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Diagnosing Mental Health and Developmental Disorders in Infants and Toddlers: A 5-Year Retrospective on DC:0–5


Volume 42 No 2

The issue of mental health disorders in very young children is complex, often uncomfortable, and sometimes controversial. However, clinicians and researchers agree that even during infancy, children can suffer emotional and behavioral disturbances that impair development, harm relationships, and interfere with healthy functioning. ZERO TO THREE has been at the forefront of guiding practitioners in diagnosing mental health and developmental disorders in very young children since the publication of the first classification system for infants and toddlers in 1994. The diagnostic classification manual has been revised several times over the ensuing decades, and most recently, DC:0–5TM: Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood (DC:0–5) was released in 2016 and updated (Version 2.0) in 2021.

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Table of Contents

Pg 5-Reflections on DC:0–5 at 5

Charles H. Zeanah, Alice S. Carter, Julie Cohen, Helen Egger, Mary Margaret Gleason, Miri Keren, Alicia F. Lieberman, Kathleen Mulrooney, and Cindy Oser

Pg 13-Relational Context and Relational Psychopathology in Early Childhood: An Illustration of the DC:0–5 Approach

Julie A. Larrieu and Charles H. Zeanah

Pg 20-Replacing a Spotlight With a Lantern: Using the DC:0–5 Multiaxial Framework When Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder in Early Childhood

Yael Dai, Daina M. Tagavi, and Alice S. Carter

Pg 30-DC:0–5 and Los Angeles County’s Efforts to Build the Birth Through 5 Mental Health Workforce

Marian E. Williams, Kathleen Mulrooney, Ashley Rediker, Debbie Reno-Smith, and Noelle Hause

Pg 40-Integrating DC:0–5 Into State Policy and Systems: 5 Years of Progress

Julie Cohen and Paola Andujar

Pg 49-Consultation and Case Formulation Using DC:0–5: The Centrality of Relational Context

Sharla Green Kibel and Amanda Rojas Hernandez

Pg 56-DC:0–5 in the Nordic Countries: Results and Experiences From the First 5 Years of Implementation in Norway and Sweden

Catarina Furmark and Nina Sanner

Pg 62-Critical Self-Reflection and Diversity-Informed Supervision/Consultation: Deepening the DC:0-5 Cultural Formulation

Carmen Rosa Noroña, Patricia P. Lakatos, Mary Wise-Kriplani, and Marian E. Williams

Also in This Issue


Released quarterly, each issue of the ZERO TO THREE Journal focuses on a critical topic within the early childhood development field. Journal articles are carefully composed to present current knowledge, latest research, and practical advice to help early childhood professionals do their best work in support of infants and toddlers.