Question

Do I capitalize the names of syndromes and disorders in APA style?

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Answered By: Linda Kern
Last Updated: Dec 12, 2016     Views: 56967

Hello!


I've checked into the capitalization of syndromes and disorders such as autism spectrum disorder. The APA handbook (p.101-104) doesn't specifically state what kind of nouns (proper or common) these terms are. I then checked http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2012/02/do-i-capitalize-this-word.html. The blog referred me to  Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (2005) and the APA Dictionary of Psychology; I checked both. There is no indication of disorders or syndromes being capitalized unless they are named after a person, such as Asperger syndrome. Even then "syndrome" is not capitalized. That would mean that Asperger syndrome named after Asperger who identified the syndrome) is partially capitalized, while autism spectrum disorder, for example, is not.

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