The predictive value of adjustment disorders: a follow-up study

Am J Psychiatry. 1982 May;139(5):584-90. doi: 10.1176/ajp.139.5.584.


A previous investigation explored the diagnosis of adjustment disorder and found it to have descriptive and face validity. This study of the status at 5-year follow-up of 100 patients given this diagnosis strongly supports the validity of the category among adults but only partially among adolescents. Seventy-nine percent of the adults were well at follow-up, with 8% having had an intervening problem. Comparable figures for the adolescents were 57% and 13%. Most adults who were ill developed either major depression or alcoholism. The adolescents' illnesses included schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, major depression, bipolar disorder, antisocial personality, alcoholism, and drug use disorder. Chronicity and behavioral symptoms were the strongest predictors of poor outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Adjustment Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Adjustment Disorders / psychology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Social Adjustment
  • Social Environment