino Black, and non-Latino White adolescents in comparison to gold standard diagnoses derived from the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-age Children (K-SADS). Results are based on the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement, a national US survey of adolescent mental health. Clinicians re-interviewed 347 adolescent/parent dyads with the K-SADS. Sensitivity and/or specificity of CIDI diagnoses varied significantly by ethnicity/race for four of ten disorders. Modifications to algorithms sometimes reduced bias in prevalence estimates, but at the cost of reducing individual-level concordance. These findings document the importance of assessing fully-structured diagnostic instruments for differential accuracy in ethnic/racial subgroups. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.