The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) is a short diagnostic structured interview, developed in clinician (MINI-CR) and patient-rated (MINI-PR) formats, for 17 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)-III-R Axis I psychiatric disorders. This study, which investigates the validity of the MINI in relation to the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R Patients (SCID-P), was conducted in conjunction with a similar study, investigating the validity of the MINI in relation to the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) for International Statistical Classification of Disease (ICD)-10. Both studies also examined the inter-rater and test-retest reliability of the MINI. Three hundred and seventy subjects (330 in Florida and 40 in Paris) participated in the validation of the MINI versus the SCID-P. Of these, 308 had at least one psychiatric disorder and 62 were non-patient adult controls. Eighty of the subjects (40 in Florida and 40 in Paris) also participated in the parallel study of the validity of the MINI versus the CIDI. The 330 Florida subjects first completed the patient-rated version of the MINI. All subjects were administered the MINI-CR (after the MINI-PR in the case of the Florida subjects), followed by the SCID-P. The MINI-CR was rated by two interviewers for 42 subjects in Florida and 42 in Paris (inter-rater reliability test) and readministered by a third blind interviewer one to two days after the initial rating (test-retest reliability test). Overall, the results supported the validity and reliability of the MINI. In addition, administration of the MINI-CR took half as long as administration of corresponding sections of the SCID-P. The application of short structured interviews in clinical and research settings is discussed.