Jonathan D. Raskin, Ph.D.

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Newly Published: “DSM-5: Do Psychologists Really Want an Alternative?”

Aug 10, 2016 | All News, Publications

The first of my two coauthored articles (with Mike Gayle) on professionals’ attitudes toward the DSM has been published in the September 2016 issue of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology. Here’s the reference and abstract: 

Raskin, J. D., & Gayle, M. C. (2016). DSM-5: Do psychologists really want an alternative? Journal of Humanistic Psychology56(5), 439-456. doi: 10.1177/0022167815577897

JHP-vol56-iss5-2016DSM-5: Do Psychologists Really Want an Alternative?

Jonathan D. Raskin and Michael C. Gayle
State University of New York at New Paltz, NY, USA


Only two published studies, both from the early 1980s, have specifically examined psychologist attitudes toward the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The current article rectifies this by presenting the results of a recent survey of attitudes toward the DSM-IV-TR and DSM-5. Though the DSM has changed over the years, psychologist attitudes toward it have remained remarkably consistent. Although more than 90% of psychologists report using the DSM, they are dissatisfied with numerous aspects of it and support developing alternatives to it—something that psychologists over 30 years ago supported, as well. The finding that almost all psychologists use the DSM despite serious concerns about it raises ethical issues because professionals are ethically bound to only use instruments in which they are scientifically confident.