Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Laurel Monnig (Committee Member), David Orenstein (Committee Chair), Lafleur Small (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


The International Classification of Diseases, Sixth Edition (ICD-6; World Health Organization, 1949) is a universal health care management tool for examining the pathology of diseases and how to properly diagnose and treat said diseases. The birth of the first edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-I; American Psychiatric Association, 1952) is the product of the ICD and the American Medico-psychological Association and first delivered shortly after the end of the Second World War. As per request of the American Armed Forces, which were ill-equipped to manage the surge of mental disorders after the war, the need for a uniform classification system to diagnose the rising number of disorders classified as numerous names and symptoms, or inexistent in medical nomenclature, was perceived to be undoubtedly dire. Unlike the ICD, the DSM was constructed particularly for American classifications of mental disorders and psychosis, both organic and inorganic, which would in the course of over 60 years expand its diagnosis to thousands of American civilians. Since the first publication of the DSM, there have been six additional publications that essentially define what is "normal" and "deviant" as it relates to social behavior and function. The purpose of this research is to examine the trend of Axis II personality disorders within DSM-I through V (APA, 1952 & 2013) in regards to its continually revised definition of the boundaries of American normalcy and the "other" ; its impact on social behavior, economic disparity; the implications of corralling the masses through medicalization; and an ideation of political dominance that presumes to know what is best for the general population. By utilizing the seven editions of the DSM to examine the literature within the manuals, it will assist in guiding through the trends of personality disorder classifications per edition in comparison to a necessity for controlling maladaptive behaviors. With this information in hand, it will facilitate in the evaluation of how compartmentalized human behavior has become in relation to a limited knowledge of the social spectrum.

Page Count


Department or Program

Applied Behavioral Science

Year Degree Awarded