Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Sunde M. Nesbit


The model that is currently in place is the categorical model and its use has been widespread since 1980 when the DSM-III was published and used internationally for categorical assessment (Mayes & Horwitz, 2005). It has since been widely utilized by professionals, but is not without flaws. Based on the argument for an alternative approach, researchers have argued several limitations of the categorical model: that no true discrete mental illness can be reasonably operationalized by categorical measures; that negative stigmas can accompany a diagnosis of mental illness; that there is inherent uncertainty when making diagnoses, whether to perceive certain information as a symptom or an illness (Kessler, 2002; Kraemer et. al, 2002; Millon, 1991). Further, the categorical approach to diagnosis involves symptom cutoffs that are arbitrary, and the diagnosis of disorders is unreliable (Kessler, 2002; Millon, 1991; Trull, 2005). With this in mind, there is a movement ( 1991) for either the implementation of the dimensional model or a push for the combination of the two forms of assessment depending on individual needs of the client. With this uncertainty present, this research examined what model practicing clinicians prefer and possible future directions based on their responses.

Year of Submission



Department of Psychology

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (20 pages)