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Psychiatric Factors in Security Screening
Am J Psychiatry 1973;130:648-652.
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Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, City University of New York, New York, N.Y.

1973, The American Psychiatric Association

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In screening an individual for a security clearance, there are two possible categories of mental disorder: one requiring an adverse opinion and the other a favorable opinion in spite of the presence of such a disorder. In this study of 85 evaluations, symptoms not associated with acting out such as anxiety, depression, and psychosomatic disorders were rarely a basis for an adverse opinion. Nor did hospitalization, electroshock therapy, or prolonged intensive psychotherapy in themselves constitute a basis for an adverse opinion. The author points out that the psychiatric factor is but a single element in the overall determination of eligibility to have access to classified information.

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