Adjustment disorder is found in the category of trauma- and stressor-related disorders in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) with the common criterion of a significant stressor. The disorder is frequently diagnosed in adolescents experiencing reactions to a specific identifiable stressor or event typically in school, home, or work and with friends or family members. This entry describes the criteria for adjustment disorder, differential diagnosis, and issues and treatment with adolescents.

Formerly called transient situational disturbance prior to the publication of DSM-III-R, adjustment disorder focuses on emotional or behavioral symptoms as a reaction to a specific stressor within 3 months of the stressor’s onset that typically end within 6 months of the termination of the stressor. Thus, when the ...

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