Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The demands of comorbidity: Implications for the explanation and classification of mental disorder

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posted on 2021-11-15, 00:55 authored by Sinden, Amie M.

A central goal of psychiatric classification is to assist in the assessment and treatment of those who experience mental disorder. This challenge takes on greater significance in complex cases, especially given the high prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity. High rates of comorbidity also challenge the validity of current psychiatric nosology. Etiological classification has been promoted as an alternative to improve the state of psychiatric diagnosis. However, comorbidity makes specific conceptual, explanatory and methodological demands of any such classification strategy. In this thesis, a demand for coherent and integrative explanation of comorbidity acts as a standard by which to assess the strength of different causal models of mental disorder and their resultant concepts. Integrative pluralism is presented as an epistemological framework well-suited to the complexity of this scientific challenge.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Science

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and the Cognitive sciences

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Psychology


Ward, Tony