The criteria are named after a psychiatric paper published in 1972 of which John Feighner was the first listed author. It became the most cited article in psychiatry for some time.
The development of the criteria had been led by a trio of psychiatrists working together on the project for a
- Commentary on the criteria by John Feighner (written in 1989)
- Feighner JP, Robins E, Guze SB, Woodruff RA, Winokur G, Munoz R (1972) Diagnostic criteria for use in psychiatric research. Archives of General Psychiatry. 26: 57-63 PMID 5009428
- A Tribute to Eli & Lee Robbins - Citation Superstars. A Citationist Perspective on Biological Psychiatry - v12p321y1989.pdf
- Training at Washington University School of Medicine in Psychiatry in the late 1950s, from the perspective of an affective disorder researcher. Clayton PJ., J Affect Disord. 2006 May;92(1):13-7.
- The Making of DSM-III: A Diagnostic Manual's Conquest of American Psychiatry Hannah Decker, Oxford University Press, 29 Mar 2013. Chapter 3.
- The Development of the Feighner Criteria: A Historical Perspective Kenneth S. Kendler, M.D.; Rodrigo A. Muñoz, M.D.; George Murphy, M.D. Am J Psychiatry 2009;167:134-142. 10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.09081155
The criteria were expanded in the publication of the 
Fourteen conditions were defined, including primary affective disorders (such as depression), schizophrenia, anxiety neurosis and antisocial personality disorder. In the early 1970s homosexuality was considered a psychiatric illness by the medical community, and was also included as one of the fourteen conditions.