The development of major diagnostic manuals primarily has been guided by construct validity rather than clinical utility. The purpose of this article is to summarize recent research and theory examining the importance of clinical utility when constructing and evaluating a diagnostic manual. We suggest that construct validity is a necessary but not sufficient criterion for diagnostic constructs. This article discusses components of clinical utility and how these have applied to the current and forthcoming diagnostic manuals. Implications and suggestions for future research are provided.


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