Ford and Widiger

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Ford and Widiger - Sex Bias in Histrionic Disorder

The aim of the study was to assess whether sex bias is prevalent in the diagnosis of mental disorders and if this can be minimised by the explicit criteria in the DSM manual.

The participants were 354 psychologists, 76% of whom were male.

The method was a self-report whereby the psychologists responded to a series of case histories and made a diagnosis using DSM criteria.

266 of the psychologists were given 1 of 9 case histories involving a female, male or a sex-unspecified patient each time. 

The case histories included the symptoms needed by the DSM for the unique diagnosis of either Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) or Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD).

The psychologists used 7-Point scales to say how confident they were that the patient had each condition. 

An independent panel of the remaining 88 psychologists in the sample rated how closely the case histories were examples of a Histrionic or Antisocial condition.

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Ford and Widiger - Sex Bias in Histrionic Disorder

Results

Females were much more likely to be diagnosed with Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD), and males were much more likely to be diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD).

These results show clearly the bias in diagnosis of dysfunctional behaviour.

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