Diagnostic Criteria

A. No close friend of similar age other than a relative or a similarly socially isolated child.

B. No apparent interest in making friends.

C. No pleasure from usual peer interactions.

D. General avoidance of nonfamilial social contacts, especially with peers.

E. No interest in activities that involve other children (such as team sports, clubs).

F. Durations of the disturbance of at least three months.

G. Not due to Pervasive Developmental Disorder; Conduct Disorder, Undersocialized, Nonaggressive; or any psychotic disorder, such as Schizophrenia.

H. If 18 or older, does not meet the criteria for Schizoid Personality Disorder.

Differential Diagnosis

Avoidant Disorder of Childhood or Adolescence

Children with Avoidant Disorder of Childhood or Adolescence are interested in social participation, but are inhibited by anxiety from forming social contacts. Peer interaction, once established, is enjoyed.

Schizophrenia and Pervasive Developmental Disorders

In Schizophrenia and Pervasive Developmental Disorders there are psychotic symptoms or marked deficits in multiple areas of functioning.

Conduct Disorder

In Conduct Disorder, Undersocialized, Nonaggressive the predominant disturbance is antisocial behavior.


As of DSM-IV, this disorder is no longer part of the DSM.

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