A simple scheme with three main groups of disorders

A simple but well-researched and valid way of grouping child disorders 'lumps' them into three groups, which are helpful to hold in mind when considering specific diagnoses:

• emotional disorders including anxiety, depression, phobias, somatization, and obsessive-compulsive disorder

• disruptive disorders including conduct disorder and hyperactivity

• developmental disorders including mental retardation, the autistic spectrum, language and reading delays, and enuresis and encopresis.

Comorbidity within each grouping is very common, but only occurs across groups in the minority of cases. External criteria validating the differences between these groups are given in Table 1...

Table 1 Validating criteria for main diagnostic groupings

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