Prevalence of the proposed DSM-IV alcohol use disorders: United States, 1988

Br J Addict. 1992 Feb;87(2):309-16. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.1992.tb02706.x.


Data from a 1988 survey on United States drinking practices and related problems was used to derive the proposed DSM-IV definitions of alcohol abuse and dependence. The prevalence of DSM-IV alcohol abuse and dependence combined, incorporating the DSM-III-R duration criterion, was 6.00% in this general population sample. The majority of respondents were classified as alcohol dependent (5.93%), dependent without abuse (5.24%), and dependent with physiological dependence (5.06%). The rate for DSM-IV alcohol abuse was negligible (0.06%) while elimination of the duration criterion had little impact on the prevalence of DSM-IV alcohol use disorders. Reasons for the extremely low prevalence of DSM-IV alcohol abuse and the slight increase in the prevalence of DSM-IV alcohol use disorders as the result of eliminating the duration criterion are discussed in terms of the content of the abuse category and its relationship to the dependence definition.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcoholism / diagnosis
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics
  • United States / epidemiology