Symptoms versus a diagnosis of depression: differences in psychosocial functioning.

Published on Jan 1, 1995in Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology4.36
· DOI :10.1037/0022-006X.63.1.90
Ian H. Gotlib100
Estimated H-index: 100
(NU: Northwestern University),
Peter M. Lewinsohn99
Estimated H-index: 99
(Oregon Research Institute),
John R. Seeley80
Estimated H-index: 80
(Oregon Research Institute)
In studies of clinical depression, individuals who demonstrate elevated levels of symptoms but do not meet interview-based diagnostic criteria are typically labeled as false positive and eliminated from further consideration. However, the implicit assumption that false-positive participants differ in important ways from true-positive (i.e., diagnosed) participants has not been tested systematically. This study compared the functioning of true-positive, false-positive, and true-negative adolescents on clinical and psychosocial functioning. Although the false-positive participants manifested higher levels occurrent and future psychopathology than did the true-negative participants, they did not differ significantly from the true-positive participants on most of the measures of psychosocial dysfunction. «False positive,» therefore, is not a benign condition
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